Meet the chef... La Famiglia, Hale

PUBLISHED: 14:08 16 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:54 20 February 2013

Pilione Malena and Mike Ayres

Pilione Malena and Mike Ayres

Pilione Malena and Mike Ayres are the dynamic duo behind Italian restaurant La Famiglia which moved from its original home in Hale Barns to Hale in December 2010 and where a love of food and of life is always on the menu

Pilione Malena and Mike Ayres are the dynamic duo behind Italian restaurant La Famiglia which moved from its original home in Hale Barns to Hale in December 2010 and where a love of food and of life is always on the menu



Tell us a bit about yourselves?

Pilione: I qualified at hotel Florin in Calabria after five years training, worked in Claridges and London in the Savoy and moved up North after meeting a northern girl. I opened La Famiglia in Hale Barns in 2004.

Mike: Ive worked for Pilione since 2008, before that I was with Kurt Hartmann in the Lake District and at the Piccadilly Hotel. I was 17 years at Don Antonios in Manchester as Head Chef.



What are your passions?

Pilione: Food and football. Juventus is my team.

Mike: Cooking. The essential ingredient in any kitchen is passion. The boss keeps me on my toes and his passion fires me.



If there was anyone on the world you could cook for, who would it be?

Pilione: My mum. Id cook for her because she cooks for me. Id like to impress her.


What do you eat at home?

Pilione: For me, ingredients are all important. I try where possible to serve produce that is produced organically and thats what I do at home too.

Mike: I eat very traditional food at home, for example, tonight Ill have home-made steak pie. The meat will have been cooked slowly for four hours so it melts in the mouth and tastes amazing.


Loves

Pilione: Football. And people in general. I like people who are interested in what they are eating and appreciate your food.

Favourite music to cook by?

Pilione: Nessun Dorma. Nobody sleeps...because I never get enough sleep at the weekend.

Mike: Something classical and soothing, especially when I am making sweets. With sweets youve got to have no stress, otherwise they never turn out.


What do you do to relax?

Pilione: Going home, cooking, chatting perhaps eating out with the family. The Thai restaurant here in Hale is very good.

Mike: Ive got three Springer Spaniels and have to go out with them four times a day so they are a good way to relax.

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