Top Chef Italy Finalist Victoire Gouloubi
Born and raised in the Republic of Congo, Victoire found her passion for cooking after immigrating to Italy. With more than 20 years of working in some of Italy’s top kitchens, she later received global recognition as a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef Italy” and a contestant on “Top Chef World All-Stars.”
Victoire’s story is one of hope and determination after leaving her native country behind during the second Congo War that took place between 1998 – 2003. Arriving in Italy with her brother, it was her uncle to suggested that she consider culinary as a career to which she immediately said yes.
Along the way, Victoire shares the challenges, include racism, that she experienced for the first time describing it as “tramatic.” But knowing that her family back at home was depending on her to succeed in her, she continued to push through working in the kitchens of luxury hotels and fine-dining restaurants.
Wanting to cook the food that represented her and her African heritage, she opened her own restaurant named Victoire in 2014 which garnered accolades around the city. She admits that being able to focus on running the front and the back of the house ultimately to its closing, but not to her continued love of fusing African and Italian flavors.
She shares so much in this conversation that you want to pull up a chair and listen to. Afterwards, be sure to follow her on Instagram to see what she is up to next and where you can find her whenever you find yourself in Milan.