Taste of Sicily
Tatler Hong Kong|June 2021
Despite not always having been a dessert person, chef Marco A Livoti is now responsible for this summer’s hottest treats with Holy Cannoli, a business supplying only the Italian cream-filled fried pastry
Tara Sobti

How did you get your start in the industry?

My family owns and runs a number of Italian pizzerias called Pizza House across Italy, so I grew up in a pizzeria and bakery. My father offered me a job so that I would learn how to take care of our family business. I decided to give it a chance and worked my way up the ranks. I had been on the company’s payroll for only a few months when I applied to [the international school of Italian cuisine] Alma by chef Gualtiero Marchesi in Parma because my curiosity was growing so quickly. I wanted to grow and modernise my family business by taking pizza to the next level.

What were you doing before creating Holy Cannoli?

I’m from a small city in northern Italy called Vicenza and had originally planned to be a physiotherapist, but it wasn’t stimulating enough for me. I moved to Hong Kong in 2019 and became the executive chef of [Japanese bar and restaurant] Sake Central, before launching Holy Cannoli at the end of 2020.

“My love for cannoli actually stems from trying to show off in front of a girl I liked last year”—MARCO A LIVOTI

For those who don’t know, what exactly is cannoli?

Cannoli is one of Italy’s many national dishes. It’s a dessert originating from Sicily born from cross-cultural pollination. A mix of Arab, Greek and Roman influences, they traditionally have a crunchy shell filled with ricotta, almonds and honey. Today, not much has changed. A cannolo in Italy still retains its iconic nine to 20 cm shape and shell, it’s still filled with ricotta, although the toppings can vary from candied fruit to pistachio or chocolate chips.

Where did your love for cannoli come from?

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