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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO JULY RUSSO 2018

LUCA FANTIN

CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN

NIKO ROMITO

LOTHAR PEHL

GLOBAL ORIENTED HOTELIER www.extraordinaryitalian.com

A SELF-TAUGHT CHEF

ENRICO BARONETTO

AT THE DORCHESTER EX.IT August 2018 -

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JOËL ROBUCHON 1945 - 2018

“the world has lost one of the greatest culinary references” Rest In Peace

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WG EX.IT EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ

REIF OTHMAN

JORDI ROCA

ANDRÉ CHIANG

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YANN BERNARD LEJARD

YOSHIHIRO NARISAWA

MANU BUFFARA

PAUL BOCUSE


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BYAUGUST ALFREDO RUSSO 2018

SEBASTIAN FRANK

AUSTRIAN CLASSIC

GUILLERMO CRUZ

SAKE PAIRING

VINEET BHATIA THE TASTE

www.wgmagazines.com

JOSEAN ALIJA

7 SUMMER DISHES EX.IT August 2018 -

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“everyday I work in search of pure tastes and Monviso is clearly the superior mineral water choice for me” Chef Alfredo Russo THE TASTE OF PURITY CAPTURED IN A BOTTLE!

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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 E-mail : info@conceptplusstyle.com I osama@conceptplusstyle.com - EX.IT August 2018 www.conceptplusstyle.com

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

SMOKED EX.IT August 2018 -

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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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Supporting the community of owners and investors with a proven record of success in hospitality development and management.

Lothar R. Pehl Lotharpehl@gmail.com EX.IT August 2018 -

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

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“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, - EX.IT August 2018 Sydney, Australia

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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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AUGUST 2018

Editor

Fabian deCastro Alfredo Russo

Feature Editor Contributors

Maria Lourdes Laura Pedrazzoli Elisabete Ferreira Michael Hepworth

Photography

Victoria Shashirin

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 ©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.

ALFREDO RUSSO ALFREDO’S OYSTER DOLCE STIL NOVO ALLA REGGIA - VENARIA REALE, TORINO

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

The world has lost one of the greatest culinary references, as a teacher and innovator, Joël Robuchon has constantly created iconic recipes. A true musician to the heart, he considered his cuisine like music, an authentic art. The “Chef of the Century” will be dearly missed. Adieu Monsieur Joël Robuchon. A seasoned, global oriented hotelier who served over 20 years in senior executive roles. Now an hotelier and independent consultant for private clients on hospitality related projects. Lothar Pehl previously served as AVP for Marriott International in Japan, Korea & Guam and prior to acquisition of Starwood as Senior Vice President Operations & Global Initiatives for Asia Pacific Starwood Hotels & Resorts. From a small town in the Central Italian region of Abruzzo, we meet this aspiring broker, self-taught cook with deep ties to his territory – Niko Romito is in constant pursuit of the essential, of balance, of taste. He was able to forge a culinary grammar that is as unique as it is personal. Marco Martini has the perfect balance of beauty, tastiness, instinct and technique, his cuisine is defined as evocative. A visit to San Sebastiano to meet with chocolatier Fabrizio Galla and his signature Jessica! Taste Memory… It’s all about elements recognizable on a plate with Alessandro Breda, with his combination of tradition and innovation. Harmony is the fundamental element in Floriano Pellegrino’s dishes. In every dish that he imagines and creates, he tries to harmonize the individual taste of the individual ingredient. Andrea Camastra, the master of flavor and sensory combinations, ambassador of “Note by Note” cooking and the successor of Ferran Adrià. At the Dorchester with Enrico Baronetto and his dynamic team ensures a unique and enchanting experience. We head out to the East with Luca Fantin and his Resident Head Chef Fabrizio Crocette. Luca offers a contemporary interpretation of the Italian culinary tradition, in a sophisticated and at the same time informal atmosphere at Il Ristorante Luca Fantin, Bvlgari Hotels in Tokyo and Bali. Buon appetito!

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AUGUST 2018

CONTENTS 28

Global oriented Hotelier

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A Self-Taught Chef

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At The Dorchester

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Contemporary Italian

88

Alfredo’s Oyster

90

Master Of Flavours

102 The Chocolatier In San Sebastiano 112 A Unique Culinary Experience 124 Taste Memory 132 Creating His Own Identity

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MARCO MARTINI VITELLO PANATO ALLA MILANESE OSSOBUCO E ZAFFERANO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

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LOTHAR PEHL

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LOTHAR PEHL

seasoned, global oriented hotelier who served over 20 years in senior executive roles. Born in southern Germany, he started his career working with Park Hotel Adler Hinterzarten, and later at Hotel Traube Tonbach, both iconic Luxury hotels with tradition in hospitality excellence. After gaining experiences at some of Germany’s finest Luxury Hotels, Lothar expands his knowledge in global destinations through international hotel companies. He joined the Sheraton Hotel Frankfurt in 1984. Sheraton would later merge into Starwood Hotels and Resorts, creating one of the most innovate lifestyle companies of hotel brands and service experiences. Starwood merged in 2016 with Marriott international. After working at The Sheraton Frankfurt (where he got married to his wife Brigitte), he left Europe for Casablanca before moving further east with assignments in Dubai, Beijing, Bali, Sapporo, Seoul, Kyoto, Tokyo and Bangkok. In 2007 he was appointed to be part of unprecedented growth for Starwood in Japan, Korea and Micronesia as Regional Vice President. Starwood would become one of Japans Leading International Industry players. In 2012 at the helm of 7 countries, he was to lead the operations team in Starwood Asia Pacific as Senior Vice President Operations and Global Initiatives.

