​Chef Giancarlo Cucumo
GC's Bistro @ Giancarlo's Ristorante Mediterraneo

Hailing from "the heel of the boot" of Italy-Puglia, to be exact, 2013 Oyster Fest winner Chef Giancarlo cut his teeth on the freshest seafood imaginable. His Morro Bay restaurant, Giancarlo's, is an ode to Mediterranean fare.The chef said he personally prefers Oysters Kilpatrick, a classic Australian recipe prepared with Worcestershire butter sauce, bacon crumbles and lemon.With the mystery items, prepared ingredients and plenty of Olea Farm olive oil to go around, Chef Giancarlo Cucumo of Giancarlo's Ristorante in Morro Bay and Morgan Hill and Chef Robert Mora of Malibu Brew Coffee in Atascadero duked it out for top chef honors.Judges Kathy Marcks Hardesty of New Times, Natasha Dalton of Journal-Plus Magazine, Matthew Riley of Mathew's Restaurant and San Luis Obispo Sheriff candidate Ian Parkinson chewed, swished, nibbled and came to a final conclusion: Chef Giancarlo Cucumo of Giancarlos came out victorious this year, taking home the coveted Paso Robles Olive Festival Chef Award.Chef Giancarlo Cucumo said the secret to his success was his resourcefulness. Although the secret ingredients were not those that he would normally use, he said he strived to make the best use of them within his three courses. "Use the fresh ingredients, use the ingredients they allow you to have, and it's important to use them very well, especially because you don't know what they're going to be...it all just comes together when you come into competition," Giancarlo said.But this seemingly incongruous ...www.slopages.com [cached] of fodder didn't faze Chefs Giancarlo Cucumo or Neil Smith, a long-time family friend.Chef Giancarlo, the owner of Giancarlo's Ristorante Mediterraneo in Morro Bay, and Chef Neil, the Executive Chef at Windows on the Water, also in Morro Bay, kept their cool over the next hour.Chef Giancarlo charmed everyone with his Italian accent and wowed the judges and onlookers by beginning his ad hoc meal with a beautiful salad tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, mixed with a medley of caramelized raisins, fruit-stuffed olives, and poached pears. He followed with a simple pasta puttanesca, the linguine flavored with garlic olive oil, Kalamata olives, and tomatoes; topped off with a fried mixture of parmesan cheese, raisins, and fortune cookies. His main dish-frog leg casserole-started off pan-fried with olive oil, raisins, and white wine, then finished baking in the oven.In the end, the judges' tough decision edged out Chef Neil by only one point and Chef Giancarlo was narrowly declared the winner.Look for Chef Giancarlo at next year's Olive Festival when he competes again to defend his reigning title.
Food & Wine | Hayley Thomaswww.hayleythomas.com, 18 Sept 2013 [cached]

Giancarlo's is a gathering merced.dealsaver.com, 29 Sept 2011 [cached] Giancarlo's is a gathering place where friends, family, and neighbors socialize. Join us for a healthy serving of Chef Giancarlo's flavorful rustic cuisine, bold wines, and old school quality service.
Metroactive says that at Giancarlo's Ristorante Mediterraneo, the "soft lighting, Italian ballads and the staff's friendliness hold the place together, sufficient for the food to make the real impression. Taste what Gayot calls "succulent osso buco" with today’s dealsaver.

About Giancarlo Cucumo...
Giancarlo Cucumo was born in Bari, Italy; a mediterranean region of the country renowned for it's "lean cuisine" style (vegetables, olive oil, seafood). Bordering the Adriadic Sea, where the water meets the land, Giancarlo grew up in the Kitchen, working with many talented Italian Chefs until he was 14 years old. The ample produce and excellent seafood available in the region gave rise to many of the world's finest Seafood Chefs and it was under these masters that Giancarlo established his passion for fine foods.
To build his skills, Giancarlo attended the Aldo Perotti Chef Hotels, an Italian culinary school emphasizing study on international cuisine. There he learned much from his professors and the influential recipes found in the Henri-Paul Pellaprat Cook Book. When school would break for summer, Giancarlo traveled to Tuscany to learn Northern Italian cooking styles and recipes. Giancarlo's outstanding performance earned him kudos at the institution and the privilege to study as an apprentice under a host of master Chefs in Germany, France, Holland, Australia, and other places throughout Europe. After honing his craft and earning a degree from the prestigious culinary academy, Giancarlo took a bold step toward his dreams of becoming a master Chef, and moved to America.
Giancarlo always wanted to make a place where people can feel like family together; a place where he could free his creative potential and not be confined to corporate politics. Thus, he took his greatest gamble yet, and launched his own restaurant in San Francisco, "Grazie". Grazie was an instant success and Giancarlo ran the restaurant for years as his reputation grew throughout the Bay Area.
In 2003, Giancarlo found salvation on the Central Coast. Morro Bay felt like home to Giancarlo with the Mediterranean climate, abundant seafood, and fresh produce. The connection was obvious so he abandoned his original plan to open a restaurant in San Diego and starting looking for a location on Morro Bay's Embarcadero. A month later, he opened Giancarlo's Bay Front Bistro and after only 2 years, he outgrew the waterfront location.
Giancarlo had always dreamed of building his own restaurant from the ground up, and felt like this was the perfect opportunity. It's been a lifelong dream for Giancarlo to share his culinary talents with his community. To give people an opportunity to share food together, and stories too. Come in to see Giancarlo and his talanted team put on a show for you and your guests.

fine dining at its best

Giancarlos Ristorante