Chef Francesco Cusimano owner of Rustico Ristorante and Pizzeria in Murrieta came to America from Italy in 1992, two years after meeting his wife Filippa on the warm sandy beaches of Sicily, but his romance for food began many years before his love for Filippa. Inspired by his mom’s passion for food he knew from an early age that cooking was his destiny.
Having worked in his uncle’s restaurant in Sicily, as a youngster, he learned firsthand to never sacrifice the quality of the food that you are going to use for cooking. He was always amazed by what his mom could make with simple ingredients. “I remember waking up in the hot summer days in Sicily with the wonderful smell of the marinara and basil sauce allover the house or the aroma of fried eggplant handpicked from the farmer’s market”.