Forging Inspirational Partnerships – Life Butler & Vegan Chef, Luca Andre

Vegan Chef Luca
©Photo by Giorgio Violino

Life Butler prides itself on hand-picking the very best butlers. They are, after all, the backbone of the company. With creativity, professionalism, passion and expertise, the butlers create the inimitable sparkle which our guests expect and deserve. Our relationships with these masters of their craft are special to us, and as a team we forge inspirational partnerships.

Each butler has a unique story of how they joined our team, but they also share some crucial character traits. First of all, every one of our butlers is a leader in their field and truly exceptional at what they do. Secondly, they see their work as a deeply-held passion, not a nine-to-five slog. And thirdly, they’re able to share their passion and expertise with our guests, offering a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience.

This month, we meet Luca Andrè, a specialty chef who delights and amazes our guests with his inspirational vegan cuisine, we share what drives him and where that passion stems from.

The path to veganism

“I always try to find the beauty in everything I do” says Luca. “In my work, in well-presented food, in the beauty of the colours that Mother Nature provide us”. His passion for vegan cuisine is unmistakable and, as he explains, was something he embraced for ethical reasons. “I have been vegan since the age of 17” he says. “One day, while listening to the frontman of a band, I began to reflect on the power that everyone has, the power to choose what they do to save innocent lives. During that concert, between one song and another where they talked about animalism, I was converted”. Luca began that very night on his path to vegetarianism and, a few months later, became vegan.

While Luca, his wife and child have embraced veganism and let it become a normal part of their daily lives, Luca’s passion for cooking saw him take it even further. “I wanted to vent to my creativity, passion and love for all that is beautiful and creative” he explains.

The Soul Kitchen

So was born one of Turin’s trendiest restaurants, the vegan Soul Kitchen. Indeed, it was through the restaurant that we came to discover Luca’s work. Barbara, a fellow team member and Turin native, had long been a patron of this lively vegan establishment, even though she herself isn’t a vegan. She insisted on a meeting and the rest, as they say, is history.

“The Soul Kitchen is not only a place to eat, but also a place where the warm atmosphere, the wooden tables, the professional yet informal service and also the great offer of high-quality natural wines make a simple dinner a memorable experience” says Luca with well-deserved pride. “For those reasons, we often welcome customers who travel from far away to spend an evening at the Soul Kitchen.”

Turin is the beating heart of the Italian veg movement, with vegan festivals, vegetable restaurants and a growing enthusiasm from both full-time vegetarians and those who appreciate the intricacies and creativity of this style of cooking. “Turin is the queen of Italy’s veg movement” explains Luca. “It has the highest number of vegan restaurants in the country and has welcomed me for years”.

Cooking with passion

So what makes Luca such an acclaimed chef? According to those in the know (and more importantly those who have tried his food) it stems from his creativity in the kitchen, where he combines the refinement of the ingredients with the study of combinations and particular consistencies. He dedicates great care to the presentation of his dishes, from the choice of serving dish to the very last detail. “I still have a great passion” Luca says. “I love to cook with high quality raw materials, to try new techniques, to question the rules, and to experiment with new things. It is a passion which makes me smile even when I am dead tired at the end of service”.

What separates Luca from many other top chefs is his love for sharing his food. “I am not one of those chefs who has secret recipes that I won’t share” he explains. “On the contrary, I think that without sharing, dialogue and comparison there cannot be growth, and the cooking world always needs growth, today more than ever”.

It was this drive to share that saw him take up the coveted role of head teacher of gourmet cooking courses at the Funny Veg Academy, founded by well-known chef Simone Salvini in Milan. “I always try to establish an equal relationship with the students” he explains of his teaching style. “A relationship of mutual exchange based on the desire to grow together.”

Today, Life Butler’s guests can enjoy the epitome of Luca’s specialism and expertise, whether it’s for their entire holiday, or a special meal. It is the perfect pairing, and we are delighted to work with and offer the skills of not only a talented and forward-thinking chef, but a resolute and caring man.