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LOTHAR PEHL

EX.IT catches up with the veteran hotelier Lothar Pehl… How hospitality has changed? In this my answer only focuses on the changes in the restaurant dining environment as the hospitality industry overall goes through fundamental changes. Today we cater to a global audience of millennials and like i call my kids” (‘techno citizens’). This translates into tech savvy guests using technology to inform them self and stay informed well ahead of their arrival to a restaurant. Likely to book their table and order using some form of technology, this presents a unique opportunity for a restaurant owner. It is our guests who enable us to sell the restaurants signatures beyond food and beverage. Be it a stunning view, tables, décor, privacy, comfort of seats and much more. In a world of personal opinions abounded, social media has become a powerful marketing tool. Guests are self-nominated and motivated marketeers, posting pictures and comments on social apps and platforms of review. In consequence digital responses require a fresh approach of knowledge.

“The simple rule is that guests should never leave a restaurant unhappy”

Someone must monitor what is happening and respond if possible in person but definitely on line. Restaurants require a digital platform including the profile of the Chef, his philosophy behind the food alongside inspirational online engagement and material. Doing it right will not only drive reputation and business. It will also avoid unpleasant surprises because there are plenty of ill-wishers who seek to benefit from these tools at a restaurants expense. Good food is in my mind best cooked with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, this will add environmental and economic sustainability to the list of benefits and unique selling points.

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THE REVERIE SAIGON LOBBY PHOTO © THE REVERIE SAIGON THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD

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LOTHAR PEHL

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BAR 81 PHOTO © SIGNIEL SEOUL THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“My personal luxury is making time and feeling comfortable to enjoy the things that I love and care about”

Luxury… how would you define it?

Luxury is about responding to individuals in a way where we deliver what guests believe they deserve. Luxury in the past seemed exclusive to the big purse whereas today luxury transforms into boutique under the same mantra “The believe is to deserve” to be recognized, have your views shared. It is no longer a single viewpoint but has diversified based on personal preferences and authenticity. It becomes “my” exceptional moment in time. My personal luxury is making time and feeling comfortable to enjoy the things that I love and care about. In the dining world this translates into trust for what a chef promises, creates and delivers. It goes beyond star ratings which evolve ever more into pressure to make money on the asset. A chefs investment into a star rating is huge, it starts off with his talent but is quickly hijacked by financial, psychological, physical and reputational objectives. Guests’ needs have changed, what do guest expect when booking restaurants? Our guests are ever more knowledgeable, they know what they are looking for and they definitely feel “they deserve the best”. A.I. filters and drives selective information that supports your personality and beliefs through your device. Patrons look for and appreciate experiences that correspond and compliment their views. Be it the cuisine, health orientation, cultural values, style of cooking or physical presentations supported by location and structural components.

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LOTHAR PEHL

“Multiple cultures and cuisines, techniques and spaces within the same dining venue combine into a unique experience for success”

A successful F&B personnel… does one need to be more generalist. The world of Food and Beverage continues to grow as the world overall becomes smaller and more affluent. This requires hoteliers and restaurateurs to work together. Hotels need to bring diversity, quality and excitement to the client that goes beyond what free standing venues can offer. As hotels have arguable more capital available, their concepts will need to be and should be more all-inclusive and invite a larger base of guests. Multiple cultures and cuisines, techniques and spaces within the same dining venue combine into a unique experience for success. That does not require Chefs to be generalists but have the ability to stay true to dishes, add a touch of experiencing to stay still authentic but fresh and bring texture to the table. Suggestions to the new generation of hoteliers… Our business has undergone significant change in virtually every area. Hoteliers are best advised to be open to departure from old traditions. Agreed, some will always have their space on menus and techniques but are often at odds with economics. Hoteliers need to separate processes in-between departments at the property. If international branded the dining experience should fit to the brand. Owners and General Managers need to allow for enough time and budget to create a relevant concept and execute against it.

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THE LONG @ TIMES SQUARE PHOTO © THE REVERIE SAIGON THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD

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LOTHAR PEHL

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WELCOME PAVILION PHOTO © SOORI BALI THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“The platform of initial success is the concept and the value that is provided�

Hotel chains create unique customer profiles, how are hoteliers delivering a personalised guest experience? Where hotel chains have an ability to create customer profiles, their success resides in their loyalty program and recognition of individual guests, group bookings and event capacity. Different populations patronize a restaurant for a specific reason that needs to be understood. Customer loyalty data indicates not only spending patterns but allow to identify trends and respond. However, not every hotel puts resources aside to effectively analyse data and market their restaurants to their loyalty members. The ultimate risk is that hotels accumulate data for sake of data and commence pricing for discounts. Many companies try to enrol more members every day and every year. For me that is possibly the wrong approach. I believe quality data from those few return guests will be a better way to engage. As guests allow us to use their data, we are authorized to communicate directly. This is where organizational structures and work process structures need to align with guest expectation. The platform of initial success is the concept and the value that is provided. From there on a restaurant must stay relevant. In this I see a green field opportunity for hoteliers.

