John Pauley, a midwestern native, unknowingly developed his love of food at an early age. Growing up on a beef farm in Kansas, he has fond memories of his mother's and grandmother's home cooking and the local farm-fresh ingredients, especially those from his grandmother's garden. Wanting to expand his horizons, he moved to San Francisco in 1995 and it quickly became his new home. He has over 20 years of restaurant experience and has worked in restaurants that include the Lark Creek Inn, The Heights and 9 1/2 years as the Chef de Cuisine at La Folie restaurant in San Francisco.
Anna Li, John's "soul" business partner, shares his love of food and wine. She grew up in Europe and travelled the world with her family. Early on, Italy had a magnetic pull on her and in 2005, she took John there for the first time. Since then, John and Anna have traveled to Italy at least once every year to experience the cuisine, culture and traditions of the various regions. In her "free time" away from Mattarello, she is a physician.
In March 2008, John and Anna took their first trip together to Bologna. They met Franco and Grazia Macchiavelli of Salumeria Bruno e Franco while on a culinary walking tour. Inspired, John moved to Bologna 2 months later to apprentice with them for 3 1/2 months. There, he learned the techniques of la sfoglia, traditional Bolognese pasta-making. He returned again the following summer for 6 weeks. Since then, they do not plan a trip to Italy without a stop in Bologna to visit their friends.
Each nest of pasta and jar of sauce is a culmination of all of John's cooking experience, travels and childhood memories. They hope to represent the spirit of Italian cuisine and the richness of our local ingredients though Mattarello.