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EX.IT

EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO APRIL RUSSO 2018

EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN

THE CULINARY MAGAZINE BY ALFREDO RUSSO

STEFANO BAIOCCO

WITH PASSION

RICHARD CHAPMAN

A RESPECTED FIGURE IN ASIA

HEINZ BECK

MASTER OF GASTRONOMY www.extraordinaryitalian.com

FRANCESCO APREDA

A JOURNEY OF FLAVORS EX.IT April 2018 -

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ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ

REIF OTHMAN

ANDRÉ CHIANG

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MICHAEL WILSON

YOSHIHIRO NARISAWA

JORDI ROCA

JORDAN KAHN

PAUL BOCUSE


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BYMARCH ALFREDO RUSSO 2018

ALAIN PASSARD

VISIONARY CHEF

REIF OTHMAN

A BILLIONAIRE LIFE

ANDRÉ CHIANG A PERFECTIONIST www.wgmagazines.com

NICOLAI NØRREGAARD SELF MADE CHEF EX.IT April 2018 -

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

A Taste of Italy

with Michelin Star Chef Alfredo Russo

20 regions, 20 dishes, 1 country, 1 price

April 19 • From 8pm AED 175

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WG

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

For more than 80 years, Bragard supports women and men who give the best of themselves everyday at work to ignite their client’s taste buds. Combining tradition and inovation, professional workwear from Bragard gained unparalled reputation thanks to its quality and make the biggest names of the culinary and hospitaly world proud.

BRAGARD LLC OFFICE 604 BEDAIA BUILDING AL BARSHA 1 PO BOX 214338 DUBAI UAE Tel : +971 4 395 16 11 Fax : +971 4 395 16 12 fabien.firetto@bragard.com

www.bragard.com

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Real Madrid Café is a space where the passion for Real Madrid, football and socializing becomes one.

With two levels and two massive screens, Real Madrid Café, The Beach, JBR is the ultimate hangout for live matches while enjoying the beachfront location. Offering all-time comfort food favorites like burgers & wings, a wide selection of creative mocktails and shisha flavors, Real Madrid Café creates the perfect setting for Madridistas and sports enthusiasts a-like to gather and support their teams.

The extensive range of Real Madrid merchandise, including over 40 exclusively signed

pieces of memorabilia, ensures to give all shoppers and diners the ultimate football experience. Real Madrid Café also hosts a variety of events and is a popular place for birthday parties of all ages.

THE BEACH AT JBR, DUBAI U.A.E. TEL 04 277 5625 www.realmadridcafedubai.com realmadriddubai@ginzarestaurants.com

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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Together we stand strong, dream big and create greater change for causes worldwide. CharityStars is the international platform specialising in fundraising through digital auctions promoted in collaboration with celebrities and large companies. All the proceeds are donated to charity. A different way of raising awareness about the many charitable causes worldwide.

CHECK OUT OUR AMAZING AUCTIONS

www.charitystars.com

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Jean-Georges Dubai showcases a comfortable indoor layout with a jade, cozy garden. While providing a fine atmosphere of an outdoor vivid lounge and stunning interiors, Jean-Georges Dubai offers its guests the chance to enjoy multiple evenings with live entertainment, a Friday brunch with an exquisite menu created by 2 Michelin Star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten paired with impeccable service. The restaurant presents a warm ambiance that captures Dubai’s affinity throughout the day to uphold a late night. JG Dubai is a preferred venue for many celebrities who have chosen it as a trendy destination to celebrate their events or simply to enjoy the exquisite dishes and service. Guests who have joined us in the past include key members of royal families in the UAE as well as international names such as Russell James, Franca Sozzani, Nargis Fakhri, Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf, Dwight Yorke, and Christian Louboutin.

Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai

Book at +971 4 343 6118

info@jean-georges-dubai.com | www.jean-georges-dubai.com

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Good taste isn’t expensive

S P A C E S

F O R

B E A U T I F U L

L I V I N G

conceptplus INTERIOR DESIGN

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Suite 214, Hamsa (A) Office Tower, Za’beel Road Karama, Dubai, United Arab Emirates P.O.Box 300450, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Tel.: +971 4 3705269 I Fax: +971 4 2947442 - EX.IT April 2018 E-mail : info@conceptplusstyle.com I osama@conceptplusstyle.com www.conceptplusstyle.com

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DUTY DUTYFREE FREE PRODUCTS PRODUCTS & & BONDED BONDED STORES STORES

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5, Vyzantiou, Spyrides 2064Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus 5, Vyzantiou, Spyrides Tower, Towers, 2064 Cyprus Tel:+357 +35722210828 222 108 28 I I +44 +44 745 745 228 Tel: 22868 680202 www.brandhouse.uk.com www.brandhouse.uk.com


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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Avani and Bala #VisitSpain #Andalusia #Sevilla #Giralda #Architecture #BeautifulView

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“IN OUR CITIES, WHEN YOU LEAVE ONE EMBLEMATIC SPOT, YOU ENTER ANOTHER. YOU WILL SOON DISCOVER THAT ALL OF THEM ARE PART OF YOU”.

spain.info

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Culinary Arts can give new life to children... we make it our mission to identify talented, underprivileged children with culinary ambitions and provide opportunities that otherwise would have been beyond their reach‌

Grant MacPherson

WO’GOA Foundation Ambassador An inspirer, innovator and perfectionist - Grant encompasses all the qualities that deserving children can glean from a role model!

The Pearl Martin Benn Sepia, Sydney, Australia - EX.IT April- 2018

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partnered with SKD ACADEMY the culinary institute in the Philippines


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

AWARNESS IS FINE BUT ADVOCACY TAKES YOUR BRAND TO THE NEXT LEVEL

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

info@wgkonnect.com

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APRIL 2018

Editor

Fabian deCastro Alfredo Russo

Feature Editor Contributors

Maria Lourdes Laura Pedrazzoli Elisabete Ferreira Michael Hepworth

Photography

Victoria Shashirin Majella O’Connell

FJMdesign WGkonnect Photography Consultant Creative Design Studio Publisher IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. EX.IT™ is an online digital publication published by: Izzy Publishing Pvt. Ltd. Unit 14, Agnelo Colony, Kerant, Caranzalem, 403002 Goa, India Tel: +91(832) 2463234 Fax: +91(832) 2464201 sales@extraordinaryitalian.com Company Registration Number U22100GA2011PTC006731 Marketing & Advertising Call: +91 832 246 3234 E-mail: marketing@extraordinaryitalian.com WG™ Beverly Hills Michael Hepworth 287 S.Robertson Blvd Beverly Hills, CA 90211 International Representative Point Select Leisure Management DMCC Concept Plus Interiors LLC ©IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. Editorial material and opinions expressed in EX.IT™ digital publication do not necessarily reflect the views of IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. EX.IT™ and IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or errors and do not accept responsibility for the advertising content. All contents are strictly copyright and all rights are reserved. Production in whole or part is prohibited without prior permission from IZZY Publishing Pvt. Ltd. ©2018 EX.IT™ All rights reserved.

FRANCESCO APREDA BACCALÀ EVO WITH “SABBIA SALATA” BLEND... IMÀGO - HASSLER ROMA

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It’s all Italian... a journey of flavors from Italy & around the World!


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

EX.IT EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN

Heinz Beck’s passion for gastronomy and his quest for excellence as known throughout Italy and Europe as a noteworthy master of modern gastronomy. Having learnt from great chefs and working in some of the best kitchens in the world Stefano Baiocco’s passion as a chef has grown over time. A journey of flavors with Francesco Apreda at the Hassler in Rome. With his love for Mediterranean cuisine, Paolo Casagrande brings his passion, depth of commitment and exceptional level of consistency to the table. Luigi Taglienti maintains the old-fashioned values of traditional cuisine at Lume. An authentic Tuscan experience with Giovanni Luca Di Pirro. An Italian family business which spans 6 generations and over 160 years, Carlo Preve and Riso Gallo still meets the Italian taste. Roberto Wirth leads Hassler Roma as one of Europe’s top luxury hotels and the preferred destination for society’s elite and world travelers. A trip to the Far East to meet one of the most respected figures in the hospitality in Asia – Richard Chapman who has transformed the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit into an iconic 5 Star hotel. A Sicilian touch in Bangkok with Gaetano Palumbo. Committed to the preservation of Italian authentic traditions, Lino Sauro’s cuisine represents his best memories of Sicily. A stop at the popular Italian eatery in Dubai with Maurizio Lazzarin. A special evening at Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo – 20 Italian Regions and 20 Dishes on 19 April, I have personally curated this extensive menu. Buon appetito!

Alfredo Russo EX.IT April 2018 -

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APRIL 2018

CONTENTS 24

Master Of Gastronomy

40

A Respected Figure In Asia

48

Passion, Determination And Humility

62

160 Years Of Italian Taste

68

Risotto “Pizza Margherita”

72

Hassler Roma

82

A Journey Of Flavors

94

Commitment, Consistency And Hard Work

102 Classic & Contemporary 114 Brings Sicily To Singapore 124 Tascany Flavors 136 A Sicilian Touch 148 The Chef Behind Casa Mia For Over Two Decades

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

EX.IT EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN

BACCALÀ EVO WITH “SABBIA SALATA” BLEND... A dish inspired by Naples’ perfumes, Francesco Apreda’s hometown. The use of ingredients that in their shapes and colors represent a “pizza”, symbol of Francesco’s beloved Naples. The “baccalà” is cooked in extra virgin olive oil that resembles the “mozzarella”, the vegetable charcoal bread waffle resembles the pizza border, the red comes from the confit tomatoes, and the baccalà tomato cream and red onions cooked in the red wine vinegar. It’s a game of colors and flavors which is completed with Francesco’s blend of spices - a “sabbia salata” blend, dedicated to Naples and made with Vesuvian ingredients. An explosion of flavors. FRANCESCO APREDA IMÀGO - HASSLER ROMA

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HEINZ BECK

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PHOTO © INTERMEDIA JAPAN


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

hef Heinz Beck is widely known throughout Italy and Europe as a noteworthy master of modern gastronomy. With his unique interpretations of the modern kitchen, Heinz Beck thoughtfully curates ingredients and implements innovative techniques to convey simple components into highly evocative dishes.

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HEINZ BECK

Master Of Gastronomy

Beyond an excellent career as a highly decorated chef, Heinz Beck has been heralded as a leader in Italian and Mediterranean culinary tradition. Born in Friedrichshafen in 1963, Beck is a careful observer of food effects on the body. His profound understanding of culinary culture is revealed in several of his noteworthy articles, which address more than culinary practices. For more than 15 years, he has had important collaborations with national and international scientists, as well as Italian universities, concerning the good balance between food and health. Today, Beck consults several businesses, offering the same attention to detail that his guests receive at his 3-star La Pergola in Rome, as well as in all his restaurants worldwide, a testament to the genius of Heinz Beck. EX.IT April 2018 -

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HEINZ BECK

A polyhedral genius of our time, in which different attitudes evolve into different arts, Beck is multi-starred and widely awarded, with prizes including the Five and Six Star Diamond Award (both conferred by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the first in Italy to obtain such acknowledgement), the Gold Medal at the Foyer of Artists, an international prize awarded for the first and only time in 40 years to a chef, and the Knight of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany.

