Address and phone: 6878 E. Sunrise Drive, 529-7358
Meet Giacomo Aprea, chef and co-owner of Giacomo’s, an Italian eatery he opened with his wife in 2003.
Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Aprea said he tried “just about every job I could,” as a youth, including a stint in the Army, before enrolling in the “Giulio Cesare” culinary school in Genoa, Italy.
Upon graduation, Aprea worked at restaurants and resorts in Italy, France and England, before opening his own restaurant in London.
The 49-year-old Aprea came to the U.S. in 1997 and settled in New York City, where he met his wife, Gina. The couple opened a restaurant in upstate New York that was open for about a year. After visiting Gina’ sister in Tucson, the couple decided to close the restaurant in New York and open one here.
Giacomo’s has been serving Aprea’s cooked-to-order, authentic Italian fare since 2003.
Question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Tucson?
Answer: When I’m off, I like going to Roma Caffe (4140 W. Ina Road) and Ascolese’s (222 S. Church Ave.).
What’s your favorite dish to prepare and why?
I don’t really have a particular thing. My favorite dish to prepare is the one the customer really wants.
What’s your favorite dish to eat?
I’m Italian. For me, there’s nothing better than a nice plate of spaghetti.
What’s unique about the Tucson restaurant scene compared to other cities?
I think we have a lot of smaller restaurants here where the food is better because it is made to order instead of prepared in advance and reheated.
What’s your favorite or most used gadget or kitchen utensil?
I sauté almost all my food, so that would have to be my sauté pans.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
I don’t like to cook at home because the boss, my wife, would complain if there is sauce and flour all over the kitchen. I guess we have some milk and some quick snacks in there.
But when it comes to cooking at home, my wife is the perfect woman. She does very country-style cooking that is just the best.
Why are you a chef?
I decided to cook for a living because I tried just about everything else and this is what I could do best, so I stuck with it, and I still enjoy doing it.