Equities.com contributor, Silvia Davi, recently caught up with Gabriele Corcos, a Celebrity Chef, Entrepreneur, New York Times Best-Selling Author, Musician, James Beard Award Recipient and all around Renaissance guy. His journey since arriving to the U.S. has been fascinating and filled with exciting projects, mainly showing off his skills as a Chef, family guy, and TV personality with his successful wife, actress Debi Mazar. Now looking to turn over a new leaf, this avid Ducati rider and Brooklyn-based creator is focused on building upon his “Tuscan Gun” brand by expanding his vision beyond the kitchen to provide U.S. followers more of that renown Italian lifestyle. After speaking with him, I’m convinced he is definitely on to something, and who wouldn’t want more access to Italian innovation, quality, and more of that Dolce Vita?
EQ: When did you first discover you wanted to become a chef?
Corcos: I started baking when I was six. That’s how I convinced my parents to give me a weekly allowance. We lived in the country, so having cash in the wallet did not actually serve any purpose… but I still needed to buy candies and chewing gum from my classmates at school who lived in the city. The first time I served my parents a Sunday breakfast, I placed a $10-sign on top of a freshly baked cake. It worked, and I never stopped cooking since. However, I do not consider myself a chef. It is a craft I never pursued until I moved to California at the age of 29.
EQ: You have been living in the U.S. for a number of years now. What do you consider your biggest career accomplishment thus far?
Corcos: I fell in love with Debi and followed her to Los Angeles. I was a professional musician at the time, and my goal was to land a great production or a fantastic tour. But Debi and I did everything so fast that, one year from the time we met, we had already purchased a house, moved in together, got married and pregnant!
The music world all of the sudden felt like a huge sacrifice more than anything. I wanted to take care of my new family, speak Italian to my first born, be present at every moment. That’s when Debi and I decided to finally start using a video camera to tape ourselves cooking. We launched a website and one of the very first food shows on a very young Youtube. Three years later, our project got picked up by the Cooking Channel and together we developed the very first Food Docu-Soap for TV.
I could talk about all the great things that happened in my career after that, like my NYT Best-Selling cookbook… but my biggest accomplishment is and always will be my family.
EQ: You like to refer to yourself as an innovator, why is that? How have you infused innovation into your work?
Corcos: Innovation lives in my head as a frustrating annoyance! I spend my days thinking about, “how things can be done differently”. It is not in pursuit of business, but rather an exercise to add creativity and inspiration to sides of the business that at times might feel dull. When I tried writing my first book, I got rejected everywhere. When I launched my web show, people used to comment about my wife supporting me and my dreams, but I still try to knock on doors and achieve new projects on a daily basis. Failing helps me understand myself and what I am really after. Innovative thinking makes me feel ahead of the curve regardless.
Technical innovation is becoming a subject of focus in all entrepreneurial aspects of my work. I believe in renewable energies, sustainability as a lifestyle and I believe that an enormous amount of progress will hit my industry very, very soon. I am trying to get ready for that, really.
EQ: How did your TV show – “Extra Virgin” on the Cooking Channel and your book project – help shape your career?
Corcos: The visibility allowed me to develop skills on the field. All of the sudden I was catapulted out of my Los Angeles garage into a worldwide stage. My show has aired in over 50 countries and my book has done incredibly well. My career yet does not have shape; every day I feel like it’s my first. I don’t want to stop evolving, changing, or growing.
EQ: How would you describe your brand today?
Corcos: [I would say I] need to see how things go in the next few months before my brand takes a real direction.
The Tuscan Gun is my test kitchen/coffee shop/media stage in Brooklyn. I have spent some time in restaurants and I have discovered fast that as much as I like to express my creativity in the kitchen, I actually enjoy better having the freedom blending together all my professional experiences in an attempt to create a real new professional character. I work with my hands but I also think and write a lot. I like conceptualizing everything, overthinking tasks back to their core simplicity but also developing strategy… I dream a lot! And my dreams are big. It looks like I started with the right foot. Let’s see how can I carry on now.
EQ: What other interesting projects are you currently working on now?
Corcos: I have just finished my second book, which will come out October 3rd. It was another work of love and passion, with all new original recipes and stunning photography. Both Debi and I are extremely pleased with it.
My main focus is to develop a hospitality and trade group that operates between Italy and the US. I have been building a team of professionals in the past few months and we are, starting now, knocking on doors to raise funds. We do have already a very nice pool of clients in our roster whom we are currently consulting for off-site, but some of the services we need to deploy need physical space to be performed (filming/cooking/media). Currently we operate out of my Brooklyn location but we have already outgrown it. Because my partners come from different backgrounds like tech and finance, our intended model is not for the traditional hospitality investor that would probably consider it too conceptual. But I see it incredibly clearly in my head. I know I have the right idea and great solutions to improve commerce… wait and see.
EQ: You travel back and forth to your native Italy – a land filled with innovative minds and excellence in areas of design, engineering, fashion, art, and trade to name a few. How do you transport that Renaissance culture into your brand?
Corcos: Anytime I cook and introduce my dishes, I explain that half of the flavor in the plate actually comes from telling the right story. I am honored by the fact that I am able to tell stories about my motherland, keep traditions alive and play ambassador to Italy’s great offerings.
EQ: What’s next for Gabriele Corcos?
Corcos: The plan of building a trade space and constituting an international fund is truly my main focus at the moment. Each day I feel I am closer but also a day late. I like the edge of uncertainty, it keeps me motivated, it forces me to hustle but also stimulates creativity. It’s a good feeling. Now, if I only can get it done for f%@! sake!
To learn more about Gabriele Corcos go to: thetuscangun.com or visit Gabriele on instagram or twitter @thetuscangun.