At the age of 88, the legendary restaurateur passed away in his home town in the province of Pistoia
Born in Montecatini (Pistoia) in 1932, Sirio Maccioni, one of the most famous restaurants in the world, passed away in his hometown. However, his figure is inextricably tied with New York. That is where he made his fortune introducing the flavors of Italy to the international jet set. Now, both cities mourn him after he died in his hometown surrounded by the affection of his family.
As a young boy, he attended the catering and hospitality training institute in Montecatini already intending to establishing himself in the world of restaurants.
He started to work his way up the ladder through the school apprenticeship in Italy and abroad.
Maccioni’s mantra was: always improve, study, and take care of the preparation.
He studied languages, gastronomy, and its history. Then, in 1947 in New York, he opened his own restaurant, the legendary ‘Le Cirque‘. There his many sacrifices and skills turned into incomparable success. He was considered one of the sexiest and most elegant, and brilliant men in the city. But he was also a smart entrepreneur. In once recounted how, when he first opened his restaurant, he did not want any table to be empty. So, when he was not fully booked, waiters took empty tables away to give the impression that the restaurant was always full. Eventually, it really became very popular and served many US presidents, powerful financiers, Hollywood stars, intellectuals, and even Pope John Paul II.
For Maccioni the customer had always to be at the center of attention. So much that, some great chefs didn’t last long in his restaurant. He always demanded that the chefs cooked what customers liked, not what caressed their ego.
In 2007, Maccioni’s career has been celebrated by the documentary film titled ‘Le Cirque: A Table In Heaven‘. The lesson that he left us: the importance of commitment, willpower, and wise use of natural charm.
(Ilona Catani Scarlett)