Get to know the award-winning chef and restaurateur behind Third Street South’s popular Sea Salt and Barbatella, Fabrizio Aielli—what foods he loves, where he stocks his pantry and what he does with his time off.
Where do you go out to eat in town?
Because of the business I’m in, it’s pretty long hours every day. When I have a day off, I don’t want to go to a restaurant, because when you go, you see people. Whether it’s a customer or somebody in the same line of work, you’re going to end up talking about business. The one thing I love to do when it’s my day off is to go to a friend’s house—almost every single Sunday I go to a friend’s house, and she cooks for me.
What else do you do for fun?
I spend time with my wife and friends. I love almost anything with an engine—cars, boats, but the thing I do most for fun, really, is cook.
Where is your favorite place to buy groceries?
For my house, 90 percent is from Food & Thought. My wife is there almost every single day for lunch. It is a superb place; when we opened Sea Salt, I learned a lot regarding the organic world from Frank Oakes [Food & Thought’s founder]. We have a farmer now who grows a lot of organic vegetables for us. He started it out of passion, and he does hydroponic growing—that way he can control the nutrients, and he does a wonderful job.
So most of the vegetables at Sea Salt are organic?
Whatever is possible for us to get, yes.