Introducing Nomad Chef Yuri Manca

After receiving his Chef diploma in Italy, Yuri moved to London and has worked in various kitchens ever since. Yuri liked the idea of having different experiences that would allow him to become a more well-rounded chef in his knowledge of both savoury and sweet creations, which is why he has worked for both bakeries and restaurants, where he has learned a lot and refined his skills. Being a private chef allows Yuri to express his creativity in full and grow both personally and professionally. Yuri’s dishes consist of both traditional and innovative flavour combinations and he likes to cook and explore a multitude of international cuisines. His training in cookery school featured nutrition classes, which allows him to see his dishes through a different lens and make nutritional-oriented choices, whilst making sure they are still packed with amazing flavour!

March 28, 2023

How did you get into cooking?

I feel like when you’re Italian cooking is a big part of your life from a very young age, and cooking with my grandma allowed me to develop a great passion for food. Later, I decided to attend chef school, and after five years I graduated with the highest marks. I still love cooking to this day with the same intensity as when I had just started.

How does your upbringing influence your cooking style?

I have always loved exploring the traditional ways of cooking which my grandma clung onto with almost religious pride, and that made me want to explore other cuisines under the same lens, but always keeping it modern and often revisiting traditional dishes with my own twist. I love the challenge of recreating any kind of food in a plant based key.

What do you love most about being a chef?

The creative outlet that cooking represents, without a doubt. And also never struggling to think of what to make for dinner!

If you weren’t a chef, what do you think you would be?

I think I would be a gardener! I have a huge passion for plants. I like to grow them and I like to eat them, it just makes sense to me that they would still be a big part of my life.

If you could bring 3 items to a desert island what would you bring and what would you make with them?

I would probably bring a wood burner, a knife and a good book. That way I could cook a lovely meal every day with the delicious ingredients an island would have to offer, and eat it while reading my book. If I could bring a fourth item it would probably be sunscreen 😀

What is your most interesting kitchen story?

I’ve recently discovered that I love cooking outdoors. Some of the coolest places I’ve cooked at were outdoor kitchens. I cooked at these yurts in Surrey Hill not long ago, and there was a beautiful outdoor kitchen with no electricity. It was a wonderful experience and I’d love to do that again. Also cooking with my Hungarian friends I was shown how to use a “bogrács”, a Hungarian copper cauldron used to make goulash. So cool!

What are your favourite hobbies/things to do on your days off away from the kitchen?

I love travelling and I am very passionate about languages. I speak four languages quite fluently and I am currently trying to learn Greek. It’s so hard but I am very keen.

Where do you want to be with your career in 5 years time?

The only goal I have learned to set for myself is to keep having fun with my job. I noticed the more I enjoy what I do, the more I grow professionally and personally. So in five years I am planning to keep having fun with being a private chef and see where that takes me.

Favourite herb?

Basil. Flows through my veins!

Favourite restaurant in London?


Who is the most interesting chef you’ve met?

Emanuele Di Biase

What is a quote you live by?

Animals are here with us, not for us

What is your favourite kitchen utensil?

Cliché maybe, but I couldn’t live without my sharp knife

Here is a taster of Yuri's menu...

Yuri Manca sample menu

Click here to enquire with Yuri!

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