Ciro Orsini is known by many around the globe. He shares his upbeat energy, rock&roll image and positive vibes along with his contagious smile with his honored guests at his legendary Pomodoro restaurant. The man who gives more than he receives.
From London to LA, from Bankok to China or Monaco, you should „expect the unexpected“ and if you are ever fortunate enough to cross paths with him somewhere in the world you can be sure to meet a gentleman of great charm and kindness.
Learn more about Ciro Orsini in our exclusive interview.
You have a very interesting fruitful life that many readers would like to learn about. Let’s begin with your journey.
Q: Where did your passion for food come from? Where did you study and gain experience in food making and who was your teacher?
I was born in Naples, Italy. When I was 12, I moved to Milano studying while pursuing boxing. At the age of 15, I moved to Rome. My boxing coach was Gigi Proietti.
While I was pursuing boxing I happened to find myself in a pastry shop where I became a great pastry chef, of course learning from the best. Allow me name drop, (smiling) Sandro Zampetti
Q: How did you go from boxing to pastry creation?
Since my older brother Salvo was a boxer, he became my inspiration and I followed his footsteps toward the boxing world. I enjoyed us so much that I decided to take up boxing. When I stumbled in the pastry shop in Rome I became so fascinated that I requested to work for free in order to learn a new skill. However, the passion for pastry making began in Napoli when I was a child.
Sport taught me how to bring balance into my life. Back then in the ’60s boxing was not about violence or aggression. But about discipline, technique, and speed. Boxing kept me out of trouble and brought focus to my life. Therefore I was able to work towards achieving a better life for myself and my family, especially if u do it with love, passion and hard work as I did.
Q: You originally come from Italy, but you moved to London. What made you move?
At the age of 20, I was sent a postcard by a friend from London. I instantly fell in love with London when I saw the postcard. It was a picture of The Hilton Park Lane Hotel and the Hyde Park Corner. The beautiful scenery and the green grass with a warmth of the sun pulled me toward London. There then I decided to quit a great job and move to London. My energy comes from being a free spirit and I happen to love traveling so I keep moving. As we say in the Rock and Roll world “keep rocking all the way baby”.
Q: What were your beginnings like when you arrived in London? How did you start your journey?
When I arrived in London, I was wondering around Knightsbridge looking for a hotel in Walton street. As I was walking around I saw a guy coming out of a restaurant and I asked him: „Excuse me do you speak Italian…? I am looking for a hotel… to stay for a day or two.“ The guy said: „Not around here what do u do?“ I replied “I am a pastry chef. So he immediately replied with excitement saying they need a pastry chef and offered me a job there and then. (laughing)
Even though I came to study, I agreed to work at the restaurant for a couple hours a day to make cakes. I ended up working in Lands Restaurant for a few years before I opened my own restaurant a few years later. It is located in the corner of Walton street which is Beauchamp place. The rest is history.
Q: To open your own restaurant has been your dream. You finally opened Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro in 1978. It has been a long 40 years now. What is the special secret of a special restaurant to be opened for such a remarkable long time? What is the formula for your restaurant to be a great one?
The formula was and still is to be unique and have love in what you do. So I decided to create a place where it was cozy with the combination of great Italian food and delicious unique gourmet Pizzas with different live band daily and above all a beautiful environment.
We Dont Make The Difference
We Create The Difference!
Q: Do you also create your own dishes? What is the most favorite meal on the menu?
Yes, we create our owns dishes. My brother Salvo was not only the backbone of my restaurant but he was also the backbone of my life. He helped me to create a mouth-watering, unique and simple menu. God bless his soul, sadly he is no longer with us.
My nephews Antonio & Ciro jr Coppola, my sister Maria and sons also came to join the legacy at a very young age who are now part owners. Antonio himself is a trained Chef and he is the Executive Chef at Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro. He is constantly creating new dishes to serve our wonderful customers.
Our famous dishes are garlic mushroom and our delicious pizzas created by famous individuals. Great choices of salads and we also cater for vegans. We offer the best gluten free pizzas as well.
Q: Eating great Italian food comes with the aftermath. How do you keep yourself in shape?
I take daily my Immortals food supplement. My diet is a Ketogenic diet. It makes me feel amazing and always full of energy. To keep healthy and energetic self, you need to live in balance. I like to meditate. I also love traveling and when I go places I just relax as much as I can.
Q: Great restaurant needs great staff. How do you treat your employees?
They become part of Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro’s family. If you enjoy what you do, you make them feel appreciated and honored. I make them feel special because they are special. They work very hard to maintain the quality. When I go to work at night I always acknowledge and say hello to my staff properly, from my managers to my dishwasher. My wonderful waitresses always are wearing beautiful smiles on their face no matter how busy we are.
I guess being there for 40 years for sure you learn on how to be great at your work. Most importantly it is necessary to always make sure our customers are the main stars of the night and they go home with a big smile on their faces. So they keep coming back over and over again and they tell their friends how great we are.