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LOTHAR PEHL

COTTA RESTAURANT PHOTO © SOORI BALI THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD

How hotels can compete and win with food & beverage operations? The right concept for the hotels brand and location combine with an offering that is relevant to the audience. Think of it this way. For a hotel in a business district, there is likely a market for a restaurant offering fast luncheon, eat in or take out have an offer for Happy hour post offices close. In a resort destination guests will have more time and emphasis shifts towards dinner. In any case, environment, brand, value proposition and the right concept will invite guests to experience your offer. As Hotels start to think of guests as individual “would like to have” relationships, services and offerings change. We want to welcome guests as friends that have come to our house and join us for a good time with a meal. Hotels should find it easy to create experiences that are authentic to the property and include talking points for guests to take home and more importantly, talk positively to friends and over social media and then come back.

STAY PHOTO © SIGNIEL SEOUL THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD

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R&J ITALIAN LOUNGE & RESTAURANT PHOTO © THE REVERIE SAIGON THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

THE LOUNGE PHOTO © SIGNIEL SEOUL THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD

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LOTHAR PEHL

ALFREDO RUSSO - DOLCE STIL NOVO RAVIOLI DI MAGRO

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ALFREDO RUSSO - DOLCE STIL NOVO ZUPPA DI FAGIOLI E PESCE


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Italian food offers ability to use local regional ingredients because there is no “one single Italian cuisine”

THE FRANKLIN RESTAURANT BY ALFREDO RUSSO OCTOPUS AND POTATO

Your thoughts about Italian cuisine around the world…

Fresh, regional, simplicity, quality produce, natural taste, refinement through herbs, paired with a beverage. Unique and pleasing to the palette, Italian cuisine is seasonal and honest. Professionals such as Alfredo are few. I compare them with artists that work through and with their senses. They have the ability to understand how ingredients react and combine before they are come together on the plate. They also know that food makes us happy. Good food that is. One goes dining when hungry, looking for that crunchy, sweet, sour, spicy, herbal, refreshing and warming sensation that tingles our senses and makes us chew one more time, taste one more fork or spoon.

ALFREDO RUSSO - DOLCE STIL NOVO PAPPARDELLE CARBONARA

For me Italian food is also affordable. How often did I encounter restaurants that serve you the most exotic and most distant ingredients that one can get? They are not fresh, create negative environmental impacts and become expensive. Italian food offers ability to use local regional ingredients because there is no “one single Italian cuisine”. This opens the door to chefs to think and engage around them self. And here comes an added benefit about Italian dining. It entices to share and to invite family and friends to join me for good food and paired beverages. The perfect platform the lift our spirit with good conversation and friendship. THE FRANKLIN RESTAURANT BY ALFREDO RUSSO CASSATA SICILIANA

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NIKO ROMITO

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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orn in Castel di Sangro, a small town in the Central Italian region of Abruzzo. His father had a historical pastry shop, which was open from 1970 to 2000, until it was converted into a restaurant. For Niko Romito it has always been a place of the soul: this is where he spent many years of his childhood, when he returned from Rome to Abruzzo for the holidays. This is where his passion for leavened products and sourdough comes from. He used to eat the “bomba”, a krapfen like pastry, which was the only thing he was happy to eat every morning (now the same is converted into a street food format).

Niko Romito PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

When his father suddenly passed away, his trattoria Reale was just opened, and he decided to keep it open only during the summer and then sell it in order to go back to Rome and continue his life. At that time he was studying economics at the university and he wanted to become a broker. He had only five exams to take to complete his degree and no culinary experience at all. His initial efforts at Reale was driven largely by improvisation and survival instinct, accompanied by a relentless research and a strong entrepreneurial attitude. It was the ultimate reason that made him decide to attempt a career as a chef, he realized that he had to make a choice, which life was putting him in front of a challenge which he decided to face and together with his sister Cristiana, he took over the family restaurant. It was sort of driven by an inner instinct. He was not sure at all that he had taken the right decision back then, nevertheless after the summer he didn’t close the restaurant and decided to follow this path going through a completely new experience, without any safety net.

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NIKO ROMITO

This aspiring broker, self-taught cook with deep ties to his territory, in just 7 years he received 3 Michelin stars, followed by several more distinctions, such as the “Performance of the Year” award from the Espresso Guide, the 84th place on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2016 and the “Dish of the Year” award, with the highest score of “5 Hats”, from the Espresso Guide in 2017. EX.IT catches up with Niko Romito… As a self-taught chef, you trained at some of the best kitchens, how did it help you as a chef? I am a self-taught chef. When I started the experience at Reale, I immediately realized that I needed to acquire solid technical and theoretical foundations so I took a couple of short courses of cuisine while working in the kitchen. I spent twenty days in Girona at El Celler de Can Roca (two Michelin stars at the time, now three) and I realized that I needed to change direction. My encounter with Valeria Piccini and her husband Maurizio Menichetti at Da Caino (two Michelin stars) in Montemerano (GR) has been fateful: the personal and professional relationship that was born there still continues to this day. I was incurably curious: every free moment I had was spent in the pages of a book or at the table of one colleague or another.

ROASTED SAVOY CABBAGE PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

All these experiences, completely different from each other, contributed to shape a new vision of my cuisine” “

Valeria taught me the value of working with local products and producers, the meaning of respecting the essence of raw materials and the importance of creating a familiar and respectful atmosphere inside the restaurant among the staff. From Roca’s brothers I learned how technology and techniques can help you to transform a product according to the idea you have in your mind and the inspiration you have in that moment. I learned the importance of being able to use equipment and tools in order to create a dish that follows your inspiration.

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REALE PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

ONION REDUCTION WITH PARMIGIANO CHEESE AND TOASTED SAFFRON PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

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NIKO ROMITO

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ALCOHOLIC MIXED WILD GREENS WITH ALMOND PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Who would you say is your mentor?

