Chef Talk: Cucina Confidential

Cucina 24's chef Brian Canipelli.

Cucina 24’s chef Brian Canipelli.

Brian Canipelli is the chef and owner of one of Asheville’s favorite restaurants, Cucina 24. Canipelli serves Italian food that tends to reflect both modern and rustic sensibilities. He and his kitchen team stay busy making house-made pastas and from-scratch pizza crusts, which they fire in the restaurant’s wood burning oven. As busy as Canipelli is, however, he recently found the time to sit down with Bold Life to answer a few questions.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A day off when I’m not thinking about work.

What is your greatest fear? For my intentions to not be understood. For people to think that I’m trying to reinvent Italian food, and that’s not at all what I’m trying to do.

What is your inspiration? It sounds cliché, but I’m inspired by the seasons.

What is your guiltiest pleasure? Fast food cheeseburgers.

What is the quality you most like in a person? Honesty and humbleness.

What is the quality you least like in a person? Dishonesty and pride.

Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I was handier as far as home repairs.

What is your current state of mind? Stressed — it’s January.

Which habit would you most like to be rid of? Smoking cigarettes.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? My family.

What is your favorite thing to do on a cold day? Stay inside and watch movies.

What would you cook for the President? Biscuits and gravy.

Who would you most like to have dinner with? Thomas Keller.

What is your favorite culinary tool? Chef’s knife.

What is your idea of hell on earth? Chain restaurants.

What quality do you most value in your friends? Trustworthiness.

What food could you not live without? I love tomatoes. I love bacon…BLT’s!

What music could you not live without? Classic rock.

How would you like to die? I know how I don’t want to die — drowning or burning.

How would you like to live? Without regret.

What is your motto? I don’t have one…should I?

To learn more about Cucina 24, visit

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