Born and raised in Florence, Italy. Worked at his parents’ restaurant, where his mother schooled him in Tuscan cooking traditions. Travelled to Cape Town at 19, and worked in the kitchen at Blues restaurant in Camps Bay. Returned to Italy in 2013, and won La Terra dei Cuochi, a TV cooking programme.
Returned to Cape Town in 2015. Launched Lapo’s Kitchen in 2016, a pop-up dining experience hosted at his characterful home in Observatory.. In 2019, Lapo’s Kitchen moved to a new location at the iconic Josephine Mill in Newlands.
Current Chef-host of Lapo’s Kitchen, and freelance consultant and caterer
Restaurants he rates in 2019
For a casual meal The Kitchen Woodstock. I love everything about the kitchen. Beautiful, flavoursome unpretentious food; my go-to for a healthy yet delicious lunch.
For a special occasion 95 Keerom. Giorgio Nava’s first restaurant, to me, is real Italian food. Uncompromising, with style and class. Definitely for special occasions.
For a guilty pleasure Redemption Burgers. Best burger in town. If I could sustain a burger diet, I would eat it every second day.
For a Winelands experience Creation. I love the setting, the wines, and the food, in the nutrient-rich soil of Hermanus; to me, it is the best Winelands experience.
For authentic cuisine Saigon. The Vietnamese food is packed with umami; it’s my favourite Asian experience in Cape Town.
Best new restaurant Bao Down. Love the unpretentious feel. The acoustics are not quite right yet – definitely a work in progress, but damn the flavours are extraordinary!
Best “oldie but goodie” Willoughby & Co. It is my go-to for the freshest most delicious seafood, especially the sushi. It has been there forever and still going strong.
The best restaurant overall This is a no brainer, La Colombe. There has not been a restaurant in Cape Town that has come closer to what the team at La Colombe have put together! Awesome.