Cesare’s Early Life
Cesare Bianchi was born in 1897 in a village called Cernobbio on Lake Como in Northern Italy. He came to England in 1913 to pursue a career in catering. He began as a culinary boy in London, but his early career was cut short by the outbreak of the First World War. As an Italian national, Cesare was called home to serve with the Alpine Brigade.
On his return to Britain, Cesare found work at the Palace Hotel in Aberdeen where he met Martha Gall. Although she was from Scotland, a long way from Lake Como, she was born within a few months of Cesare. The two married in 1921, giving birth to a daughter, Patricia, not long after.
The family moved to London and Cesare rose through the ranks. In a 1930s edition of the ‘General Guide to Italians in Great Britain’, which reported on emigrants forging successful careers, Cesare is said to be ‘known for his skill in preparing delicacies and sauces, in the preparation of tasty dishes’. He was hired as a chef at the famous Café Royal in London.
Cesare became Head Chef at Café Royal, but suffered a huge, personal blow when Martha died giving birth to their second baby. The child, a boy named Robert, survived. The family were supported by Martha’s older sister, Mary.