Every week, we’re turning to a trusted tastemaker and Talking Taste in all its forms. From favorite meals to must-have music for eating, drinking, and making things happen, we want to know what makes creators and influencers tick—don’t you?

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Illustration by Paige Vickers

Francesco Panella is the owner of Antica Pesa in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. While he rubs shoulders with celebs in his free time, Francesco is passionate about his day job at his high-end Italian spot. His success shows his dedication, but we wanted to find out more about where he gets his worldly, classic sense of taste.

Name: Francesco Panella

Age: 45

Occupation: Entrepreneur and proprietor of Antica Pesa

What you’d do if you weren’t doing your day job: This is a question I’ve never entertained because I love my job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

One food or drink you couldn’t live without: Italian Negronis and lobster rolls

What do you have great taste in? It’s not necessarily a question of taste but I don’t take people’s compliments too seriously. I think this has helped ground me and make me better able to focus on what’s important—my work.

What do you have bad taste in? Again, not a question of taste exactly, but I am very “old school” when it comes to technology. I could definitely improve on that!

Who, to you, is an influential tastemaker, and why? Danny Meyer, because he’s one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs in my industry.

How do you expand and refine your sense of Taste? (i.e. where do you go for inspiration) I travel around the world and try everything with an open mind.

What is the best-tasting thing you’ve ever eaten? I’ll discover it tomorrow!

What does taste mean to you? Life experience.

Francesco’s playlist is short, but well-rounded—just like a good Negroni. Take a listen below: