Italian Michelin Star Chef, Ilario Mulas, has traveled far and wide while feeding everyone in sight. From Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United States, he has worked in some of the top restaurants and helped new restaurants reach their goals. His passion for food and knowledge of the restaurant world surpasses any expectations. And as the giant and quiet Viking that he is, he has a lot to say about the soulful food experience and how things work. In this Andiago Chef Series, we will bring you into a chef’s life and maybe even inspire your next summer getaway. 

Dine in paradise next to the Glimmerglass River!

As you walk next to the Glimmerglass River, you can start to smell a delicious aroma, one that will for sure make your stomach talk! The sound of laughter, glasses being struck together, birds, and boats pulling up on the shore take over all your senses. The Blue Mingo is a trendy restaurant located in Cooperstown, New York. Known to many, the restaurant now pulls in thousands of people a week with their new chef, Ilario. With his guidance, he rehauled the menu and restored the restaurant to its old glory. So much so that people even outside New York are visiting the restaurant as a must-eat spot. Ilario’s seasonal menu includes lobster rolls, fresh lobster and hand-made pasta, salmon with a maple citrus glaze, countless signature drinks, and desserts like profiterole and a delicious chocolate torte.

The Lobster Pasta is made from fresh fettuccine, a delicious creamy herb sauce, and fresh lobster.

Being around Ilario and in one of his restaurants will guarantee you to have a mind, body, and soul experience. Every ingredient and designed dish is carefully selected and made into a masterpiece. With around 20-years of experience, Ilario creates the best dishes and knows the industry like the back of his hand. 

Why do you love food so much, and what’s your inspo behind it?

Ilario: Food is our primary source of energy. It’s a necessity and, at the same time, a luxury. Its root is the sense of family and comfort. I love food because I find happiness in delivering an experience to my guests.

What’s your fave dish to cook that brings you happiness?

Ilario: It’s hard to define one dish; even a soup can be an experience if made with love and purpose. But close to my heart is Italian and Mediterranean food.

How have restaurants and eating changed with the pandemic?

Ilario: The food industry is such a delicate ecosystem! On my side of the story, the change was more on a logistic aspect. Supply and demand changed drastically, labor became hard, and turnaround affected every side of restaurant operations. I feel that family-owned businesses and small venues were affected the most because of increased rent, sudden loss of labor, higher food costs, and the lack of proper procedures to adapt to all the sudden changes.

The Blue Mingo Grill will literally take your breath away!

On a lighter note, you have also traveled/worked a lot worldwide; what has been your favorite city and cuisine?

Ilario: There is beauty in every city and restaurant you work at if you know where to look.
Barcelona is such an interesting culinary pot, kind of like NY! You can find everything and still be surprised by something completely new. As a chef, it is fundamental to be open to the unknown and always be learning from everyone. Maybe your dishwasher from Morocco might know the perfect couscous recipe, and you might miss it. I loved every single experience and city I went and worked at to a certain level. Europe has a stronger connection to food as of my personal experience.

With so much experience and travels, Ilario always brings something unique to the table. We recommend going to The Blue Mingo, where Ilario will serve you the most mouthwatering dishes! Make sure to pull out the Andiago app and book yourself a table early during the summer to dine in literal heaven.