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Bianca Bakery: Navigating Operations Post COVID & Beyond

Gianni Vietina is the co-owner and Executive Chef at Bianca, an Italian, Argentinian and French restaurant with bakery in Culver City. Most of Gianni’s earliest memories are of times he spent immersed in hospitality. Gianni’s parents are restaurateurs, so instead of going home after school, he headed to the restaurants in Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany, to cook and help out. In the 1980’s Gianni’s family moved to Los Angeles, where his father opened celebrity acclaimed Madeo Ristorante in Beverly Hills. Gianni’s work at Madeo and his other restaurant ventures around the world (including Saudi Arabia, Italy and the US) is complemented by his passion for wine. He earned his status as a Certified Sommelier (Gold Pin) and taught at the Italian Sommelier Association and the North American Sommelier Association. In 2019 Gianni and his brother, Nicola, partnered with Federico Fernandez to open Bianca, named after their beloved grandmother. As the Executive Chef, Gianni’s menu is an intersection of international flavors inspired by his childhood, his family and the multicultural influences of Los Angeles.

Federico Fernandez is the co-owner and Executive Pastry Chef at Bianca. As a child, Federico kindled his passion for baking with his mother in Argentina. He went on to study culinary arts at the International Buenos Aires Hotel & Restaurant School. Thereafter, Federico embarked on his career in the US, including New York’s famed BiCE. Federico worked at hotels including the Intercontinental, Hyatt, Marriott, and then the Four Seasons, where he spent 20-plus years lending his expertise in Uruguay, Argentina, Canada and across the United States. Federico departed his post as the Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles to open his own venture, Bianca, with his business partner, Gianni Vietina. At Bianca, Federico embraces the freedom of creativity by recreating classic recipes from his childhood and adding seasonal twists, while taking inspiration from his surroundings and his family.  Federico has been a guest on several TV shows such as Taste Show, The Today Show and Iron Chef.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The background of Executive Chef Gianni Vietina – born to be a restaurateur
  • The background of Executive Pastry Chef Federico Fernandez – a career working in luxury hotels
  • Opening Bianca restaurant – success!
  • The arrival of COVID-19 and its challenges
  • Focusing on a diversified business plan and pivoting to delivery
  • The importance of cultivating a loyal customer base and catering to their needs
  • And much more!

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