PIGEON AND PISTACHIO PHOTO © ROBERTO SAMMARTINI

I studied a lot to figure out my career as a chef, I often visit restaurants and colleagues, I took inspirations from chefs with esteem but basically I have no mentors. I created my original gastronomic language on my own along the years, approaching cuisine with an attitude always curious, extremely creative and always looking for the essence of ingredients and the truth every dish has to tell. Your cuisine highlights the purity of flavors in perfect harmony on each plate…

“My cooking is founded on study, experimentation and technique, but it is only through balance that extreme complexity translates to linearity”

I rely extremely on a limited number of ingredients in order to focus on radical essentiality: working in this way, the slightest misalignment emphasizes eventual mistakes. Put simply, when there’s no overabundance of flavours on the plate, all is laid bare. My cooking is founded on study, experimentation and technique, but it is only through balance that extreme complexity translates to linearity. All my dishes is in a millimetric balance, and this balance is founded on different elements of nature. Flavours and volumes, as well as temperatures, structures and the ‘geography’ of the fork or spoon. How the bite enters the mouth, how it interacts with the taste buds, how it leaves the palate. Elements that prolong the aftertaste of a given dish on the tongue, leaving perhaps a single flavour in contact with the receptors for an extra second or two; elements that generate a progression of flavours according to a precise sequence. It is only through balance that acidity pushed to the max can evolve into sweetness; that a feminine touch can transmit a masculine vibe; that the sobriety that evokes the purity of certain childhood dishes can become elegantly sophisticated.

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NIKO ROMITO

“I often say that my cuisine is not complicated, which is not to say that it is without significant complexity” Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process of creating a dish, the inspiration behind the dish… My food is often described as simple, this is very true, in the sense that it is not complicated, which is not to say that it is without significant complexity. Simplicity is a fundamental value to me. I often say that my cuisine is not complicated, which is not to say that it is without significant complexity. In cooking, complexity can be advantageous; complication never. By virtue of this simplicity, or rather linearity, or essentiality, my food can be appreciated at the intuitive level, without having to be decoded. It is no accident that my recipes are enjoyed by both those with gastronomic training and those without. I work from the ingredient, trying to awaken its intrinsic power rather than add it. I don’t want the ingredient to get lost, but rather explode on the palate with all its vitality. Balance is also crucial, along with lightness and health. I want to provide our customers with lightness rather than weigh them down, ensuring that after a good number of courses they feel good, their palates still capable of perceiving flavours and their digestion uncompromised. The ‘lightness quotient’ of my dishes, however, is not the result of calculation. I don’t create food that is balanced from the nutritional standpoint to satisfy a moral imperative of healthy eating, sacrosanct though it be. The techniques I use lead me naturally to create dishes that are neither sweet nor fat: my cooking is light and balanced because only in this way can it express the ingredients to the maximum. My dishes reflect my cooking philosophy, they speak on my behalf telling my story. I strongly believe that creativity is something you have or you don’t, but it does not remain constant; it comes in waves. My creativity finds its maximum expression when I find the time to isolate myself in my kitchen and let all the thoughts and reasoning that come from my travelling, from the people I meet along the way, from my students, from the restaurants I see, the daily experiences arouse and give me the right stimuli and feed my ideas. In the kitchen theory and practise are always connected. Sometimes I start with taking inspiration from the raw materials: textures, colours, flavours, everything can inspire me but I do not have a precise idea of what to do until I start to transform the ingredient. Other times I start from a theoretical assumption, like a chromatic assonance or a specific technique that I want to apply to a specific ingredient (In Gratinè cauliflower, for example, I used 8 different techniques for only one ingredient).

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GRATINÈ COULIFLOWER PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

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NIKO ROMITO

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FRESH RAVIOLI FILLED WITH CHICKEN PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“In constant pursuit of the essential, of balance, of taste. He is able to forge a culinary grammar that is as unique as it is personal”

Ingredients that inspire you and ingredients that you weren’t able to master… I work with many different ingredients, but in general I prefer working with common ingredients, those things that people eat on an everyday basis. I am very interested on structures and textures that modify our perception of well-known ingredients: that is to say, when the structure itself becomes an ingredient. In “Roasted eggplant, tomato and peach caramel” for example, you can feel the taste of the eggplant, but the structure is completely different than normal. Mastering ingredients…. there are many. Creating a dish requires hundreds of tests, and until I am 100% convinced I keep trying. It happened many times, but even all the efforts that in the past I believed to have failed, become a stock of knowledge that I could use in the future, so let’s say that every experiment is worth trying. What would you say is an overrated ingredient? Like in any other field, also the food industry has its trends that affect the selection of ingredients. I think that every ingredient has its dignity and its importance in the gastronomic landscape. Special cooking techniques, equipment’s you particular enjoy using … I used in the past and I still use various techniques and different tools: steam cooking, distiller, pressure cooking. At the moment I am really fascinated by cooking with the fire, using grilling techniques not exclusively but as a finishing part of a more complex process of cooking. ESSENZA PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

Produce, Creativity or Technique… All of them are very important, but the more relevant element is the concept that lies behind. Like in an orchestra, the chef is the director that has to coordinate and put together produce, creativity and technique making them work harmoniously in order to realize dishes that fulfil clients’ expectations and that are coherent with the chef’s cooking philosophy.

