It’s no wonder that Chef Mark Pelliccia’s flavors have elements of several cuisines from around the globe—he’s been to all of the places he’s inspired by. At the age of ten, Mark Pelliccia moved from New York to San Diego, where his father opened up the Italian restaurant Luigi’s at the Beach in Mission Beach. Growing up in the restaurant business fueled his passion for food, and after graduating high school, an 18-year-old Mark set out alone to Italy with intentions to attend culinary school. He fell in love with the country, so after he completed his training, he decided stay for 15 more years. His culinary education includes Hotel and Restaurant Management and a year-long enrollment at a Pastry School in Venice, taught by the best chef’s throughout Europe. However, his travels were perhaps the most inspirational. He spent this time self-touring across Italy as well as other European countries, a three year stint in Mexico, and memorable trip to Japan, all of which provided some excellent culinary inspiration he would take with him to the kitchen.
After his stint abroad, Chef Pelliccia returned to the states and began working as an Executive Chef for Solare, Liberty Station’s destination for modern Italian cuisine, headed by Chef Stefano Ceresoli. Cooking Italian food is Mark’s specialty, and he was praised for his contributions.
Chef Pelliccia opened 25 Forty Bistro and Bakehouse in Old Town just under a year ago, hoping to take what he learned from his travels and apply them to his cooking. The menu he has created incorporates all of the themes and motifs he has picked up along the way, adding his own personal touch to any dining experience. Hoping to cook world cuisine in his own style, Mark’s passions are brought from inception to production with each day he works in the kitchen. Never forgetting the spices and flavors that inspired him in his travels, the dishes he creates at his very own restaurant are strictly his own style.
Having his own restaurant, he explains, grants limitless possibilities. With his hands no longer tied to the concepts of another restaurant, 25 Forty Bistro and Bakehouse showcases Mark’s unique flavors. Instead of categorizing the cuisine, he explains that the techniques and flavors exude more of an open and forward style while still maintaining a bit of tradition with each bite. Each dish certainly features elements of modernist and Old World styles, using top notch local and sustainable ingredients with comforting flavors, not to mention an attention to detail—everything in the restaurant is made from scratch, even down to the mayonnaise. The tastes of his dishes are perhaps the most important and spectacular component, for it is here that Mark brings cultures together. What we as diners taste from different cuisines around the world, Chef Pelliccia fuses together in his own way. While there are Italian influences, for instance, it is not just Italian food. This freedom of flavors gives him power for creativity, and though he has a clear knowledge and confidence as a chef, he admits that he is always searching for new ideas and inspirations.
One special attribute his restaurant offers are cooking classes—which grants Mark a chance to not only to share his culinary expertise, but to reach out to the community and promote his ideas and skills. Though talented, he is always learning, and always creating. We hope that his creativity flow doesn’t stop, as Chef Pelliccia passions and talents are something that we in return can admire and draw inspiration from.