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AMBERJACK TARTARE WITH ALMOND TOFU AND DEHYDRATED OLIVES PHOTO Š JANEZ PUKSIC


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

In 2010, Heinz Beck and 10 other top Italian chefs joined forces to found the Order of the Knights of Italian Cuisine, in order to communicate with national and international institutions and the media as a united front. In 2014, thanks to his strong and persistent attention towards health and innovation in the gastronomy field, Beck was named Chef of the Year at the 10th IdentitĂ Golose international congress, and the recipient of the Lion of Venice Career Award, conferred by AEPE during the 6th Congress Gusto in Scena. EX.IT April 2018 -

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HEINZ BECK

EX.IT speaks with Heinz Beck…

Heinz Beck tells us about his formative years; how did he find his way into the culinary field to become one of the most notable “Master” of gastronomy and a true pioneer of modern gastronomy!

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FILLET OF VENISON ON AN AUTUMN FIELD PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

As I often say, at first my desire was to be a painter, for the love I have for art, but my family opposed: so I decided to dedicate myself to a profession that could allow me to express my creativity. Since the beginning of my career, I have always been interested in food effects on the body and the right relationship between food and health. A dish can be tasty as well as light and well balanced. I felt in love with Italian cuisine soon as I came to Rome: Italian cuisine is one of the greatest in the world and it offers such a variety of excellent raw materials that you cannot exempt from experiencing with them in order to reconcile health and taste. A pivotal moment for Beck’s culinary development came in 1991, through an opportunity to join legendary chef Heinz Winkler, as Sous Chef at “Residenz”, Aschau. This incarnation gave him a chance to further his culinary skills while working under of one of his heroes, and by gaining his ‘kuchenmeister’’ one of Germany’s most prestigious culinary certifications. Chef Beck takes us back to 1991, the opportunity to join the legendary chef Heinz Winkler, how did that experience help to form who you are as a chef today? My experience with Heinz Winkler was so formative that I still consider him as my teacher as well as a friend to talk with about my dishes. I had been his Sous Chef for 5 years and he was giving me the opportunity to travel and meet different realities outside of Germany. Chef Beck’s culinary creations is based on a unique interpretation of the Modern kitchen that goes beyond his undisputed culinary talent, the utmost attention toward ingredient selection and their transformation into highly innovative flavors, he tells us how he brings this balance on the plate… Balance is the Mediterranean cuisine itself. Nature itself is a great source of influence. The seasonality of raw materials guides my choices in creating different menus. EX.IT April 2018 -

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HEINZ BECK

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FAGOTTELLI CARBONARA PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Chef Beck’s opinion on the best recipe he has created… I always find hard to answer this question because it would be like asking a mother which is her favourite son. I am fond of all the dishes that I create, because there is a story behind each of them and every dish is the result of studies, test and constant development. The process of creating a new dish… The basis of my idea of the kitchen is curiosity. For my recipes, I draw inspiration from everything surrounds me and emotions that gives me what I observe. EX.IT April 2018 -

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HEINZ BECK

TORTELLINI WITH “PAPPA AL POMODORO” ON WILD GARLIC SAUCE AND SCAMPI PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

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SPAGHETTI CACIO E PEPE WITH WHITE SHRIMPS MARINATED IN LIME PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I have always been fascinated by pasta, a complete food and basis of a Mediterranean diet. Apart from its nutritional aspects, pasta makes room for creativity”

Heinz Beck’s profound understanding of the culinary culture is revealed in several of his books, ‘PASTA by Heinz Beck’ your book – his concepts of lightness and delicacy, as he goes beyond the classic tenets of Italian cooking and the extraordinary ability to enclose a ‘universe’ on a plate, his inspiration of writing his book… I have always been fascinated by pasta, a complete food and basis of a Mediterranean diet. It provides complex carbohydrates, energy to slower release, low glycaemic index, good source of protein and, finally, low in fat. Apart from its nutritional aspects, pasta makes room for creativity: for this reason after my first book, “Heinz Beck”, I decided pasta was the perfect matter to write a book about.

PHOTO © DONATO MAURO X ADVANCEVISUALCOMMUNICATION

Cookery to Heinz Beck… Cookery, for me, is synonymous with evolution. Just think about how different types of cookery are varied over the time, reaching ever more complex forms. Cookery techniques encourage my creativity and allow me to create well balanced dishes without sacrificing taste. EX.IT April 2018 -

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HEINZ BECK

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

COMPOSITION OF DUCK FOIE GRAS WITH CHESTNUTS AND FIGS The pairing foie gras and figs is well known and widely used in French cuisine. I thought of a modern, technical reinterpretation of this dish and in this composition we find chestnut purée, creamy foie gras, foie gras powder obtained with liquid nitrogen, liophilized mushrooms, figs, mushrooms, puffed quinoa, wild strawberries and tapioca pearls in Balsamic vinegar.

PHOTO © MARCO SERAFINI AMICI

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HEINZ BECK

LOBSTER MEDALLIONS WITH ALMOND TOFU, MANGO BRUNOISE AND DEHYDRATED OLIVES PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

Ingredients that inspire Heinz Beck and how he selects ingredients…

“Heinz Beck thoughtfully curates ingredients and implements innovative techniques to convey simple components into highly evocative dishes” 36 - EX.IT April 2018

Actually I’m very inspired by yuzu, a citrus fruit native of East Asia: I like its tarty flavour, close to that of grapefruit. I discovered it during my frequent visits to Japan when I planned to open my restaurants “Heinz Beck” and “Sensi by Heinz Beck”. Regarding selection, I personally meet my suppliers and my preference is first for local produce. When possible, I prefer to buy locally; where is not possible, especially out of Italy, I use imported products. I’m sad as I know it is not environmentally friendly, but I have to put my guests’ satisfaction first. Creativity or Technique… They are both equally important. Creativity is a natural predisposition while technique is the result of studies. It is the harmony of the two that create a great dish.


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

SCAMPI TARTARE WITH COCONUT CREAM AND DEHYDRATED LIME PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

MULLET SANDWICH PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

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HEINZ BECK

FRUIT SALAD WITH LEMONGRASS JELLY AND GINGER ICE CREAM PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

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TIRAMISÙ PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I felt in love with Italian cuisine soon as I came to Rome: Italian cuisine is one of the greatest in the world and it offers such a variety of excellent raw materials that you cannot exempt from experiencing with them in order to reconcile health and taste”

Heinz Beck takes us through the moments when he received the International Prize of the Roman University “La Sapienza”, where the first time in 30 years that this prize was conferred to a chef… Many years passed since that day. I can still remember the excitement, the joy and surprise for this award as it came really unexpected. Heinz Beck and Restaurants by Heinz Beck have received about every honour imaginable. Chef Beck tells us what motivates him… My motivation comes from seeing my guests’ return to my restaurants and seeing my pupils grow. Chef Beck’s advice to chefs who are first entering the culinary field…

ICED SPHERE OF POMEGRANATE ON GIANDUJA CREAM AND CANNELLONI FILLED WITH SALTY PINE-SEEDS CHANTILLY PHOTO © JANEZ PUKSIC

Every young Chef feels the passion flowing through the veins: however, to ensure that this can be transformed into a profession, it must be accompanied by a deep and constant study of raw materials, traditions and techniques, by tenacity and the determination to grow professionally. It is a profession that, undoubtedly, requires a lot of sacrifice. But that sacrifice is paid off by as many satisfactions. EX.IT April 2018 -

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RICHARD CHAPMAN

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

RICHARD CHAPMAN ne of the most respected figures in the hospitality in Asia. With over four decades of experience, Richard began with the ShangriLa Hotels and Resorts, the Regent Hotels and the Hilton in Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia and Thailand.

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Appointed as General Manager in 2000, Richard has transformed the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit into an iconic 5 Star hotel, receiving several accolades and awarded the Top 25 Conference Hotel in Asia and the Top 25 Business Hotel in Asia. A focus on guests statisfaction, Richard explains - Our biggest differentiator is simply “customer service’. Many hotels have beautiful facilities, captivating artwork and generously sized guestrooms with the best of linens and quality amenities. But the key to providing an unrivalled guest experience lies in how all of our associates engage with the guest to ensure he / she has a memorable stay. In my opening words to new associates, I liken the front door of the hotel to the front door of their homes and invite them to treat every guest as if they were a personal guest entering their home. Apart from having the finest of software (my associates), the hotel has a modern elegant feel with double height floors enriched with imported Italian marble on the walls and adorned with fine Thai silks on the drapes and furniture fabrics. A choice of four full service restaurants, featuring Italian, Thai, Seafood and Western style comfort food, provide the guests with different dining options. Whilst our jazz club is considered to be the leader in South East Asia, the setting of the swimming pool is within a tropical garden, which transports you away from the frenetic street below. The Grande spa and fitness center are there to soothe your body and mind or to ensure you enjoy your daily work-out. Convenience to the city outside is always a pre-requisite for the international traveller and we take this to unparalleled height with the private pedestrian foot bridge from the hotel lobby directly to the sky train and subway stations. EX.IT April 2018 -

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RICHARD CHAPMAN

Clients’ needs have changed as a consequence of the increasing use modern technology and the search for tailor-made experiences. What do clients expect when booking your hotel? Yes, travellers today are certainly more discerning and their expectations of hotel experience have heightened. Fortunately technology has enabled us hoteliers to know more about the customer in terms of his preferences and interests before he arrives. Not only can we ensure that his extra two hard pillows are on the bed before he arrives but a welcome note from the concierge inviting him to a complimentary Thai cooking lesson or a privately guided tour of a museum. Three days before an arrival, our concierge sends a pre-stay welcome email to the guest, enquiring of any special arrangements can be made prior to his arrival. In this way no time is lost to ensure the guest has a memorable and profitable time from the minute he arrives to the moment we bid him farewell. In short they expect and we do our best to provide a tailor made experience for each and every one.

RAMA SUITE - GARDEN

What solutions do you propose to the clients who long for spiritual and physical well-being?

Our Grande Spa is a sanctuary where purity, stillness and calm create a refuge for body and mind. Our treatments combine ancient wisdom and Luxury can be defined as the ultimate level of contemporary healing techniques with international comfort and extravagant living. But rather than therapeutic spa products made from natural being opulent as in the past, today sophistication ingredients. Professional therapists, gracious Thai together with a degree of uniqueness would be hospitality and a tranquil environment combine for perceived as a luxury. For example, the top suite an unforgettable experience. in a hotel was designed with a certain degree of magnificence or grandeur, expressed with gold leaf For those who prefer a more active form of wellfurniture and thick velvet fabrics. Whereas today, being, our Fitness Club is equipped with a wide as in our Rama suite, we provide a true Thai style variety of cardio fitness and strength training living and bedroom space and relate to the locale equipment. Group exercise workouts under the by the teak wood raised flooring and Thai silk wall guidance of specialized trainers take place every day in the gym area. panelling. It is unique and yet sophisticated. What is the meaning of luxury?