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NIKO ROMITO

REALE PHOTO © ALBERTO ZANETTI

Your greatest influence in the kitchen… I always say that the greatest luxury for me is living in Abruzzo. My cuisine comes from this lonesome land, the local producers, the mountain and its silence. My region runs deep in my work, but what used to be a quite literal “presence” (through an updating of the local gastronomic tradition, with early dishes that were at the same time contemporary and reassuring) has gradually shifted, an emancipation of sorts. I still draw from my territory for the best products but today for me Abruzzo mostly represents an ideal: it stands for focus, respect and truth - applied to the ingredient. Your earliest food memory, flavours from your childhood... Produce from sheep-farming: cheese, vegetables (like “orapi”, wild spinaches very famous in this part of Abruzzo), stale bread used in many recipes from the pastoral tradition. When I was a child I used to go to the shepherds shelters along with my grandfather, and I still remember the flavours of those great products.

PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

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REALE - THE CELLAR PHOTO © ALBERTO ZANETTI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

CALF SWEETBREAD WITH CREAM, LEMON AND SALT PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

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NIKO ROMITO

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FRESH RAVIOLI FILLED WITH CHICKEN PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I have a team made of people who think, choose, create every day and share my goals and dreams”

What keeps you motivated?

I’m always moved by a relentless curiosity and a constant attitude to research, studying, experiment new things and create new projects. In the space of few years I have developed a diversified system in my monastery, Casadonna that beside Reale restaurant comprises also a professional cooking academy equipped with large workshops for the R&D into new concepts and recipes. I enjoy training and gastronomy education and, together with my team, have also created a street food chain (Bomba), a casual dining format staffed by graduates of my school (Spazio), and a gastronomicscientific protocol (Intelligenza Nutrizionale, “Nutritional Intelligence”) for application to mass catering, hospitals, schools, and canteens. I developed an unprecedent format for Bulgari Hotels and Resorts all over the world (Il Ristorante Niko Romito is now at the Bulgari Hotel of Beijing, Dubai, Shanghai and soon in Milan), now we’re opening a bakery to produce and distribute our bread in Italy and Europe (I’ve been studying and researching on bread for more than 15 years) and a new project is about to be unveiled. The Casadonna’s system is a continuous, self-sustainable flow where a project that blossoms in one of the outer sections generates ideas that flow back inwards and take root at the Reale restaurant. All these projects are connected, it’s a pattern that goes from top to bottom, outwards from the centre, reaching a larger and larger public.

PHOTO © ALBERTO ZANETTI

Moreover, I have a team made of people who think, choose, create every day and share my goals and dreams. Sometimes I stop, I listen to them, I watch them working with boundless energy and vibrant passion, and I am happy. That’s where my dream mixes with theirs. I believe that sharing a goal is the driving force that leads to the success of a project or an idea, but it is the sharing of a dream that reverberates in a disruptive way on the outside and that is inevitably perceived by those who also enjoy it.

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NIKO ROMITO

PHOTO Š BRAMBILLA SERRANI

In the past years how has cuisine changed around the world... 56 - EX.IT August 2018

In recent years in Latin America a major gastronomic revolution took place thanks to people like Martinez and Acurio in Peru, Olvera in Mexico, Atala in Brazil. These chefs have connected the gastronomic world of indigenous populations to contemporary cuisine, creating a modern cuisine with antique products, those of their original territories. An important process, which through food has enhanced the natives’ identity and their culture and at the same time has created an absolutely original culinary language, not repeatable elsewhere. Even in Australia, many chefs are working well exploiting the incredible natural resources of that marvelous, boundless land that has so much to offer. When I was there in 2017 I experienced in person their great attention to the raw material, the work on cooking and structures, their direct approach to the kitchen. Other places like Turkey, Portugal and Ireland are doing an important job of promoting their gastronomic culture in the world starting from the territory and its products and exploiting tourism. There many young people employed in catering activities transporting the culinary traditions of the country in the contemporary gastronomic scene. I think there is a growing interest about food in terms of a deeper awareness of how food is related to health, environment, about the interaction amongst all the actors in the food chain. This means a broader knowledge of food in terms of what it really is, and not only of how to cook it.


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

VEAL JELLY, DRIED PORCINI, ALMONDS AND BLACK TRUFFLES PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

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NIKO ROMITO

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ALMONDS, YOGURT, SAGE AND CANDIED LEMON PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

LICORICE GRANITA, WHITE VINEGAR, WHITE CHOCOLATE AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR PHOTO © BRAMBILLA SERRANI

“A chef must be curious, devoted and zealant, never stop studying”

Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, your advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… I would say that being a chef is a hard job: you have to be strongly motivated and very passionate to do it. It’s important not to forget that food is culture, memory, link to a territory and its products, link to the own roots. First of all a cook has to understand his culinary background, and then let himslef to be contaminated by other gastronomic cultures. I would also say that a good chef is the one who works with the team and always questions himself, taking his ego apart from the kitchen and letting the ingredients enhance, using his creativity taking into consideration taste, produce, territory. Furthermore, a chef must be curious, devoted and zealant, never stop studying.

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ENRICO BARONETTO

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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ENRICO BARONETTO

PHOTO Š PIERRE MONETTA

rowing up Piedmont, this is where Enrico learnt the true meaning of hospitality. His extensive experience in Michelin-Starred restaurants throughout Italy and in London. He began his career in 2000 at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road in London before moving back to Italy to work with Carlo Cracco and Enrico Crippa. He then returned to London in 2012 as Assistant Restaurant Manager at The Ledbury, before reuniting with the team of three Michelinstarred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay as Restaurant Manager, and since 2017, Enrico has been the Restaurant Director of Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester in London.

