Address and phone: 46 W. Congress St., 628-1601
Meet Laura Borella, chef and co-owner of Caffe Milano.
Born in raised in a small town near Milan, Italy, the 45-year-old Borella said she got her start in the restaurant business as a bartender.
“I switched from the bar to the kitchen about 23 years ago and have been in the kitchen ever since,” she said.
Borella met her husband, Carlo, in Milan and ran a restaurant with him there. About 12 years ago, the Borellas came to Tucson to visits Carlo’s sister,
“We liked the sun, and we liked Tucson in general. It was so different from Europe, and we were fed up with the taxes in Italy so we decided to move,” she said.
Laura and Carlo opened Caffe Milano 10 years ago this month. She and her husband still make their way back to Italy every year to learn new things and try new restaurants, she said.
Question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Tucson?
Answer: I like simple food. I like Sakura a lot and for steaks, I like Lil Abner’s.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare and why?
I like pasta dishes in general, and I really like pasta dishes with no red sauce. Red sauce is kind of a southern Italian thing, and in the north, we do more cream and butter and cheese.
What’s your favorite dish to eat?
Cheese. I like all the really fresh cheese. When I go back to Italy, I find everything I like in the way of cheeses.
What’s unique about the Tucson restaurant scene compared to other cities?
I don’t get to travel a lot around the states, but as far as Tucson goes, I don’t know, I think there may be too many restaurants in Tucson, too many so-and-so restaurants with not-so-good food.
What’s your favorite or most used gadget or kitchen utensil?
My chef’s knife always has to be there for me. Nobody can take if from me, not even to wash it.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
At home I always have parmesan cheese, salad and tomatoes.
Why are you a chef?
I love it. This is my job. I enjoy trying new recipes and learning new things. My food is a little different than the normal Italian food that people may be used to, so I really like it when people appreciated my style of cooking.