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

RAJA - THAI THEME GARDEN SUITE

RAMA SUITE

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RICHARD CHAPMAN

“Hospitality cannot be perceived as a commodity, but as an experience where at each touch point the guest expects to receive a personalized engagement in a warm and genuine manner�

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What would you suggest to the new generation of hoteliers? I would recommend to the new generation of hoteliers, not to become slaves of their computer screens. The best way is to lead from the front and be visible in the hotel, both at the front-of-thehouse and the heart-of-the-house. With the ever increasing demands of reports, audits, compliance and meetings, time is very precious. But customers and associates alike truly appreciate the opportunity to engage with the GM as he walks the hotel at breakfast and cocktail hours. What makes a successful GM today? Do you need to be more of a generalist? What have you learnt from your predecessors and what have you innovated? You certainly need to be more of a generalist today than in the past. Stock value and technology necessitates that today’s successful General Manager must ensure that financial performance


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

GOVERNOR SUITE - LIVING ROOM

is optimized and that technology is fully utilized to facilitate processes and maximize the opportunities through social media. Having been a General Manager for the last 38 years, the demands of today are very different to the past. However, there is one principle which has not changed – without guests, we would have no business. It is as important and probably more important than ever, that the GM devotes quality time to engage with the customer as well as with his fellow associates. After all we are in the people business and to be successful we must put people first. In terms of innovation, we have to constantly dream up new experiences for our customers, who are hungry for something new and different. We were the first hotel in Bangkok to introduce the “Dine in the Dark” concept, where guests are served a four course meal in total darkness by visually impaired associates. It is amazing how by losing one of our senses, the others – especially hearing – becomes so much more acute. At the same time, we are

providing an income for associates, who find it difficult to find employment. Moreover, some of the revenue goes to the Blind Foundation of Thailand; so it is a worthy CSR activity. How the bigger hotel chains are creating unique customer profiles and how hoteliers are delivering a personalised guest experience? Technology has played a major role to put at the fingertips of all the appropriate hotel associates the profile of each of our guests. This allows us all to be proactive and tailor the services and products offered to the guest according to his or her preference. Even guests staying with us for the first time can be delighted, as we have the information of his / her stays in other hotels within the Marriott organization. This allows us to provide a personalized experience for the guest, who feels that he / she is truly being taken care. It makes him / her feel special and that individualized treatment is being provided solely for his / her benefit. EX.IT April 2018 -

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RICHARD CHAPMAN

More than ever before, cuisine expresses itself in hotel restaurants. What kind of experience do you offer? What adjectives would you choose to describe your restaurants? In today’s world where customers have travelled to many countries and experienced many different ethnic cuisines, a restaurant today should not try and be everything to all. It should focus on one type of cuisine, be it Italian, Thai or French. Moreover it should create a niche by focussing on certain ingredients such as fish and seafood, or meats (steak house) or pastas. Keep the menu down to a manageable number, so that the ingredients are always fresh and of high quality. In our hotel, we have a number of restaurants each focussing on a particular ethnic – Italian or Thai – and type – seafood and Western style comfort food. In this way the meal experience is clearly defined How hotels can compete and win with food & for the guest and he / she can select accordingly. beverage operations? Irrespective of the restaurant we aim to provide In-house hotel restaurants and bars are finding quality food at an affordable price. it more and more challenging to encourage the What are your thoughts about Italian cuisine around in-house guest to patronage their venues. Hotel the world? guests visiting a city want to get out and see the city or be invited to meet up with friends. Therefore it is Italian cuisine has over the last two decades become of paramount importance that the hotel restaurant the dominant cuisine not only in the Western world, and bar experience be created and marketed to but also here in the Orient. Whether a customer is the local community. It must stand up and against purchasing a pizza in a take-away shop or dining the free standing restaurant down the street. The in a high-end restaurant, Italian cuisine is the most restaurant must not have the look and feel of a hotel preferred. I believe it has the most honest food dining room and be intimidating in any way. It must culture, with recipes handed down from generation be warm and friendly and have a unique selling to generation and built on the foundation of simplicity, quality and freshness. point which is attractive to the local community.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

ROSSINI’S

ROSSINI’S

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STEFANO BAIOCCO

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

PASSION, DETERMINATION, AND HUMILITY

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is passion as a chef has grown over time and the reason why Stefano became a chef is really curious. After a year of accounting school, Stefano asked himself how much of a chance he had to find a job, so he decided to change school and to choose one that guaranteed him a job. His maternal grandfather was a chef and it always fascinated him and thus was Stefano’s future was decided.

STEFANO BAIOCCO

PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

Having learnt from great chefs and working in some of the best kitchens in the world with Alain Ducasse, Pierre Gagnaire, Joan Roca, Ferran Adrià, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Pascal Barbot, Raymond Blanc, Quique Dacosta, Seiji Ymamoto and Yoshihiro Murata. These chefs helped him figure out what he wanted to be. In 2004, when he entered Villa Feltrinelli the stately home on the western banks of Lake Garda, he fell in love with it and he said “this is the perfect place for me”. From there it took three years to get the first Michelin star. It was like lightning in the sky. Honestly, he did not think about it because on that day he was presenting his cookbook, when he started to receive congratulating messages, at first he thought it was a joke, he received the second and when he received the third message he realized. In 2014, he then got his second star. EX.IT April 2018 -

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Stefano’s creations are all unique, inspired by a combination of the finest produce and his herb and flower garden. The herbs are selected to provide a special, unusual combination and lending each dish its own individual touch of imaginativeness.

CHAR WITH “DIAVOLA SAUCE” & CREAM OF WILD HERBS PHOTO © RICHARD HAUGHTON

“A cuisine which combines Stefano’s creative approach adding a personal touch to his dishes as he blends his ingredients – noble or poor with another ingredient”

It is a composition of flavours which is complex and modest yet impeccably balanced, and a delight to the eye when presented with elegance and style.

MILK SKIN FILLED WITH YOGURT FOAM AND ROSEMARY SYRUP PHOTO © RICHARD HAUGHTON

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If you would ask Stefano “how does he brings about this balance on a plate“ you would get an answer… “This is a good question… We carry the tradition back since we are young, the ingredients we know them during our professional path and with the study and practice you can learn the techniques; but balance is something that is learned only through experience. Even us, some years ago we did some dishes, also very tasty but without balance. The right point of flavor, acidity, textures, and even colors is important” adds Stefano.


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

CHLOROPHYLL RAVIOLI PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

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TART OF BITTER HERBS PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

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FAKE TRUFFLE PHOTO © MASSIMO LODA


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

His cooking philosophy can be explained in three words: Passion, Determination, and Humility. He loves the cleanliness of flavors and the clear perception of tastes, he looks for beauty in colors and shapes and he tries to combine these elements. “I let myself be guided by my instinct, but every intuition should be put on the plate with trials and teamwork, only in this way we can reach a point that really satisfies us. Inspiration does not come exactly from one thing, it can come from a trip, a walk, a painting, a landscape... in practice from everything that surrounds me. A walk in the garden was the reason for making a dish that we call: a simple salad (a salad of 130 leaves and herbs and about twenty different types of flowers); or the porcini tiramisu wanted to be a personal tribute to a classic Italian dessert but in a salted version” says Stefano. Attracted to the whole plant world, loves working with aromatic and edible herbs and flowers. However, lately he has been seduced by some products that he has known during his travels to the East like seaweed, vinegars and vegetables fermented from Japan or spices, sauces, curry paste from Thailand. Making a selection is very simple, he taste and if he likes it then that product has the opportunity to enter his kitchen. It’s obvious that if he uses a product that comes from afar he never use fresh things but ingredients that have a long shelf life. “There is no real ingredient at the moment that we have not been able to work, not because we are good but simply because we have not worked with all the ingredients. But there is a product that I personally do not like very much and that therefore does not appear frequently in my dishes: cheese”.

PHOTO © VALENTINO RUFFATO

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Produce, Creativity, Technique… “Producing is a process that does not really interest me because it is the natural consequence of our work. The technique is the means, not fundamental, but very very important that makes us reach our goal; it is more the execution of a dish is more complex the technique is important. Creativity in our world, is essential: it is that flame that makes us get up in the morning and that gives us motivation during the whole day that we spend in the kitchen”.

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TURNIP RAVIOLI WITH SALMON AND LIME PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

ORVIETANO PORK WITH CARROT BARK AND ELDERFLOWER JELLY PHOTO © MASSIMO LODA

CARBONARA RAVIOLI WITH CUTTLEFISH SOUP AND PEAS PHOTO © CRISTIAN PARRAVICINI

FRIED PRAWNS PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

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“Stefano Baiocco’s career and cooking are exemplary. For him, love of the product, respect for producers and the memory of ancient knowledge are essential. His knowledge of the world enables him to interpret these traditions with generosity and inverntiveness” Alain Ducasse Stefano tells us about his experiences which helped him as a chef… I was lucky enough to work with two sacred monsters of French cuisine: Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Ducasse. Both great masters, although strongly different: the first is unpredictable and visionary; rigid and square the second. Today, I do not believe in inspiring myself to any of them, even if I recognize that both have left me a deep track. Stefano recalls “In 1998, I left with all my belongings for France with the aim of entering the world of French haute cuisine and decided to go straight to the heart… Paris. My first post was at the Il Cortile, an Italian restaurant where Alain Ducasse worked as a consultant and which received its first Michelin star in precisely that period. A transitional post. Just to prepare for the battle, while waiting for a proposal to arrive (sooner or later I knew it would) to work with the greatest living chef, and the most acclaimed by critics. Six months later, I was asked to come to work at Alain Ducasse restaurant. My days in Paris started at 6.30 in the morning. The atmosphere was almost surreal, inhuman, not a word or gesture out of place, maximum concentration, a sequence of technically determined movements and a clinical and fanatical precision. Imperfection was banned and not even the smallest error was permitted. Paris was still asleep when I left home. The bars were still closed and there was not even newspapers outside the newsagent’s. The atmosphere in the kitchen

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“Passion, talent and professionalism, this is what stefano Baiocco represents for me, gifts which will make him known in Italy and the world” Pierre Gagnaire

was certainly not the easiest. There was never a “bonjour”, a “ça va”, a smile. Only eyes fixed on the ground and hands working swiftly. The afternoon break was never more generous than an hour and the whole brigade greedily consumed their siesta inside a small bar just outside the restaurant so as not to waste precious minutes. A system of work made up of strict organization and almost military discipline to make sure that everything which orbited around the Ducasse name worked impeccably and at full pace. That was the “A.D. formula”. The work was hectic and stressful. In a year, more than 300 commis threw in the towel and packed their bags. That means that on an average, almost one cook a day gave up working I the restaurant run by the world’s most famous chef. Ducasse is a man who always walks faster than his own shadow, a train moving at an impressive pace and speed. If you want to work with him, either you leap onto the train or you stay outside. This is why you need a strong character to work with Alain Ducasse. The great difference I found working in Paris was that in France, the chef has great responsibilities, a history to defend, and is much more aware of the great weight on his shoulders. A chef of a certain level is a public personality. Or rather, he is a personality in every sense of the world, a figure which represents the pride and greatness of France. For me, Alain Ducasse was not just a great school of cookery, but above all, a way of life. EX.IT April 2018 -

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MINESTRONE DI FRUTTA E VERDURA ALLE 10 SPEZIE PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

What keeps you motivated? The motivation is fundamental in our work, and believe me that you can see very well when in a restaurant the staff is not motivated, you can also see it from the dishes. I am a lucky person, I wake up in the morning and I am happy to go to work. What pushes me every day are my customers, who always expect something new from us, it’s my staff, when you have a motivated team you work better. A good article in a kitchen magazine gives me motivation, the purchase of new porcelain plates to work gives me motivation... then this year I will have a completely new kitchen and trust me, this excites me a lot!!! Stefano’s advice to young chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… “There is a quote from Jacques Brel - Talent is just the desire to do something, everything else is sweat, transpiration, discipline” I would say this!