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ENRICO BARONETTO

“luxury is first about attention to details from the moment a guest makes a reservation to the moment they step out of the restaurant”

EX.IT catches up with Enrico Baronetto… How hospitality has changed?

I have seen lots of changes on the London scene over the last 10 years. In general, I would say that guests are much more prepared and more knowledgeable. Everyone has become a bit of a foodie and loves visiting restaurants. In 1998, no one was going out to eat. Today, it has become a sort of hobby. With that, the quality of restaurants has dramatically improved. And the diversity of cuisines available in London is second to none. So many great options on all levels, from pizza to fine dining. The meaning of luxury… In our industry, luxury is first about attention to details, and this in all areas of the operations; from the moment a guest makes a reservation to the moment they step out of the restaurant. Luxury also involves tailoring, with a bespoke approach of service and offering a sense of great comfort to the guests. To tailor our service, we have to be able to understand our guests and this understanding comes through engagement and the relationship that is created. Also, I would say that it is nowadays a real luxury to enjoy an experience leisurely and not being rushed through it. We want to provide our guests with that space and bubble.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

DORSET CRAB, CELERIAC AND CAVIAR

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ENRICO BARONETTO

DRY AGED BEEF, ARTICHOKE AND BONE MARROW

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BABA LIKE IN MONTE CARLO


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Guests are keen to engage, story-telling has become essential, it’s about engaging and sharing something memorable...

Your previous experience which helped you as Director of a restaurant… I worked for over seven years at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Hospital Road in London. This experience shaped me as a man but also as a professional. There, I learnt discipline, attention to details and to each and every guest. Everything that we did there was very important for what I have become today. But I have to say that I took away something from all the restaurants I worked for. I am grateful to have been able to cross path with amazing professionals.

MAIN DINING ROOM

Clients’ needs have changed, what do clients expect when booking restaurants? To put it simply, clients expect to spend the time of their life when booking with a restaurant like ours. There is a lot of anticipation ahead of a booking that is made 6 months prior. Some guests may have their first three Michelin starred experience and sometimes, their last as it can be quite expensive. So, expectations are always very high and therefore, everything has to be perfect. I also feel that guests are also looking more and more for an escape bubble to forget about their lives. I was talking about a bubble earlier and this is how I see it; each table is a bubble which we have to protect. It is about being transported out of the everyday. Guests are also very much keener to engage. Story-telling has become essential. It is about engaging and sharing something memorable. We want our guests to take away with them something unforgettable.

MAIN DINING ROOM

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ENRICO BARONETTO

Enrico Baronetto and the dynamic team ensure a unique and enchanting experience…

What makes a successful F&B Director today? Do you need to be more of a generalist? I would say that at the end of the day, guests come back for what we do. So, HR, management, financials are very important but guests have to remain the priority. And, of course, a successful F&B professional needs to understand the basics in service to deliver a smooth and elegant experience. From my mentors, I took away these basics and I also understood that personality and passion cannot be taught. Management is key, as we need strong back and front of house teams. And by that, I believe that we have the duty to support our teams in their development and growth. It is about investing in them. All this knowledge can then be shared with guests and used as a point of connection and engagement. Your suggestions to the new generation of restaurant managers… Again, my advice would be not to be afraid to invest in their teams, to train them, to share as much knowledge as possible. We have a duty of transmission to the younger generation. Also, it is easy today to be drawn away from the floor but no, spend time on the floor, not in the office! Finally, come together as front of house professionals to shine some light on our industry and expertise. Your thoughts about Italian cuisine around the world… What can I say?! I am proud to see that Italian cuisine is one of the world’s favorites!

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

RUBEN DESPORT, THIBAULT HAUCHARD, JEAN-PHILIPPE BLONDET AND ENRICO BARONETTO

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ENRICO BARONETTO

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HALIBUT, OYSTER & SEAWEED


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

How are the best restaurants creating a unique customer profiles and how do they deliver a personalised guest experience? What is the amount of skill required to be an expert to properly pair food and wine…

“It is about passion first”

And with passion comes curiosity and the will to try and learn. The more one tries, the more knowledge and experience one acquires. Skills are important and it has to become natural to involve the teams, and not be afraid to try and exchange. It is all about team work and creating a synergy that will carry every team member and push them to deliver and be at their best.

It’s a mix of personal engagement and technology. Technologies can help too but cannot replace or overcome the human aspect. First and foremost, it is important to create a connection with the guests. A good contact and exchange are key for us to remember guests. It is the best memory technique and having a great memory is paramount. It is about having that personal relationship from the moment the reservation is taken to the moment guests leave. How can hotels compete and win with food & beverage operations? F&B is the key to innovation for hotels. It is about understanding the guests’ expectations, the area the hotel is situated in, and how it can benefit to the overall revenue. F&B operations are also very important as most probably, guests will start and end their day with them. So it is about the memories and good times that are created again.

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ENRICO BARONETTO

How would you describe your restaurant and what is the experience you offer? We offer French contemporary cuisine with a bespoke service in a relaxed and friendly environment. The experience... Friendly, Contemporary and Innovative. Friendly: We want to remain accessible to everyone and approachable. And move away from the stuffy service that one could imagine here. Contemporary: it is about staying relevant for our time; and Innovation is key in cuisine but also in service. We put in place a symbiotic way of working based on lots of exchanges between the back and front of house.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

TABLE LUMIERE - ALAIN DUCASSE AT THE DORCHESTER

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LUCA FANTIN

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

LUCA FANTIN As a child, Luca spent most of his time with his grandmother, since his parents were busy at work. His grandmother was a very good cook and use to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dishes for the family. Helping her in the kitchen, he found cooking to be very interesting, so he started to learn. Cooking was her way to show her affection and for him the most fundamental thing in cooking was love...

