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Pasquale Carfora

Chef Pasquale Carfora: Italian culinary journey in the Netherlands

Nine years ago, Pasquale Carfora embarked on a culinary journey from the picturesque town of Sabaudia in southern Italy, just south of Rome, to the Netherlands. While initially pursuing a civil engineering degree, his heart was always in the kitchen. His culinary adventure started with an internship at the prestigious La Pergola*** in Rome and evolved through his work at Antica Osteria Nonna Rosa in Vico Equense, a charming coastal town near his hometown. From a young age, he absorbed the wisdom of food preparation in rural settings, where everything came fresh from the land, and the ethos was ‘we eat what we produce’, a philosophy passed down by his grandfather. In the Netherlands, Pasquale commenced his culinary career as a sous-chef at Cosa, cucina e vino in Baarn. However, his unwavering passion for cooking propelled him to pursue a different path. He found his way to Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in Amsterdam, initially serving as a chef de partie but rapidly ascending to the esteemed position of head chef. Later, he played a pivotal role as the ‘opening chef’ at the newly inaugurated nhow-hotel near the RAI in Amsterdam.

I have a definite passion for food. I think in terms of food. Working in the kitchen energizes me so much. If I had to choose between working one hour a day in an office or fourteen in a kitchen, the latter makes me happier. We want to uphold the Italian reputation and show that the Italian cucina is much more than pasta and pizza. It definitely can be fine dining! We love to explain what we do and why. An evening of dining is more than just eating. It's also about the experience and interaction during the meal. Knowing what and why we are serving what we serve

Pasquale Carfora

Restaurant Aroma

Vaassen, Netherlands
JRE JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs

Restaurant Aroma in Vaassen: An Italian Fine Dining Experience with Chef Pasquale Carfora. At Restaurant Aroma, Pasquale Carfora aspires to redefine the Italian dining experience, elevating it to the standards of fine dining. Together with his wife, Elisa Leune, who is of Italian descent, they are dedicated to showcasing the rich culinary heritage of their native Italy, particularly the Agro Pontino region. While a trip to Italy may not be on the cards, Aroma promises to bring authentic Italian flavors to your table.

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Chef Pasquale's culinary philosophy

For Pasquale cooking transcends mere profession; it’s a heartfelt energy. The corporate world didn't resonate with him; instead, he found fulfilment in the kitchen. As a chef, he infuses his heart and soul into every culinary creation. His ultimate mission is to achieve a harmonious blend of Italian culinary traditions with the fresh, regional, and seasonal bounty of the surroundings of Vaassen, complemented by thoughtfully chosen Italian imports. This amalgamation results in dishes that captivate the palate with unexpected flavours and aromas.

The Aroma experience

As both owner and chef of restaurant Aroma in Vaassen, Pasquale Carfora is on a mission to preserve the reputation of Italian cuisine. He successfully demonstrates that it can ascend to fine dining. As a result, Aroma was crowned ‘Italian Restaurant of the Year’ in 2023. Within his establishment, he endeavours to craft an ambiance where guests feel welcomed, comfortable, and at home. Personal interaction holds supreme importance to him. He views the restaurant as an extension of his own living room, treating diners as cherished guests in his home. Pasquale frequently mingles with patrons, sharing anecdotes about the dishes and tales from his beloved Italy. Dining at Aroma is more than just a culinary journey; it's an immersive experience, a voyage into the essence of Italian cuisine.

A message from chef Pasquale

"We are making significant strides as a new restaurant. Our aim is to maintain our standing as the finest Italian restaurant in the Netherlands. When guests travel from places as far as Rotterdam, Groningen, Friesland, or Maastricht to dine here, it's a testament to our recognition. And when guests, the service team, and the kitchen staff are all content, it's a good day. That's when I know I've accomplished my objective."