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

LAMB RED TURNIP JUICE AND AUTUMN VEGETABLES PHOTO © LIDO VANNUCCHI

FAKE CAULIFLOWER STONES AND SALMON ROE PHOTO © MASSIMO LODA

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THE GOLD BAR The creation of this dish dates back a few years ago, and as often happens over the years it evolves. The idea was immediately to make a gold bar, no matter what was inside, but we wanted to do something that symbolized opulence and elegance at the same time. Initially inside there was foie gras, then a cream of vegetables but then at the end we thought of a dessert. This dessert is composed of a soft white chocolate mousse with a passion fruit jelly and a crumbly biscuit with almond flour at the base. The second step… it was glazed with chocolate and gold powder. For the last two tears we have been serving this dessert, covering it with golden leaves, crushed almond grains with gold powder and Maldon salt. It’s a dish that our guests like, initially its choreographic aspect, then when you eat it and its inside your mouth it’s very greedy and at the end the passion fruit with its acidity cleans your palate…

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

THE GOLD BAR PHOTO © MASSIMO LODA

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CARLO PREVE

160 years Riso Gallo still meets Italians’ taste...

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CARLO PREVE

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iso Gallo started out way back in 1856 with a factory in Genoa that processed imported paddy rice. At the same time, another factory was opened in Argentina to meet the requirements of the South American market. Its success and increasing experience in the field encouraged the company to concentrate on Italian crops, and so in 1926 the Genoa factory was transferred to Robbio Lomellina in the heart of the province of Pavia, one of the most well-known rice growing regions. In the 1940s, an intuitive hunch marked a new chapter in the history of the company and the cockerel symbol was created. Since illiteracy was still widespread in Argentina, the company decided to identify the different varieties of rice by using images of animals. A giraffe, a tiger, an eagle, an elephant and a cockerel appeared on all the sacks of rice. The cockerel, which identified the best variety, soon became the company symbol and synonymous with the high quality of its products. At the same time, the company began to sell rice in retail packets. This Italian family business spans 6 generations and over 160 years specialising in Italian grains, including the traditional risotto rice, speciality grains and ready meals. Riso Gallo is one of the greatest European rice mill based in the Northern Po Valley, the authentic and biggest rice-growing region in Europe. Riso Gallo is the No.1 brand in the Italian Rice market and exports to 80 countries the world over.


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EX.IT catches up with Carlo Preve…

What makes a successful producer today?

What makes Riso Gallo rice so special?

Always a step ahead in anticipating new market trend. And offering the right product for any need.

Riso Gallo is a perfect synthesis between ancient milling techniques and the sophisticated and modern technology. The optical sorters that allows to get a highly selected rice, selecting grain by grain. The husking is still done with a traditional stone system that allows for a more gentle abrasion of the grain.

Respecting high quality standards means having efficient control systems and investing in innovation. How important is research to you?

With the traditional processing Riso Gallo combine rigid controls and accurate selections due to a modern internal research and development Riso Gallo is an authentic and excellent Italian laboratory. Technology, research and quality at the product, representing Italian rice throughout the consumer’s disposal: these strengths have always been a part of the Riso Gallo company. world… Over the last 160 years, Riso Gallo has built a reputation throughout the world as the premium producer of Italian and speciality rice products and the superior quality is enjoyed by everyone from Michelin Starred chefs to home cooks, selling over 50 million packets around the world.

What is “Riserva Gallo”? It is an exclusive selection of the most well-known and best varieties of rice from the rice fields in Lombardy. Ideal for Risotto. The best choice for those who want to add an extra special touch to their creativity. EX.IT April 2018 -

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After more than 160 years, Riso Gallo still meets Italians’ taste. How does it satisfy the modern consumer? Riso Gallo is a business at the cutting edge of the Italian food industry and a leader in the nation’s rice sector. Riso Gallo’s status as a flagship company is confirmed by its continual growth, thanks to the great importance it places on the needs of its customers who require not only modern and diversified product but also the assurance of high quality they can depend on. Risotto is one of the dishes which represents Italian taste and creativity worldwide. Is there a risotto recipe Italians can’t live without, in your opinion? We could say the classical Risotto alla Milanese but this is very personal. Risotto is very versatile and let your imagination run free according to what you have in your kitchen. What do chefs look for when using your products? Quality, guarantee of the best result, versatility, complete range. Riso Gallo is every chef’s personal chef. Your thoughts about Italian cuisine around the world… Risotto is a classic Italian dish and a recognised symbol of Italian ‘haute cuisine’ in restaurants throughout the world. Riso Gallo is proud to be an Ambassador for risotto culture all over the world and uses its position both as a market leader and a major player in the international rice industry to do just that.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

RISO GALLO Traditional risotto rices: Gran Riserva; Carnaroli, Arborio, Vialone Nano Parboiled rice: ideal for risotto, rice salads‌ Speciality grains: Venere (black brown fragrant rice) ; Aroma (Italian fragrant rice); Red Rice; Spelt; Barley; Mix with rice, spelt and barley; mix with brown rice, red brown rice and red quinoa; Brown rice, Special Dessert‌. Ready meals: 12 min. Risotto pronto; 2-3 min. Express Risotto and Rice. Gluten-free products: Cracker, Rice cakes, 3 Grains Pasta Plant-based drinks

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Risotto “pizza margherita” by Alfredo Russo Using all the ingredients found in a traditional margherita pizza. The flavors work perfectly together without overpowering eachother...

Serves 4 320 g Carnaroli rice. 150 g Fresh tomato sauce 150 g Fresh mozzarella 80 g Basil pesto 100g mix of powder of tomatoes (red) basil (green) and burnt onion (black) 4 leaves fresh basil 20 ml dry white wine 1 l vegetable broth 40 g Parmesan cheese 80 g butter 60 ml extra virgin olive oil Procedure: Toast the rice in a saucepan with a little oil for a few minutes, deglaze with the white wine, let it evaporate and add a little vegetable broth. Continue cooking as usual. Incorporated into the risotto cooked chopped basil and stir in butter, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Keep the rice and add to “the wave” needed a splash of vegetable broth. Spread the rice on the base of the plate, sprinkle with the rest of ingredients like a pizza.

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“A Taste of Italy”

a special event celebrating 40 years of the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Dubai’s longest running 5 Star Hotel, will take place on April 19 at Vivaldi Restaurant by Alfredo Russo... Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo, named after the virtuoso Venetian violinist, will host a symphony of Italian dining at “A Taste of Italy” which will showcase 20 dishes from 20 Italian regions from 8pm on April 19. Celebrating 40 years of the longest running and one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, the anniversary showcases the elite standards of hospitality and dining that have greeted hotel guests since 1978. The greatest symphonies evoke an emotional reaction and “A Taste of Italy” is no different as the event will reignite the fantastical flavours of regional Italian specialities, along with a renewed love of truly sensational Italian cuisine. Michelin starred Chef Alfredo Russo has personally curated the extensive menu, choosing 20 street-food style dishes from 20 different Italian regions, to showcase the vast array of tastes, techniques and traditions of his native Italy. He will also be on hand throughout the event to guide guests through the various regional delicacies on offer. From the minestra di lenticchie of Umbria, and the fregola col tonno of Sardinia, to the cima ligure of Liguria and the zuppa inglese of Tuscany, a symphony of flavour from all 20 Italian regions awaits guests, who can dine for the evening for just AED 175 including still and sparkling water. Special beverage options will also be available throughout the evening. In association with WG Magazines, EX.IT (Extraordinary Italian), Lavazza, Häagen-Dazs, African+Eastern, MonViso, and Italian Dairy Products, the 40th anniversary celebration at Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo promises to be an occasion that stirs the senses through a world-class orchestration of Italian dining that reaches all the right notes. EX.IT April 2018 -

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ROBERTO WIRTH

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oberto Wirth, President and Managing Director of the Hassler Roma, is the 5th generation of a famous dynasty of Swiss hoteliers. The dynasty began with FranzJosef Bucher, now considered one of the pioneers of the hotel industry in Europe. In the 1870s, Bucher bought and developed the Trittalp area of Switzerland, previously remote and inaccessible. Within a couple of years, he built several hotels in addition to the Hammetschwand, still the highest chair-lift in Europe, and the Burgenstock railway.

ROBERTO WIRTH HASSLER ROMA

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In 1890, he sent his son-in-law, Heinrich Wirth, to Rome to become manager of the Hotel Minerva. There began the Wirth family’s historical ties with Rome. Heinrich Wirth’s son, Oscar, joined the Hotel Hassler in 1921 and became the partner of another Swiss Hotelier, Mr. Hassler, and later the owner of the prestigious hotel. In 1939, Oscar demolished the building almost entirely in order to rebuild it. After the hotel was requisitioned by the US Air Force to serve as their Rome headquarters during World War II, the new Hassler was finally opened to the public in 1947. In 1950, Roberto, the first son of Oscar and his wife Carmen, was born in Rome. Today, Roberto overlooks this entire luxury Rome hotel’s operation, having led the hotel to its position as one of Europe’s top luxury hotels and the preferred destination for society’s elite and world travelers.


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ROBERTO WIRTH

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As the Hassler’s Managing Director, Roberto has accepted various invitations to participate in gourmet festivals around the world. He is also a consultant for various important restaurants abroad, including the Italian restaurants “Travertino” of the Oberoi hotel New Delhi, and “Vetro” of the Oberoi Mumbai. Since Roberto Wirth was born profoundly deaf, he has been very active in various associations for the deaf in addition to founding CABSS (Assistance Center for Deaf and Deafblind Children), a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to supporting deaf and deafblind children, and their families. The association focuses in particular on children from birth to six years and works with projects that promote an adequate cognitive, emotional, social, linguistic and communicative development that allows children to fully express their personality.

SPANISH STEPS

In November 2005 Roberto received the “Independent Hotelier of the World” award by Hotels magazine, which he in turn dedicated to his native city of Rome, delivering it into the hands of Rome’s then-Mayor Veltroni in a private ceremony held at the Hassler. Later in February 2006, he was awarded the Prize for Economic Achievement by Rome’s City Government (Premio Campidoglio per l’Economia) in an event presided by the city’s mayor and then in March 2006 he received the “Marco Aurelio prize for Tourism” from the thenVice Mayor of Rome, Mariapia Garavaglia, which highlighted his contribution to tourism and therefore the economic and social life of the Capital. EX.IT April 2018 -

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What can guests expect from your room and suite offerings? Comfort, technology and service. The Hassler has always been renowned for being “the” home away from home of sophisticated travelers. As President and Managing Director and with more than 40 years of experience in the hotel business, a passionate collector of art and fine wines, I personally welcome guests as I would in my own home, with the same consideration and care.

Roberto received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters in 2006 from Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida and in May 2009 he received a further Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Gallaudet University, in Washington, DC. He is also one of the 8 deaf recipients of the Deaf Nation Inspiration Award (for Hotel Hospitality). In Nov. 2014 he was awarded the “Leading Legend Award” by The Leading Hotels of the World, for his commitment to the art of independent hospitality and in 2016 he was awarded with an Honorary Degree in Human Letters by the prestigious John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. EX.IT catches up with Roberto Wirth…

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Clients’ needs have changed as a consequence of the increasing use of modern technology and the search for tailor-made experiences. What do clients expect when booking your hotel? We want the Hassler to continue to be the location par excellence when travelers come to Rome. To achieve this goal, we will continue to provide a constant commitment to maintain the highest standards that distinguishes the Hassler. We have invested a lot in these last few years and we will keep investing: with the goal to be at forefront not only in terms of comfort but also in terms of technology. Above all, we will remain vigilant in order to satisfy our guests’ needs. If I think of the future, I also see a new generation, represented by my son and daughter, who will continue the great hospitality tradition of our family.


