After being at the helm of Le Madri, restaurateur Pino Luongo's longtime Tuscan on East Eighteenth Street, for just a year, Pippa Calland got the news that New York Times dining critic Eric Asimov would be reviewing it. Despite assurances from friends, and co-workers, and the knowledge that she'd breathed new life into the place, Calland waited with some trepidation. The review was exceptionally laudatory, praising her for an "evolved-Italian approach" that combined "respect for Italian traditions and international sensibility.
Calland's deep knowledge of her art doesn't come as a surprise, being the result of years of work, study and dedication. Unfulfilled by academia, the Indianapolis native left her graduate studies at the University of Buffalo in 1994 to attend ICE on a James Beard Foundation scholarship. After graduation, Calland continued to pursue her passion and education by studying at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Asti, Italy ; and at the Beringer School for American Chefs in Naa under Madeleine Kamman.
Internships at two restaurants in Romagna, Italy, broadened her horizons and also laid the foundation for what would become her own special brand of Italian food with a vibrant, flavor-perfect quality that Luongo has described as "the closest thing to Tuscan soul food." Pippa became the first American born executive chef to helm Le Madri and was named one of “Thirteen chefs to look out for” by John Mariani in Esqire magazine in 2002.
When asked about why she is so bullish about her Wolf stove - and why she is so happy when she finds them in her clients homes, Pippa replied, "My Wolf range does exactly what a stove should, every time. Plus, it always looks good doing it." Pippa recently took home the $10,000 prize on the show "Chopped" on the Food Network.