Chef Claudio & Liam

by Jun 30, 2022People

THE first time Claudio Facchinetti ventured out alone with his son he made sure he grabbed the diaper bag, an absolute necessity for any successful outing with a small child.

There was just one problem: the bag was empty.

“I forgot the diapers and the soother and other things. It was a disaster!” the executive chef at Eclipse at Half Moon’s award-winning Delmare restaurant tells the Jamaica Observer’s

A well-stocked diaper bag typically has everything from wet wipes to a change of clothes, snacks and toys — and yes, diapers.

“I went to the supermarket and buy one pack [of diapers]. I didn’t tell my wife,” he admits sheepishly, his thick Italian accent tinged with a chuckle as he looks back at how clueless he was then. 

Now Liam Antonio Facchinetti is 18 months old and his dad has become much better at planning their adventures together. Chef Claudio, as he’s popularly known, has found that it helps to approach caring for his son with the same level of focus he applies to ensuring each dish served up at the elegant Delmare is decadently delicious. It takes a certain attention to detail to consistently produce seafood that hits the sweet spot between Jamaican and Italian cuisine.

“The structure that we have in the kitchen, that everything has to be organised, I try to be organised with my son. Being a chef, it’s important… to be organised in the kitchen, and you can go through a great service that night. If you’re not organised it’s a problem,” he warns.

The good news is, even if things don’t go smoothly in the kitchen these days, Chef Claudio is less likely to shout at the team he leads. Having Liam in his life, he says, has made him rethink his priorities so he no longer allows himself to get upset over minor issues at work.

“I think I am more calm. This is the part, for me, that changed most — but probably my staff don’t agree with that,” he says with another chuckle. 

Chef Claudio says he has also taken a more laid-back approach — when compared to the Italian style of parenting — to raising his only child with his Jamaican wife. He will always be there to ward off any danger, he said, but he will allow Liam room to explore and learn his own life lessons.

“I really want him to do what makes him happy; I will not push him to do something because I want him to become something. If he decides one day that he wants to work in the tourism industry I will probably tell him not to become a chef because it’s too hard,” he says with a chuckle before stressing that he loves his challenging job. “If he wants to become a chef I will teach him everything I can to make him the best — but I have to let him know that it’s gonna be hard job.”

For now, he thinks Liam may lean towards being a food critic.

“He’s probably going to be a gastronomic critic because he eats everything. He literally will finish eating now and I come with my food and he’s crying because he wants to eat mine,” he says with a laugh.

But he’s really hoping Liam will aim for a career at the management level of the tourism industry.

“He can be like the general manager or something, if he has a lot of knowledge. He will get to deal with a lot of people. And it’s a nice job for him, I think, being a general manager. He would have a lot of responsibility. It is something that I hope he can fit in but I really think he needs to find his road, what makes him happy,” admits the proud dad.

For now, he’s doing all he can to make sure baby Liam enjoys his childhood. A lot of that has to do with exploring his Italian and Jamaican roots through food.  

“It’s really important to make him understand that he is not Italian or he’s not Jamaican — he’s both. So even with the food, he eats pasta like crazy but if I give him like a dumpling or festival he’s even more crazy. He has to understand both of the cultures and when he grows up he needs to embrace both of them. We think that’s really important,” says Chef Claudio.


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