A great relationship with your customers keeps a successful restaurant going for a long time and Ciro’s pizza Pomodoro has been open for more than 40 years now. And we are still going strong. I say “we work globally but we think locally”
Q: When it comes to the locations, how do you chose them? What are the criteria to open one? Tell us more about the franchise opportunity to partner up with Ciro’s Pomodoro.
First and foremost, having the right local partner is very crucial.
Prime location in that city is important a great area where u know u cannot go wrong, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Q: Your restaurant is a little bit different. There is an added benefit that the guest can enjoy. LIVE MUSIC. Tell us more what genre and what artist come through the door daily?
We start the week with open mike with top artists and X factor winners on Monday nights. Alexander Burke being the X factor winner used to sing at Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro at an early age alongside her mother Melissa Bell, from Soul to soul.
During the week our customers enjoy from Elvis night with an Italian flavor, Divas nights, Latino nights, R&B and Pop nights, and our famous Arabic and Spanish night.
Our A list clients are Sly Stallone, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Tico Torres, Richie Sambora, Jimmy Page , Philip Kirkorov, B2, Armand Assante, Jeff Fahey, Dolph Lundgren, Dustin Hoffman, Steven Seagal, John Travolta, Goldie Hawn, Mickey Rourke and many more come to dine.
Q: How did you gain access to them in the beginning and make some of these artists your dear friends? Do you also work with them on some projects?
With some of them, I have been very close friends from the time I had my Los Angeles Ciro’s Pizza Pomodoro.
Yes, I do work together with few of them raising money for films as an Executive producer. Like now I raised money for one of the Al Pacino movies, raised development money for MODIGLIANI and now I’m looking to raise money for King Lear another great project. Barry Navidi, Al Pacino is the producer I work with and we have been friends for over 25 years.
Also with my old buddy director and film producer Philippe Martinez we just finished 2 films with Steven Seagal and now working on few more film projects with Armand Assante as well.
Right now myself and Lennox Lewis, the heavyweight boxing champion, we are soon launching a big sports platform in China. We will be going there with another local champion Stephon Marbury basketball player, as a part of the new sports platform.
Q: You are very artistic and multi-talented. Beside tattoos gracing your body, rock rolling vibes written all over you… what inspires you to wear such unique clothes?
99% of the stuff I wear I design them myself. The brand I am creating is classy, very unusual and has the wow- factor, not only great for musicians and performers but for all. It is called DILLIGAF.
Q: Tell us more about the fashion label. What does the name stand for?
Our fashion label is called ‘DILLIGAF’ which means Do I Look Like I Give A FUCK.
It’s very unique and simple which sticks in a people’s minds. My creative partner is Rossi BARBAROSSI.
Q: What is your advice on the right cocktail of ingredients in life to have a good one?
The best ingredient to life is to wear a beautiful smile always as it costs nothing. Be there for your friends and family and spread love wherever you go. Always remember LOVE is the road.
It’s a wonderful feeling making a difference to someone’s life feeling their energy, seeing their aura. I feel spiritual energy from people. I always say that the more u give the less you need, that’s for sure.
Q: How do you feel good aura of people?
I can not explain, it’s a soul connection. Life is full of colors. I love the interaction with people and their feelings, to know what makes them happy, what they feel and respond to the connection. It is very important and interesting to watch them and be able to touch their lives.
Q: Is it something special you have or can anyone learn how to „feel“ that?
We all have a sixth sense. I can feel people’s energy especially with my mediums who I work a lot with. I believe in reincarnation. I don’t believe in religion. The only religion I know is Love, to give, to share. We are all brothers & sisters no matter what color, what race. Try to bring love and peace at all time & share it with the whole world and people around you, like I mentioned before and will repeat. “The more you give, the less you need.“
Q: Are you participating in any charity work?
Yes of course. I have a charity of my own which is called ‘Ciro Orsini and Armand Assante funds for children’. We try to make a difference in as many children’s lives as we possibly can.
I’m also one of the ambassadors of Football for peace charity and for the Polo federation in Monaco. Plus I am one of the judges for miss USSR a great show done twice a year now between London and Monaco.
Q: What are the other upcoming projects you would like to share with us?
At the moment a few projects are in the pipeline one of which is a token sports platform to be launched in China very soon with Lenox Lewis and Stephon Marbury. Also, a few films projects which you will come to know in the near future.
Q: What goals have you set for yourself, past or present, that you have not yet accomplished?
Traveling the 195 countries.
Q: Busy schedule, keeps you on the go a lot… What is your favorite traveling destination?
The NEXT ONE! is my best destination.
Thank you for your time to share a little bit about your life with our readers.
Next time you travel, make sure you visit Ciro’s Pomodoro restaurant in Knightsbridge in London. A place where you are guaranteed a great time, delicious Italian food, wonderful atmosphere, and live music. Maybe you will even score a casual live piano concert by Stevie Wonder… or a personal hug and a warm smile from Ciro Orsini himself.
For more information visit Ciro’s Pomodoro www.pomodoro.co.uk