We had the good fortune of connecting with Matthew Asaro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matthew, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My whole life I have loved cooking. I used to spend hours in the kitchen making elaborate sandwiches, or what I thought were “elaborate”, when I was about 9 years old. My father was from Sicily so we ate a TON of pasta. This is where my love of pasta comes from. It wasn’t until my professional career that I developed a fond respect for the craft of pasta making. In 2019 I became a traveling Executive Sous Chef for corporate Marriott. My first week in the new role I had a call from home, telling me my father was sick with brain cancer. This new role allowed me a lot time to travel home and help my Mother & siblings take care of my father while going through treatments. Once Corona virus started in the United States, Marriott sent all of it’s corporate traveling managers on furlough. Which lasted about 6-7 months. Eventually leading to me being laid off. I tried for so long to find work but nothing, so I sat down and had a real chat with myself. What is my passion? What are my life’s goal? I loved making pasta, I was actually quite known for my Gnocchi, & I LOVE eating pizza. So, “L’impasto” was born. L’impasto translates to “the dough” in Italian. I wanted to share with the world my passion for great homemade pasta. The possibilities are endless on what you can create. I didn’t have the money for a restaurant but I came across an old food truck with a wood burning oven inside, I couldn’t believe how well it was intact. So, I pulled out my 401k combined with money I already saved, and purchased the truck.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love the culinary arts. Food is what truly brings people and cultures together. It’s something we all share, its at the heart of who we are. What sets me apart I think from others is my approach, my energy, my commitment. Every one has their own style, their own twist if you will. But, true creativity in this field comes through the form of experience. I have had so many chefs tell me, “you don’t know how to do something, unless you have done it a thousand times”. In a way, culinary is like stand up comedy. Although, your friend or co worker may say hilarious jokes at the office etc., but in no way should they get on stage. It is the same with cooking. Just because you can make a good guacamole or a casserole doesn’t mean you should be a chef. You must work and train for the skill to create your visions. I think that’s the beauty of it. Cooking is patience and definitely the most difficult job I have ever had in my life. , I had to overcome countless failures and set backs, and seemingly impossible scenarios to earn the title of Chef. I have had chefs look at me as I was the worst cook they have ever seen, and I have also had chefs look at me as if I was the golden child. I think all chefs go through this. My goal with L’impasto is to share with the world what I love most from my long career in culinary. PASTA! So simples, so delicate, yet so heavy, and it can be executed in so many ways its astonishing. True art
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Our family has been here in AZ for over 3o years, we moved from New York in the early 90’s. My father was born in Sicily so we grew up around Italian food. I would say our favorite place where we always felt like home, was “Tuti Santi” by Nina on Northern. Amazing family and homemade Italian dishes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have spent my career working for amazing chefs, cooks, and dishwashers. People who pushed me to go forward, or to be better. But, my real inspiration and encouragement goes to my parents. With out their love, and support I would be no where I am today. Plus, I also have some really great friends who have supported and assisted with the start up of my dream business.
Facebook: L’Impasto food truck