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IMÀGO

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IMÀGO


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

More than ever before, cuisine expresses itself in hotel restaurants. What kind of experience do you offer? What adjectives would you choose to describe your cuisine? Authentic with international touches. At ImĂ go, our renowned panoramic Michelin starred restaurant, together with the Chef Francesco Apreda, we propose an Italian cuisine translated with cosmopolite style thanks to his experience in London, India and Japan. At the Hassler Bistrot, luxurious retreat ideal for tasty meals, the menu features traditional Roman dishes such as Amatriciana or Carbonara style pasta, but also more sophisticated recipes. What are your thoughts about Italian cuisine around the world? Personally, I think that Italian cuisine is the best in the world and during my years abroad, I missed it very much. In my opinion, in the last few years, Italian cuisine abroad has really improved and nowadays it is possible to find very good Italian restaurants in New York as well as in India. EX.IT April 2018 -

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What solutions do you propose to the clients who long for spiritual and physical well-being? Our fitness and wellness center Amorvero SPA, on the 3rd floor with breath-taking views of the city. At guests disposal is a lovely terrace where one can read, relax, enjoy a refreshing drink, or bask in the sun. There is a sauna, a steam bath, a fitness room with complete training facility. At Amorvero SPA highly trained and well-qualified professionals offer an array of traditional massages and treatments which follow the philosophy of bringing wellness to the spirit through the body and the senses. For those reasons, in our future plans, there is the project to expand the Amorvero Spa in order to fulfil guests’ demands. What makes a successful GM today? Do you need to be more of a generalist? I am second-generation owner of the Hotel Hassler and, representing the fifth generation of a famous hotelier family, I believe in carrying on the rich tradition of the Bucher-Wirth Swiss hotel dynasty and, as General Manager, I have been deeply inspired by my father’s model. For almost two centuries, the Bucher-Wirth family has made a strong impact in the field of luxury hospitality and continues to do so. Today, I consider the Hassler my passion, home and family heritage. My commitment, dedication and personal touch are what have led the hotel to achieve its position as one of Europe’s top hotels. I am constantly open minded towards news and changes, focusing in particular on technology innovations.

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FRANCESCO APREDA

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

B

FRANCESCO APREDA

orn in Naples, Francesco’s passion for cooking became evident as early as 14 years old, at first with pastry making but soon after encompassing all levels, leading him to make it his life. He earned his qualification as a chef with a diploma of Hotel Activities from the I.P.S.S.A.R. school of Formia. After various summer work experiences in 4-star hotels in Italy, he finished his studies and at the age of 19 he went to Rome, where he started working at the Hassler Roma as a Commis. After one year at this historic hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps, he become Chef de Partie.

A JOURNEY OF FLAVORS

The desire to learn and to grow professionally soon took Francesco to London, where he stayed for five years to learn from Europe’s gastronomic capital and its multitude of innovative restaurants. In London, Francesco honed his experience at the two Michelin star restaurant Le Gavroche under the guidance of Michel Roux, he then moved to Ibla as a sous chef and at the Green Olive as chef. While in London, Francesco met an old school friend, Maurizio Morelli, who was one of the best-known Italian chefs in London at the time. Morelli was an important figure for Francesco from a professional point of view, and one from who Francesco learnt about a new way of conceiving his dishes - a creative cuisine that nonetheless never loses sight of the traditional basics. EX.IT April 2018 -

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IMÀGO

Roberto E. Wirth, owner and general manager of the Hassler Roma followed Francesco’s progress and gave him the opportunity to manage the Imperial Hotel of Tokyo’s new Italian restaurant – Cicerone which was opened by Hassler and guided by Roberto Wirth’s consultations. In Japan, Francesco learnt to appreciate the integrity and distinguished the characteristics of each ingredient, as well as new cooking techniques. This experience also made him to rediscover the value and flavors of Italian cuisine.

FRANCESCO APREDA AND ROBERTO WIRTH

In 2003, Francesco returned to Rome on the request of Roberto Wirth, who offered him the role of Executive Chef in his illustrious hotel, in order for Francesco to give new impulse to the kitchen. He also became responsible for the Hassler’s second restaurant, the Salone Eva, as well as all banquet, events and room service menus. In 2006 he took on additional responsibilities of managing Il Palazzetto Restaurant, which was also owned by the Hassler Roma, located a few steps away at the side of the Spanish Steps. Returning to the Hassler as chef was the realization of a dream for Francesco, as well as an important recognition, allowing him to capitalize on the experience gained in England and Japan, giving life to an innovative and creative style that adds value to his solid foundations in Italian cuisine.

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IMÀGO


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

BLACK COD & PURPLE VEGETABLES

BREADED SEA SCALLOPS, SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS AND BLACK TRUFFLE

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FOIE GRAS E SCONES

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TANDOORI-STYLE DUCK


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

EX.IT catches up with Francesco Apreda… Tell us how you found your way into the culinary field and the experience which helped to form who you are as a chef today? I would say that I have become a chef by chance. When I was a teenager, my parents decided to move from Naples to Formia, because the neighborhood where we were living did not offer a great future. So my father decided to move to Formia, a city by the sea which he loved very much. In Naples, I was attending the first year of chartered accountancy, a very different job from the one I am actually employed in, but the moving from a city to another, in a particular lifetime which was my adolescence, generated in me a radical change. I knew that in Formia there was an excellent hospitality institute and all these circumstances put together determined the growth of my passion for the cuisine and the desire of becoming a chef. My experience at the Hassler when I was 19 years old was significant and the keystone to open the path to my international experiences. First, I worked in London at Le Gavroche under Michel Roux’s guidance. Then under the guidance of Maurizio Morelli at Ibla and then at the Green Olive. Finally the experiences in Japan and in India was very fundamental. All these steps made me come back to the Hassler as Executive Chef and the opening of the gourmet restaurant, Imàgo. EX.IT April 2018 -

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FRANCESCO APREDA

Your cuisine is focused and inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients, creative with the finest produce, creating a composition of flavours which is complex and modest - how do you bring about this balance on a plate?

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NEAPOLITAN SFOGLIATELLA “SAMOSA”


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

It’s an innovative, creative and original cuisine which, in the meantime, wants to give value to the solid base of Italian tradition, enriching and personalizing it with ingredients and ways of cooking learnt during my stays in Japan and India. My menu is composed of innovative dishes which include the classical nature of our cuisine - refined creations made of oriental flavors and colors, wonderfully and wisely interwoven with traditional flavors. In all the recipes there is a fundamental point is the use of seasonal ingredients, in order to offer the guests fresh and genuine cuisine. I love the epithet “global cuisine” which is well described by my “fans” because it exactly summarizes my concept. This latter is concentrated a lot in my tasting menu “Flavors of a journey”, a culinary itinerary through the cities which have mainly influenced my life (Naples, Rome, London, New York, Tokyo, and Mumbai), and a dish for each city, and for each dish a blend of spices that I have personally created. EX.IT April 2018 -

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FRANCESCO APREDA

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“The will to always go further with experimentation and creativity”

Your culinary philosophy…

All my menus are a peculiar marriage, but I would like to underline that I am not working according to fashion, but according to my abroad experiences and, since I have come back to Rome 11 years ago, this has always been my cooking philosophy. For me it isn’t just a trend. Ingredients that inspire you, your favourite ingredients and ingredients that you have not been able to master… There isn’t any specific ingredient, but every product can inspire me for a new dish. Now, I am focused on balancing my dishes without using salt, but with seaweeds and spices; I am also very oriented, as usual, in using vegetables as primary source of the dish. I am very stubborn, I never halt in front of an obstacle, especially if it is an ingredient. Special cooking techniques… Lately, I am working hard on the osmosis and I find interesting to combine a different and blended taste inside an ingredient. EX.IT April 2018 -

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FRANCESCO APREDA

I avoid following flavors of the month, but I try to focus on what comes after...

Produce, Creativity or Technique…

At the bottom of a creation there is always the knowledge of the raw materials and the perfect understanding of the making and cooking techniques. Then you add to this the inspiration and the creativity that has its own always different identity according to every recipe. Your greatest influence in the kitchen…

CAPELLINI PASTA WITH GARLIC, OLIVE OIL, CHILLI PEPPER AND SMOKED EEL

When I cook, I take inspiration from…. My past experiences, especially the ones lived during my travels all around the world and from my memory; my cooking is a very personal one, made of tales. I owe a lot to Japan and to India, real strength of my cooking, and to territory and traditions of my country. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… In a few words, they have to understand if it is really what they want to do in their own lives and if they are strongly passionate. The path is long, it is a hard job and it is impossible to go ahead if there is no passion.

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OCTOPUS, SEAWEEDS AND ROOTS

RISOTTO WITH CACIO CHEESE, PEPPER AND SESAME

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PAOLO CASAGRANDE

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PAOLO CASAGRANDE COMMITMENT, CONSISTENCY AND SHEER HARD WORK

TEXT HANGAR-7 PHOTO © HELGE KIRCHBERGER PHOTOGRAPHY / RED BULL HANGAR-7

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PAOLO CASAGRANDE

Along with his love for Mediterranean cuisine, Paolo Casagrande brings his passion, depth of commitment and exceptional level of consistency to the table... Paolo Casagrande grew up in Northern Italy where he developed a passion for cooking from watching his mother and grandmother prepare traditional dishes for his large family using seasonal local ingredients. At his father’s suggestion he trained at the Alfredo Beltrame Hotel and Catering School in Vittorio Veneto and after graduating he worked his way through many restaurants in his native Italy before perfecting his culinary skills at leading finedining restaurants in Milan, London, Paris and San Sebastian. In San Sebastian he met the renowned and influential chef Martín Berasategui who he sees as his mentor, professional father and sometimes big brother. With him he opened the acclaimed M.B. restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton, Abama in the Canary Islands. After overseeing the opening of the luxury CastaDiva Resort on Lake Como in Italy, Casagrande rejoined Berasategui in 2012 and became the chef de cuisine at the Restaurant Lasarte in Barcelona which received its third Michelin star in 2017.

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PAOLO CASAGRANDE

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The Italian chef brings his Mediterranean passion, depth of commitment and exceptional consistency to the table, combining Berasategui’s signature dishes, which vary according to the seasons and reflect the aromas and flavours of the region, with his own innovative classics created specifically for the restaurant in Barcelona. “Loving my work is the best recipe and learning with the best keeps my passion for creating charismatic cuisine burning” adds Paolo Casagrande.

“he enjoys demonstrating the capacity to assimilate new products and technical precision” Casagrande draws his inspiration from many different sources, including the products he is working with, the climate, the season, travel, and the people around him. He goes to the market each week to become inspired by the fresh, seasonal produce, and the feedback and reactions of his satisfied customers regularly boost his motivation. His aim, he says, is to create emotions by using contrasts in products.

