Gilda Piluso met her husband, John Roberti, in her hometown of Serra Pedace, Calabria, Italy--where he was visiting for the first time since leaving for America. They married in 1939, and John returned to the United States. World War II started in Europe--and John returned to arrange for Gilda's arrival in the United States--Gilda soon followed to her new home in Portland, where John operated a grocery store in St. Johns. Despite raising four children Gilda made time to volunteer at the neighborhood Catholic grade school and was a 40-year member of Saint Michael's Altar Society.
Gilda’s took great pleasure in feeding her kids, grandkids, great grandchildren, neighbors and friends. Her cooking was legendary: Homemade Pizzas, Braciole and her famous Italian Meatballs. For Grandma Gilda, food was love, and she filled many lives with her wonderful cooking. After her passing in 2008, Marco and his family decided to honor her memory by naming their restaurant after her.
Marco’s passion for food came from a lifetime of eating at the tables of his mother and grandmother. He went on to work as a cook at several notable Portland area restaurants before moving on to Florence, Italy to study and work; there, he received a Master’s in Culinary Arts at Apicius International School of Hospitality. He then spent several months traveling, living and cooking with his family in Tuscany, Umbria and Calabria, and working in restaurants in Tuscany and Sicily. Upon returning home, he continued to cook until the opportunity to open Gilda’s came along.