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LUCA FANTIN

“Luca Fantin usually draws his inspiration from the changes of the seasons and the fresh ingredients locally produced in Japan”

After receiving his diploma from the hotel school, he started his professional career in 2000, working at the most famous kitchens and top-ranked restaurants in Italy and Spain Cracco, Gualtiero Marchesi’s Osteria dell’Orso, Akelarre, Mugaritz and La Pergola. In 2009, he based himself in Tokyo as the Executive Chef of the Bvlgari Il Ristorante Luca Fantin. He usually draws his inspiration from the changes of the seasons and the fresh ingredients locally produced in Japan. In fact, 90% of the ingredients he uses come from Japan. Only very few ingredients with certain quality which he cannot find are imported from Italy, such as Carnaroli rice, cheese and olive oils. Even if he uses Japanese ingredients, the flavours that his guests taste through his dishes are Italian. When guests close their eyes, they cannot say if they are in Italy or in Tokyo. EX.IT catches up with Executive Chef Luca Fantin in Tokyo and Resident Head Chef Fabrizio Crocette in Bali… You trained in some of the best kitchens, what was the experience and how did it help you as a chef? I would say that every experience I had with various chefs was fruitful, but if I need to highlight the most influential one, I would say Chef Heinz Beck at La Pergola. Chef Heinz Beck had a very clear idea of the flavours; with him, I learned their importance and how to combine different flavours into the same dish. However, even if your dishes are creative, if they are not delicious there is no meaning in cooking. He used to tell me: “How do you want to make your restaurant full, with professional chefs or with guests?” Obviously, you know the answer.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

TARTARE, AVOCADO CREAM, SMOKED VEGETABLE

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LUCA FANTIN

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OCTOPUS, CAPSICUM CREAM, POTATO, OLIVE


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“My cuisine “contemporary Italian” is focused on traditional Italian flavours created with modern techniques”

Luca Fantin’s cuisine strikes a perfect balance between taste and aesthetics: the beautiful presentation and intense fragrances announce to the eyes and nose the extraordinary experience in store for the palate. His creative dishes are contemporary interpretation of Italian cuisine, based on the use of quality seasonal ingredients with refined techniques and artful creativity. A perfect culinary approach that blends tradition and innovation.

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LUCA FANTIN

“My inspiration comes from nature, which guides me on selecting all kinds of ingredients”

Your culinary philosophy, and take us through the process of creating a dish… Based on traditional Italian flavours, I create a contemporary Italian cuisine with locally produced ingredients and always keeping an eye to Italy, my homeland. To create new dishes, I never focus on a dish, but on ingredients. For example, if I select carrots as an ingredient, I do trials and cook it in 10 different ways. After a careful review, I select the best method, the one that is more close to my idea. Then, gradually, I work with other ingredients in a similar process. When I create new dishes, I start working as if I do not have any knowledge of that ingredient; otherwise, I believe I cannot reach the goal where I want to be. Ingredients that inspire you, your favourite ingredients… My inspiration comes from nature, which guides me on selecting all kinds of ingredients, from vegetables to fish and meat. Right now, I am particularly inspired by prawns, lobsters, clams, herbs and corn. There are no specific ingredients that I prefer to work with. Our restaurant is a fine dining restaurant and we have the possibility to use all kinds of ingredients to create degustation menus. Produce, Creativity or Technique… Produce is the most essential thing for me. In my opinion, creativity and technique are required to present the produce in a better way.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

COLD SPAGHETTI WITH CAVIAR

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LUCA FANTIN

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BAR 81 PHOTO © SIGNIEL SEOUL THE LEADING WAGYU HOTELSBEEF OF THE EGGPLANT WORLD


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“I believe that cuisine has changed a lot in terms of techniques”

Awards and accolades… what keeps you motivated?

When I was assigned as the Executive Chef of Bvlgari Il Ristorante, I was really excited, as it was my first experience as a chef managing a restaurant on my own responsibility. Being part of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list and ranking at number 28 was a significant experience for me because I could feel that what we have been doing so far has been appreciated by others. It was also a great pleasure to discover that Fujio, a young chef representing Japan, won the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 among 21 chefs from all over the world. I have been working with him as his mentor almost for a year and when he got this result, I was very happy as if I were the winner. What I seek for myself is to improve every single day. Train yourself and learn something new to make your guests happy. This is my motivation. How Cuisine has changed over the years? I believe that cuisine has changed a lot in terms of techniques; not only techniques of cooking, but also techniques related to produce such as animal slaughter and cultivation. Moreover, we chefs have more knowledge of cooking and that has enriched the cuisine of today. What is the meaning of luxury? For me, luxury cuisine does not always mean something special. Luxury does not necessarily mean to use expensive items such as caviar or white truffle. Even a simple liquid made from fresh green beans or freshly caught sardines can be luxury as far as they have great quality, there is a lot of work behind and they could give you something very emotional.