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MARRONE

CUSTOM COOKING When you speak of the Metamorphoses (using the great Latin poet Ovidio as an inspiration and a guide) and referring to Marrone typical process of transforming the dreams and vision of Chefs. For over 40 years, Marrone has been utilizing an innovative and personal approach to crafting kitchen suites, forged by the distinct cooking philosophies of chefs. Metamorphoses are also what the Chefs will generate with their art applied to natural ingredients.

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Each unit is more than personalized, it is completely bespoke, hand crafted with passion, with attention to detail and balance of choices and thus making it always reliable and precise in performance, combining powerful functions, comfort of use and an effective planning of the space of operation. Marrone has a unique and recognizable style even if their kitchens are interpreted in different ways in their FOH application: this derives from a design method were the forms follows carefully the functions. The haptic study and the in-house development of all the kitchen’s controls touched by the Chefs is a clear example of this approach.


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LUIGI TAGLIENTI

LUIGI TAGLIENTI

CLASSIC & CONTEMPORARY PHOTO ©LUME

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B

orn in Savona, Luigi comes from Liguria, a wonderful Italian region with the best ingredients found on land and the sea. Since his childhood Luigi always had a passion for cooking was inspired by his mother and grandmother’s traditional Italian food. After graduating from culinary school, Luigi’s began his culinary career, working with “Maestro” Ezio Santin and later continued his experience working with world renowned chefs such as Christian Willer, Christian Sinicropi and Carlo Cracco who helped him form his professionalism and stimulate his creativity. Through his talent and expertise, he has already been awarded “Best Young Chef of the Year” by the guide “I Ristoranti d’Italia” de L’Espresso, as well as received his first Michelin star and the “Tre Forchette del Gambero Rosso” status. Under the leadership of Chef Taglienti, and after only a few months since opening, LUME was awarded its first Michelin Star by the Michelin Guide 2017. LUME was also awarded “News of the Year” by the “I Ristoranti d’Italia 2017” guide of L’Espresso, receiving a ‘3 Cappelli’ score. It has also received the award “Cucina D’autore” by the “Alberghi & Ristoranti d’Italia 2017” guide of the Italian Touring Club and was named “Restaurant News of the Year” by the “I Cento Milano 2017” guide. EX.IT April 2018 -

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ROASTED VEAL SWEETBREAD, WITH FRESH CASHEW NUTS PERSIMMON APPLE AND HEART OF CABBAGE

Luigi Taglienti creates a timeless kitchen, both classic and modern at the same time, inspired by the classic French and Italian recipes that has skillfully given his cuisine a modern twist. A continuous evolution through a deep knowledge of classical cuisine, continuous research of the raw materials and a strong connection with the territory. At the Michelin starred restaurant Lume, Luidi takes you on a culinary journey through his innovative cuisine, that harmoniously combines elements of classic and contemporary cooking, with a strong connection to the territory and constant research of the raw materials. The 40 seat fine dining restaurant is spread over two dining rooms. The open kitchen takes center stage and serves as a focal point, offering you a front-row view of Luigi performing his culinary art. EX.IT catches up with Luigi Taglienti…. Luigi Taglienti tells us how he found his culinary passion… My taste is predominantly driven by my Ligurian origins, where I spent a lot of my childhood in the kitchen with my grandmother and great grandmother who regularly cooked for the nobility in Tuscany. From a young age, I was therefore surrounded by masters of classical Italian cuisine and earned an appreciation for fresh ingredients of the utmost quality. My first foray into the culinary world was made some years later, when I worked at my mother’s beach lido. Soon after, I attended the Vocational School for Tourism and Hotel Management or Catering. After a year as a waiter following graduation, I realised that my real place was in the kitchen (as a chef and not as a waiter) and that my destiny was to become a chef. My experience after this, with some of the world’s leading chefs, helped me to become the chef that I am today.

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TAGLIENTI STYLE OSSOBUCO

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LUIGI TAGLIENTI

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LIGURIAN SHRIMPS A LA PLANCHA TOMATOES SAUCE VIERGE AND GENOVESE BISCUIT WITH PRA BASIL


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BRAISED VEAL MUZZLE IN SPUMANTE WINE MUSTARD SALAD CUCUMBER AND BLACK TRUFFLE

You express yourself by creating a unique cuisine based in the naturalness of gestures and thoughts, a perfect composition of taste and flavors… You’re right, a huge amount of thought and consideration goes into every dish that I cook, to ensure that everything on the plate works together harmoniously. Something this is echoed in the design of the restaurant and the LUME dining experience in general, is the commitment to bringing heritage into evolution. In the design of the restaurant, for example, the classical lace-like box that encapsulates the kitchen, in the centre of the restaurant, contrasts with the more modern and minimalist layout of the room. In a similar vein, in my cooking I try to make sure that the tastes and scents that can take us back to our childhood memories are brought into the present. With certain techniques, these ingredients at the centre of Italian heritage can be evolved and turned into something that is both outward and forward-looking, while at the same time backward and inward-looking. How do I do this? In my kitchen instinct governs, we have to be energetic and flexible in order to take a dish or an ingredient and turn it into something new and totally different – something that will surprise LUME’s guests. At the same time, however, all of my cooking is based on research and extensive study – I believe that, in order to revitalise a dish, you have to know how it has evolved over the years. Something that I rely on, in order to refresh and revitalise older recipes and tastes, is acidic notes and flavours. These are paramount to my cooking. Traditional recipes that are central to the history of cooking can be developed with the right adjustments to their flavours. In one of my dishes, for example, I include a version of the classic (and rich) French albufera sauce, and turn it into something much lighter. In turn, these acidic and tangy flavours balance out other tastes such as salty and sweet flavours. EX.IT April 2018 -

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LUIGI TAGLIENTI

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BORAGE RAVIOLO WITH ITALIAN RAGU

“My cuisine is based on the naturalness of gestures and thoughts and evolves depending on the need to express myself and the desire to create a unique taste. All the while maintaining the old-fashioned values of traditional cuisine that are not always easily recognizable.”

Yur culinary philosophy and take us through the process of creating a new dish... “Heritage meets Evolution” is how I would describe my cooking in a tagline. I’m committed to modernization but, at the same time, dedicated to those sensations that take me back to my past and the more classical recipes I was brought up on, and that make up Italy’s culinary heritage. I love using raw materials in my cooking, and am always searching for more ways to develop their flavours into something extraordinary. I am more and more convinced that there is no such thing as a great cuisine without great sauces and it is the sauces that make the centrepiece of all my cooking. Sauces are the cuisine’s DNA and they evolve at the same pace as one another. They link all of the ingredients on each plate back together. In fact, if I weren’t a chef, I would consider myself a full time saucier. For me, creating a new dish is a mental flash: it is the translation of my thoughts into culinary technique. Usually I try what I have in my mind twice but – if it does not work at the second test – I don’t persist testing it anymore, I just give up and make room for new ideas. EX.IT April 2018 -

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LUIGI TAGLIENTI

ROASTED QUAIL IN ITALIAN STYLE PIOPPINI MUSHROOMS SPINACH AND SPICY JUICE WITH SELVATIC FENNEL

Ingredients that inspires you, your favourite ingredients and ingredients you may not have been able to master... All the ingredients I employ in my cooking are the outcome of years spent studying, researching, getting familiar with territories and people who are behind these micro-products. There’s not a particular ingredient I prefer, I’d rather respect and follow the rhythms of nature by seeking the best of the season in the territories. I always keep my mind open and I do not have foreclosures or conditioning - I like to accept and work out what nature offers me. Yes, definitely, it happened when I saw for the first time a sturgeon on a cutting board and I still can’t handle it. I am used to sectioning and boning every kind of meat but I have never managed to overcome the visual approach with that fish. With caviar it is different… Special cooking techniques or equipment you particular enjoy using... The technique and the equipment is important, of course, but it’s secondary to the chef’s relationship with the products he/she is using. I’ve learnt this through years of research and practice and, for me, my proximity to each ingredient makes each dish what it is at the end of the cooking process. Feeling the heat of the fire, listening to the slice of the knife, it is this that helps me to personalize my cooking and learn how to adapt all of the different ingredients in front of me.

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a culinary journey that harmoniously combines elements of classic and contemporary cooking... ‘GARDEN’ + HIBISCUS

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LUIGI TAGLIENTI

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“I express my cooking in a completely personal way and follow my personal inspirations”

Produce, Creativity or Technique…

All of them are equally important but, you only reach the perfect balance if you add to these the elements of gesture and knowledge. The Best Chef of the Year, a Michelin star, several accolades - What keeps you motivated at this point of your career? I keep on pursuing self-improvement and what I’m strongly trying to achieve is to conceive a project of a restaurant that can arouse curiosity both in Italy and abroad. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, what advice could you give to chefs who are entering the kitchen for the first time? If someone approaches this profession attracted by its glamorous side, he/she is totally off track. Cooking is a way of expressing yourself and if you feel that this is the path, things are coming. First you have to learn a trade and do not look for the spotlights because they can easily move and end up illuminating somewhere else…

CRISPY CHOUDFROID WITH VANILLA CHOCOLATE AND COFFEE

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LINO SAURO

B

orn in the village of Gangi in Southern Italy to a family of farmers in Sicily, Lino still calls himself a ‘traditional village boy’. Ever since he was young, his interest in the culinary arts was influenced by my father. He spent his childhood helping my father harvest crops and slaughter animals, and making fresh ricotta cheese from scratch in the morning was part of the family’s tradition. Eventually, his interest led him to leave home and pursue a career as a chef in Stuttgart, Germany and Lake Garda in Italy, where he gained valuable experience and the love for the art of cooking before eventually venturing into Singapore.

LINO SAURO

BRINGS SICILY TO SINGAPORE

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When the time came for him to see the “world beyond his nose”, he spent six years on the road, encountering culinary traditions and chefs from Amazonas River, Peru, Chile, Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, China and most of South East Asia, including Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia. In each country, he sought to understand its true culinary heritage. In Vietnam, he volunteered in a local culinary school in Hue, Vietnam, and taught Italian dishes in exchange for lessons on Vietnamese cuisine. In Myanmar, he fished in rivers, visited remote villages to eat snakes and other ‘exotic’ ingredients that was the norm with the locals. He also trekked to the middle of the Amazonian River, in a village called Yurimaguas in Peru, and stayed with a family who showed him local dishes, from the use of lime to using cocaine leaves for tea. He even visited the local tribes, exchanging his Nike t-shirt for a native skirt made from tree bark and stained with local fruit (which he still has in his collection today).


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LINO SAURO

BARRAMUNDI GRILLED KUHLBARRA FILET ON SICILIAN CAPONATA & PISTACHIO SAUCE

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SALT BAKED SEA BASS


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“It’s important to understand which flavours will enhance and balance each other and I always aim to use my food to represent my best memories of Sicily”

Lino is committed to the preservation of Italian authentic traditions, for this to happen, these traditions need to be updated and refined for the modern day palate. His cuisine is focused and inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients, creative with the finest produce, creating a composition of flavours. “Firstly, it’s important to understand which flavours will enhance and balance each other and I always aim to use my food to represent my best memories of Sicily, and to work with flavours that will give my guests an enjoyable experience” adds Lino. In 2010, Lino opened his Sicilian style restaurant Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare in Singapore which has been recognized as one of the “Top Italian Restaurants” by the international, prestigious Gambero Rosso Restaurant. He then went on to open Olio in 2016 in Sydney, Australia.

