Most people could only dream of traveling around the world, eating their way from country to country, town to town. Yet for Andre Dicorato, aka ‘Chef on a Journey’, this is his life - and he’s living it up on the road, one meal at a time.
Andre’s Instagram @chef.on.a.journey is evidence of his gastronomically charmed life. His popular social media channel is primarily where thousands of his inspired fans (literally) follow Andre and his girlfriend around the world, discovering his creative and inspired recipes and culinary skills in real time, along with that of the local culture and cuisine where Andre has landed and laid his hat.
From Melbourne, Australia, to Dubai, Italy then France; Andre never stops pursuing and embracing the unknown. The downsides of living as a nomadic foodie means Andre must consistently leave recently discovered jobs, restaurants and newly made friends behind him, yet he takes this minus in his stride.
“I simply love to seek new experiences and discomfort,” Andre confesses.
“I am here on this planet earth to learn, grow and remember that I am a part of something much bigger than myself. I want to be a positive influence in this world and I hope to inspire everybody to not settle for anything less than what they really want”.
His road less travelled down the culinary path began as a child growing up in Bologna, Italy, with his appetite growing for a deeper meaning in life as he matured; and as his spirituality developed, so too did his passion for combining food with wellness.
“I have been passionate about food since I can remember. As a kid I always loved trying new dishes and the best nights for me were the only few times my parents took me to restaurants”, said Andre.
“As a teenager I wasn’t really connected with myself, to be honest, I was pretty much a ‘lost soul’", he said.
"Growing up, I started facing all the symptoms that a poor lifestyle was bringing to me, and so I started slowing down. Yet it was only when COVID happened that I managed to ‘awaken’ when a close friend suffered badly from depression, and in the pursuit of helping her out, I had to analyse myself and work on my own mental health, too. Yet this was very much blessing in disguise".
So how did he get his start as a travelling influencer chef ?
“My love for cooking happened after few months working in the kitchen. I found a job in a London’s pub restaurant and really got myself into it.
“On my first job in London, about 7or 8 years ago, the management hired an executive chef to raise the standard of the restaurant. This guy was Tim Yates, the Head Chef of Scully at St. James, which taught me all the basis of cooking and made me fall in love with it. Tim made me believe in myself, and in my skills, and I will always be grateful for his guidance. Now we are friends. I also did three years of culinary school but never actually finished it!” he said.
Yet it’s Andre’s interest in how to combine the food we eat with health as a medicinal measure is where he really wants to focus his talents. Whether it’s introducing his audience to the benefits of stinging nettle on his recent trip to Dolomiti in Italy, or how to dress up raw fava beans with some grated ginger, lemon zest, olive oil and salt; his recipes aren't just artistically unique, heartfelt and deliciously insightful, but are meatless, and bursting with healing activations.
“As good healthy food options are becoming less and less available to the average human being, there are more and more bad cheap ones,” he muses.
“I just wanna show people what I learned during the years in the kitchen to inspire them taking more care of their body. Convenience often doesn’t mean healthy. I want to let people know that getting junk food for lunch or cheap takeaways for dinner is not the only choice.
"You have to start to make yourself and your health a priority. This includes being able to understand what you are feeling during and after eating certain foods. Feeling the differences between when you're exercising, or when staying indoors all day watching Netflix. When being meditative, or when comparing yourself to others. All the answers are inside. My ultimate goal is to awaken humanity from within people, through food”.
For Andre, a positive mindset is the key ingredient in the recipe of living a fabulous life.
“If you are reading this today remember that you are still alive. So many people didn’t wake up this morning, but here you are! Don’t ever take your life for granted, and enjoy your time here!”
As for where he sees himself in the future, Andre is more a live-in-the-now kinda guy.
“I have few long term goals, but they all fall beyond the idea of being a positive impact in this world and enjoying my life until it lasts”.