YELLOWFIN TUNA STEAK

In 2016, he was honored with the “Chef’s Choice” Award at the World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence. The Chef’s Choice award is dedicated to an individual whose skills are greatly recognized by the peers in the industry, and is a validation of his decade-long contribution to the industry. In the same year, he was also inducted into the WSQ Mentor Chef Hall of Fame award, which recognizes Mentor Chefs whose contributions to the Study and Work Pedagogy have been significant, substantial and long standing. EX.IT April 2018 -

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LINO SAURO

EX.IT catches up with Lino Sauro… Tell us about your previous experience which helped you as a chef… It was during my six-year travel through South America and South-East Asia that has the most influence over who I am as a chef today. I had the opportunity to meet many locals and to learn their traditional, heritage cuisine and it helped me to better understand the people and the country. Which is why it’s so important to me that Gattopardo and Olio champion true, authentic Sicilian cuisine. Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process of creating a new dish… Sustainability is a huge part of my philosophy and is the keystone of my restaurants. We believe that our seafood and ingredients should be sustainably sourced because we have a responsibility to ensure that the environment is preserved for future generations. At Gattopardo and Olio, we’re constantly working with new, seasonal produce and the first step is always to understand what elements will complement each other to bring out the true flavor of the main ingredients. The best that I’ve created is our Signature Gattopardo Seafood Stew. As an island, Sicily has plenty of access to fresh seafood and it’s a huge part of our diet back home. Hence, I wanted to create an authentic Sicilian dish, using mussels, fish and squid in warm broth that is full of hearty flavours.

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SIGNATURE GATTOPARDO SEAFOOD STEW IN TERRACOTTA POT

RAVIOLI SICILIAN RED PRAWNS, WINTER BLACK TRUFFLE AND BURRATA SAUCE

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LINO SAURO

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Ingredients that inspire you and your favorite ingredients... Right now, I’m currently working with plenty of white asparagus from Europe and scampi from Western Australia. I tend to add new seasonal dishes to the a la carte menu at Gattopardo regularly, to give guests the opportunity to try new, seasonal items that might not be available throughout the year. At Gattopardo, the Sicilian Gambero Rosso (red prawns) is one of our favorites. It’s considered the jewel of Sicily due to its creamy, melts-in-your mouth texture. Fresh octopus is one my favorite as well at Gattopardo. When cooked perfectly, you get a beautiful texture that holds up to different flavours. We serve citrus grilled octopus alongside spicy roasted bell peppers, and we also have our signature Risone, which is very rich with bone marrow and red wine braised octopus. Special cooking equipment… My favorite equipment is the Thermocirculator. It’s very handy especially with the current manpower issue in Singapore’s F&B industry. It helps us to cut time, cost and food waste and even help to achieve the perfect texture and taste of each dish. We mainly use it to regenerate food that has been cooked and refrigerated, such as octopus, squid and oysters. Produce, Creativity or Technique… I would say that technique would be the most important to me. I believe that even if you have the most exquisite ingredient, or you’re full of brilliant ideas, it still wouldn’t amount to anything if you don’t have the knowledge of culinary techniques needed to execute the dish perfectly. EX.IT April 2018 -

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LINO SAURO

Your greatest influence in the kitchen… It’s definitely my home island of Sicily. Over there, seafood is a huge part of our staple dishes and fresh seafood is a big part of what we do at Gattopardo and Olio. It also inspires me to share the magic of seasonal produce, because different ingredients are available every season at my family’s farm. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… It’s sometimes glamourous, but it’s a lot of hard work and long hours. I believe it’s best to travel to expand your knowledge and skills as a chef. Travelling gives you the opportunity to meet new people, it expands your boundaries and gives you greater exposure to cuisines and ingredients beyond what you’re familiar with.

What do you do to stay on top of the new cooking trends? For me, I keep myself updated by constantly learning from my fellow chefs, joining local and international culinary festivals, where I get to meet many different people. At Olio, we have the Michelin-starred guest chef programme, where I invite world-class chefs to Olio and we cook a special dinner together and it facilitates an exchange of ideas and tips. Last year, I participated in the Jakarta Culinary Festival, it gave me the platform to meet talented chefs from all over South East Asia and introduce my cuisine to a wider audience. Not only do I get to share my cuisine, and it gave me an opportunity to learn what people like.

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SICILIAN CANNOLO

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GIOVANNI LUCA DI PIRRO

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GIOVANNI LUCA DI PIRRO Born a Romagnolo, originally from Abruzzo and adopted Tuscany, Giovanni began his career at a young age as cooking was a family tradition and a passion. He took his inspiration from his dad who was a cook and he lived his life in the kitchen. He saw his mother and grandmother prepare fresh pasta in the traditional way and he brought all these experiences into his cuisine. Having trained at the Institute Hotelier Malatesta of Rimini, Giovanni went on to and then went on to gain his experience both in Italy and in Europe.

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a truly authentic Tuscan experience in touch with the rhythm of nature...

EX.IT catches up with Giovanni Luca Di Pirro…

Your previous experience…

My studies were a specialization in cuisine as most of my colleagues, of course during the studying period I made some basis experiences in various restaurants as part of the education. After finishing my studies, I thought it was important to get international experience, discover new traditions, The inspiration for a dish is most of the time different ingredients and techniques, so I worked extemporaneous. You need to be curious about in different restaurants in London, France and the ingredients, about the culture, about new Germany. Few years later I felt ready to come back influences. It could happen that I get an inspiration to Italy and make working my new skills. It was an from something I’ve seen, from a book or an article excellent experience as a sous chef in an important I’m reading, from a particular taste or from other restaurant in Piedmont where we got the first Michelin dishes I’ve tried. From that point I start elaborating star, a very thrilling sensation. Consequently I different solutions, working the ingredients with worked for other important restaurants in hotels different techniques or combinations in order to and resorts in Italy until I moved to Tuscany where find the right balance, the idea I have in my mind. I’m based since 2004. Your cuisine is inspired by the tradition and the territory, based on raw seasonal materials of highest quality and freshness, giving a touch of modernity to your creations -how do you bring about this balance on a plate?

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GIOVANNI LUCA DI PIRRO

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“A cooking philosophy that is inspired by the tradition and the territory, based on raw seasonal materials of highest quality and freshness, giving a touch of modernity to his creations”

Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process you go through to create a dish… My philosophy is to let the region inspire me. The quality of the ingredients is fundamental and of course if you want to deliver an extraordinary experience you need to have them fresh, you need to know personally the producer and visit them regularly to certify that the standards you want are accomplished. My daily contact with producers and dealers is the only way to have always the best and also be the first to have first fruits or new products, and maybe able to add a new dish to my seasonal menu. All my contemporary dishes are linked to local and Italian cuisines, my signature ones like The Egg, or The Pigeon or the Chianti Snails Ravioli found an inspiration from local ingredients. The Egg which is a poached hen’s egg, with a crispy crust. I was working with another chef for an event and while working I’ve tried this cooking technique as a joke, something to taste together at the end of the day with my colleague, but its particular consistency and full of flavor which made me immediately understand that this was a dish I will have brought with me forever. I like to prepare it in different ways according to the seasons, it could be with asparagus and fava beans during spring or black truffle in autumn. EX.IT April 2018 -

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“Tuscany offers a wide variety of fresh and seasonal ingredients, so I’m inspired by the seasons more than a particular ingredient” Ingredients that inspire you, your favourite ingredients and ingredients that you were not able to master… Italy and now Tuscany offers a wide variety of fresh and seasonal ingredients, so I’m mostly inspired by the seasons more than a particular ingredient. Spices and herbs are a big inspiration for me at the moment. Their combination with meat, fish as well as vegetables totally change the range of flavours we are used to. I personally know all producers of products I use in my cuisine and buy only the best they can offer. Most of the products are organic and Tuscan. Fish is really a must in my menus, it is a very versatile and delicate ingredient. Although Castello del Nero and La Torre restaurant are based in the Chianti wine region, so a countryside area of Tuscany, we are actually just one hour drive from here. The Tuscan coast offers a huge variety of fish, shellfish and other seafood I like to elaborate. I don’t specifically like peppers, they have a very strong flavour which is fantastic alone, but most of the time it covers the other elements of the dish.

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GIOVANNI LUCA DI PIRRO

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I have been a chef

for more than 30 years, so obviously I love my work. Food is never stress, it is energy, it is wonderful!”

Special cooking techniques or equipment you enjoy using… Sous Vide, Dryer, Pacojet are tools which I really love to use in my kitchen as they offer the possibility to elaborate the ingredients I’m using, organize the kitchen work in advance or make it quicker in order to serve dishes timely to the guests. Produce, Creativity or Technique… Produce is the most important one, then the technique, creativity is the last part as you cannot work just on the creativity you need the base to express your skills. What is your greatest influence in the kitchen? The kitchen organization is fundamental to provide a good and timely service. The respect of each role is important too, the kitchen should work as a machine, each part is vital to the other and should work smoothly together.

NICK BRIL AND MARTIN KLEIN

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GIOVANNI LUCA DI PIRRO

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What keeps you motivated at this point of your career? You never stop learning. New tools, new techniques, new influences give you the motivation to explore and use the ingredients in different ways. What do you do to stay on top of the new cooking trends? Updates, books, visit to other colleagues’ restaurants, constant contact with other chefs. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time‌ First of all do not start your cooking career just for the glamorous side, the life in a kitchen is not that, it is more hard work and passion. Humbleness guides you through a career of increasing success.

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GATEANO PALUMBO

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GAETANO PALUMBO orn in Sicily, Gaetano grew up in Sciacca, a traditional fishing town in Agrigento Province, an area known as the culinary heart of traditional Sicilian cuisine. “I believe that each and every one of us is born with passion and the magic skill of cooking. It is just the matter of when the passion is brought out. As for myself, I have always wanted to become a chef since a very young age, having the idea to travel around the world to discover the distinct unique taste and flavor of each authentic cuisine. This existing inner passion is then unraveled and developed as we get the opportunity to meet and work together with other passionate great chefs from around the world, each having their own unique ideas and perceptions about the culinary world� adds Gaetano.

B A SICILIAN TOUCH

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GATEANO PALUMBOWA

WG catches up with Gaetano Palumbo at the award winning contemporary Italian restaurant Rossini, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit in Bangkok‌ A cuisine focused and inspired by your rich food heritage, a combination of the finest produce infused with modern techniques, creating a composition of flavours which is impeccably balanced... I find the balance of taste being the most important factor when creating a dish. I strongly believe that we should not only focus on one key ingredient but find the right balance between all the existing ingredients. Whenever I create a new dish I don’t have more than 3 initial ingredients to start with, so that I can later on add other flavors to balance out the taste. I always start from salty to sweet and then adding savor to balance it out. At times some spice or spicy flavor is added to keep the harmony in each dish.

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MILK FED VEAL TORTELLI, RICOTTA TRUFFLE CREAM

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GATEANO PALUMBOWA

st e b e h t of e m o s h t i w s l l i ? f sk e h y c r a a n s i l a u u c o r y u p o l y e h d t e i n o d i h d w o You h , d l r o w e h t n i s f e ch

140 - EX.IT April 2018

LAMB LOIN WITH CANNELLINI BEANS AND PANCETTA


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

I think that it is very important to have the opportunity to work with many Chefs as each of them are different with different unique skills and techniques, but all having the same focus of creating food with simplicity, yet with quality. I had great opportunities to work with many chefs including Chef Antonio Sciullo, Chef Franco Brancatella, Chef Alfredo Russo and Chef Fulvio Pierangelini. Each of them has given me the unique skills and mind-set that has developed and moulded me into who I am today. EX.IT April 2018 -

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GATEANO PALUMBOWA

Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process to create a new dish‌ My culinary philosophy is to keep each dish simple and transparent. The process that I go through when creating a new dish is to reflect the past, back to my childhood memory. Back to the time when my grandmother made heartwarming home cooked food. I long for this and find it an important factor in my cooking today. I very much love to rediscover the taste from the past and bring it to the present.

142 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

MIYAZAKI WAGYU SIRLOIN, BANANA SHALLOT ,SAUTÉED SEA ASPARAGUS

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GATEANO PALUMBOWA

Ingredient obsessions - ingredients that inspire you, your favourite ingredients and ingredients that are a challenge‌

In the past I had an ingredient obsession with balsamic reduction and explored many different ways in using balsamic reduction in my food and to balance the taste of other ingredients in my dishes. However, after years of experience in different parts of the world I have had the opportunity to encounter many different ethnic ingredients and therefore no longer find myself to have an obsession to any particular ingredient. My only obsession now is to explore more and more ingredients from around the world and use them to create and balance out my dishes. There is no particular ingredient. I do like to use seasonal products and ingredients in my creation. This enables me to use only the best of quality that is in season and thus help to make top quality dishes. Having been brought up in a small fisherman town, I very much prefer to work with fish or seafood, in particular grouper, scampi, red mullet, mussel, wild seabass and turbot. I myself love challenges and therefore prefer to discover as many ingredients as there are. This will then help me to expand my culinary knowledge and help to inspire me to create a new dish.

144 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

SEARED BLACK COD, POTATO FOAM, SAN DANIELE DUST, OLIVES

EX.IT April 2018 -

145


GATEANO PALUMBOWA

TAGLIATELLE RAGOUT, SWEET PEA, PECORINO DI FOSSA AND MINT

146 - EX.IT April 2018

ALASKAN KING CRAB WITH ENDIVE AND NECTARINE


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“Everyone has a passion for local cuisine and produce, and learning the art of cooking is just as important as enjoying the pleasures of eating good food”

Special cooking equipment…

I love to use the Pacojet machine and the water bath circulation for sous vide cooking. These are the two most important items for me to use in the kitchen. They support me to get the best texture and flavour for our dishes. Produce, Creativity or Technique… To start with, the product you work with is the most important. If you don’t have a great product you will not be able to be a great Chef. All your creativity or technique you learned doesn’t really help, if the product is not of good quality. The creativity and technique supports the chef to create a great dish or menu. What keeps you motivated? Not one day is like the other, every day is different and gives me new challenges. It never gets to the point that I feel not exited when coming to work. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, Also the part of teaching something new to my your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time…. team is very inspirational and satisfying. To be a good Chef you need a lot of passion for your job, you need to be creative and a team player I stay mainly educated on new cooking trends with good knowledge of people and the food you through Culinary Magazines, by buying new prepare. It has very little to do with the cooking cooking books when traveling and reading multiple shows you see on TV. The journey to become a Chef blogs of my favorite chefs. is marked by hard work, long hours but also fun. How do to stay on top of the new cooking trends?

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147


MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

148 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

The chef behind the popular Italian eatery. For over two decades, Maurizio has been recreating his family’s recipes and brings a taste of traditional Italian cuisine to Casa Mia in Dubai. EX.IT catches up with Maurizio...

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149


MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

150 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I grew up in Germany as my parents use to run their ice cream shops there. I have to say that the ice cream business was started by my grandfather many years before and it became our tradition. I’m born let’s say behind the “counter” and the environment all around me acted like an imprint. In the early sixties, ice cream making wasn’t as “easy” as today as example: my father use to roast the hazelnuts with sugar for the required time just to make the hazelnut ice cream and the cones where made traditionally in-house. Every day the farmers use to deliver the eggs, milk and all the necessary fruits or nuts for the ice cream and basically I continued my professional life the same way.” EX.IT catches up with Maurizio… Your cuisine is inspired by a combination of fresh and quality ingredients, creating a composition of flavours… I really think, and my thoughts are reinforced because I’m Italian, that the life, the area, the country, the atmosphere and the moments where I grew up and is an inspiring source for every dish. One dish “Pumpkin dumplings with smoked ricotta and light brown butter”, this dish reminds me of my grandmother, she was a real master. I remember exactly the atmosphere when I eat that dish and even the beautiful sunshine that day and funny enough, it was just few days before Easter like now. My grandfather sat in front of me, my cousin on my left and my grandmother on the right eating, cooking and talking non-stop, it was great.

Tell us about your previous experience which helped you as a chef… I think I was very lucky to join a great kitchen brigade in a highly rated hotel to start my first professional steps in my career. This happened in Germany where French cooking was the basic of every single preparation and this is still guiding me in terms of organisation and inspiration. However, the Italian roots influence me with the use of ingredients and with flavours. EX.IT April 2018 -

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MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process of creating a new dish… As a restaurant chef with consolidated “European / traditional” background, I try always to be realistic. The dish which deserves to enter in my la carte menu must be easy enough to be realized even in very busy moments. This doesn’t mean the dish need to be minimalistic no, the flavours, cooking method, garnishes and presentation need to be consistent all the times because this is what the guests want and reason for them to come back.

I have no best recipes because it’s like asking a mother which son or daughter she prefers…

All the dishes that I have made and I’m doing still follow the same path: ingredients - seasonal and good quality, feasibility, new products, influence of my past, disclosure of old or ancient recipes by reading books or other sources, experience, and methods learned from other chefs. Ingredients that inspire you, your favourite ingredients and ingredients that you were not able to master… From time to time I use to visit vegetable and fish markets in Dubai, however I have to say in Europe this would happen more frequently mainly because of the offers. Here in Dubai I work with excellent importers and distributors which can help in providing the ingredients I need, the only problem is that sometimes I have to wait a bit longer to get the item I want and this can kill the “moment” of inspiration. There is many new ingredients that inspire me the latest one is the Plancton, which gives many opportunities and can match in addition to fish, pasta or risotto. My favourite ingredients has to be Extra Virgin Olive Oil, all type of flours and prime season products. I never give up and knowing myself even the hardest task can be overcome with more dedication. One of the many things I would really like to master in a more professional way is the bread bakery process, from the selection of flour to the final product, this is something that is not easy and is a complete chapter by his own.

152 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

“In 2017, Maurizio was honoured by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella and was awarded the Star to the Merit of Work award, for his commitment and contribution to the Italian dining in Dubai” 154 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

“Maurizio has been recreating his family’s recipes and brings a taste of traditional Italian cuisine to Casa Mia in Dubai”

Special cooking techniques…

Your greatest influence in the kitchen…

Yes, for some preparations I use low temperature either vacuum or steam cooking, cooking with oil for meats or vegetables confits. However most of the time I usually prefer to follow the traditional way because the flavours will be completely different as example: veal ossobuco braised traditionally gives a flavour that can hardly be reached by using a low temperature process even if the ingredients ratio is exactly the same. I’m looking forward to receive the new charcoal oven which is still traditional in grilling but give better results in terms of taste, time and texture of ingredients.

The first years of my professional career guided me and still lead my way especially in my own mode of approaching the daily tasks. What influenced me a lot in culinary “philosophy” and technique was Chef Enzo De Pra, I joined his Ristorante Dolada, which was two star Michelin in the eighties. There I understood the importance and the great value of Italian products, we use to visit farms or small factories where great quality products grow or are produced. I remember when Enzo was in his kitchen, he used to be so excited to try and propose this new dish with that type of chicken or potato. This is what influenced me a lot, a mixture of dedication and passion in the discovery of products and the ambition and love to share this with others. There I learned also how to smoke my own salmon or trout and how important it was in keeping the smoke as cold as possible, I remember that I asked a carpenter to build my own smoking cabinet with a special type of wood to have the lightest and persistent smoke scent in the salmon. And last but not least the fact that you can make the most tasty, simple and complete dish just by the use of the most common ingredient available just out of your doorstep, perhaps on the field in the backyard!

Produce, Creativity or Technique... For my personal opinion all three are of the same importance, if I have to rate the first most important it will definitely be Technique by means of product knowledge, preparation and cooking skill. By technique I mean skills and I would exclude the help of equipment which is basic anyway. Produce, I rate that second because a good product in prime season with the right ripeness, texture, flavour and colour can only give added value at the dish. And lastly Creativity, which is important for flavour combinations or presentations, unfortunately and specially in the past 20/30 year’s creativity often destroys simple basics. Chefs just for the pleasure to be labelled as a trendy/modern protagonists of cooking offer very often weird combinations or “deconstructed” dishes. So I ask myself: why do I have to deconstruct a Tiramisu which is a combination of ingredients put together centuries of hard work and widely accepted by guests? So just go to a bar and ask for an espresso, a bit of whipped cream and one ladyfinger biscuit and this will be almost (eggs are missing) your deconstructed Tiramisu’.

156 - EX.IT April 2018

What keeps you motivated at this point of your career? I have to say that in my life I’ve always been supported by my wife and this is essential for who is doing this job. Long hours, stress, pressure and limited personal time unfortunately create often difficulties in relations. I was very lucky and still I am. What motivates me daily is just entering the kitchen, there there’s always something new waiting for me, new recipes to try, new ingredients to check and unexpected things that need an answer.


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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157


MAURIZIO LAZZARIN

158 - EX.IT April 2018


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time…

Before even thinking of becoming a chef, I highly advise the person to erase completely the belief about a chef ’s life created by these notorious nonsense “Master Chefs” TV programs...

Done this, then most probably you have a chance to work on a clean and innocent mind and be ready to understand clearly few basics: Chefs spend long time to learn techniques, and accidents like cuts, bruises and other are just comma in the daily routine. When others celebrate New Year Eve, Christmas, Easter and any end of the week, you are busy at the restaurant and there is no way to be at home with the Xmas tree or in the Pub. Chefs very rarely become multi-millionaires. While working in a brigade always follow rules of the superiors and respect their experience gained through years of hard work. Chefs will never reach 100% of knowledge of their job. If they think they have achieved very high levels that means they just need another 98% to complete their score. And lastly, satisfaction and motivation come from the bottom of the heart, very simple food that opens emotions. EX.IT April 2018 -

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WG MAGAZINE JANUARY 2017

WG MAGAZINE

2016 A COLLECTIVE OF CHEFS

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2016 GELINAZ! WWW.WGMAGAZINES.COM

WG March 2017 -

1 WG MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2016

a feast for the palate...

GÉRALD PASSEDAT

LE PETIT NICE

REIF OTHMAN

MEDITTERASIAN CUISINE

PACO TORREBLANCA

MAESTRO PASTELERO www.wgmagazines.com

WG MAGAZINE JULY 2017

ARNAUD DONCKELE

A TRUE ARTISAN

ALBERT ADRIÀ ENIGMA

MASSIMO BOTTURA

FOOD FOR SOUL

JONATHAN BERNTSENS CLOU CUISINE

DANIEL BOULUD - EX.IT April 2018

160

PASSION FOR NATURE www.wgmagazines.com

PEPE MONCAYO

UNUSUAL PAIRING ASIA’S 50 BEST BARS WG July 2017 -

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EX.IT April 2018 Issue