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LUCA FANTIN

What can guests expect at Il Ristorante Luca Fantin? I’d like to invite guests to a culinary journey into Italian cuisine through the fascinating landscapes of Japan, with the freshest local ingredients that reflect the four seasons of the year. Suggestions to the new generation Italian chefs… Needless to say, cooking technique is important to create dishes, however it is useless as far as you don’t have very sturdy basic. I would like to tell them not to look for shortcuts to success, but to make effort every day to improve themselves. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… Today, people tend to see only the glamorous part of the chef as a profession, but I would say that it is a very small part of what we do on a daily basis. Being a chef is not effortless, what is required is not the luck, but a consistent dose of hard work.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

COCONUT TEXTURES

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FABRIZIO CROCETTA

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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orn in Ravenna (Emilia Romagna) and grew up in Cervia, a small town on the Adriatic Coast famous as a summer holiday destination and for the sweet salt “Sale Dolce Di Cervia”. Fabrizio grew up with the locally produced food of the area, ocean-fresh seafood and seasonal vegetables cooked in a very traditional way, this is how he got his inspiration from these ingredients. Since he was a child, food was something very familiar to him as his family used to have its own vineyard and kitchen garden. Also Emilia Romagna was famous for its rich food culture and products such as pasta, cheese and ham.

FABRIZIO CROCETTA

During the summer holidays, he had the chance to work in restaurants and he liked working in the kitchen where he was able to always learn new things. That was very fascinating for him and from that moment he put his heart into cooking. Fabrizio worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy and abroad such as Lido Lido in Cesenatico and Uliassi in Senigallia. With Vincenzo Camerucci, so called “The Teacher” because those trained in his restaurant always became good chefs, he learnt how to work in a kitchen: not only being clean and fast but focusing on details, looking for the best ingredients, being precise and also the real meaning of hard working! With Mauro Uliassi, he learnt the importance of creativity, how to find new combinations of flavours, the use of modern equipment, and also appreciated his devoted focus on the taste of the dish. His desire for international experience took him to Asia where he could refine his style through serving gourmand customers from all over the world at luxury hotels.

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FABRIZIO CROCETTA

With Luca Fantin based in Tokyo and Fabrizio in Bali, Fabrizio works very closely sharing new ideas or any difficulties...

CARPACCIO

With the experience in Italy, he learnt how to organize the kitchen, how to cook classic cuisine, how to be creative and the importance of the taste. After moving to Spain, he acquired new cooking techniques. This was during the Spanish cuisine boom and he was so excited to see new textures there. In Thailand, he discovered different flavours, different ingredients and especially the importance of spices and their balance. LUCA FANTIN, FABRIZIO CROCETTA

In Thailand, he participated in the opening of the Italian restaurant Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket and after two years he joined Indigo Pearl luxury hotel in Phuket where he rose to the position of Executive Sous Chef in 2014. He later joined BVLGARI Il Ristorante - Luca Fantin at the Bvlgari Resort Bali as the head chef and he brings his modern Italian sensibility to the exquisite culinary experience delivered by the Luca Fantin. With Luca Fantin based in Tokyo and Fabrizio in Bali, this talented chef serves a fine cuisine with quality seasonal ingredients mostly local, refined cooking techniques and artful creativity. “With Chef Luca Fantin based in Tokyo and I am in Bali, even if there is a long distance in between, we work very closely sharing new ideas or any difficulties. The communication between us is something very fundamental and I am so glad to work with him and to pass his culinary philosophy to our guests through our dishes: says Fabrizio.

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COLD SPAGHETTI AND SQUID INK


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

SWEET MOMENT

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ALFREDO RUSSO

I have a natural passion for “clean� flavours and the recognizability of ingredients is one of the main priorities to guarantee the purity of tastes. In my kitchens I always have a strong base in fresh herbs, aromatic oils and spices. Very often, the challenge is about how many key ingredients need for a preparation... in this case one is more than enough! Enjoy my oyster Alfredo Russo

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Alfredo’s Oyster by Alfredo Russo Ingredients: 6 fresh oysters Extra virgin olive oil Pepper Lemon juice Slices of toasted bread

Preparation: Shuck the oysters and pack them with their water in a vacuum bag. Steam it at of 70C ° for 20 minutes. Once cooled, season the oysters with salt (if necessary) oil and pepper. Blend it finely and work it in an ice cream machine as a classic ice cream or if available with a Paco-jet. Serve with a few drops of lemon juice and slices of toast with extra virgin olive oil.

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

B

The master of flavours and sensory combinations…

orn in Bari, Puglia in a mixed French-Italian family. Andrea was brought up in the culinary tradition of Italian cuisine. His love and respect for natural products came from Bari, a place where fresh seafood is eaten raw and the town of Queen Bona Sforza, who taught Poles culinary curiosity and new tastes. He started working in the kitchen at the young age of 10 and he didn’t want to be a chef but since his father passed away and in a big family, he wanted to bring some money home. Half of the family has been in the F&B industry – hotel directors, bakers, pastry chefs and guess it was his destiny to be a chef.

ANDREA CAMASTRA

Andrea gained his experience in the best kitchens and he still broadens his knowledge about Polish cuisine. Interestingly, his relations with Poland are also personal. You can say that Andrea has fallen in love with Poland and a Polish girl. He was awarded the titles of Chef of The Year North England, Chef of the Future 2015, and Chef of the Year 2017 by Gault&Millau Guide, and later won a Michelin star for SENSES restaurant. This master of international culinary language has been appreciated worldwide. Hervé This recognized his big talent, determination and diligence and named Andrea Camastra the ambassador of “Note by Note” cooking and the successor of Ferran Adrià. The next chapter of his culinary journey begins…

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

“Hervé This gave to me to change the gastronomy world again. He is the person who drives my actions.”

EX.IT catches up with Andrea Camastra…

Your cuisine highlights the purity of flavors on each plate… I generally do what I feel is correct, he palate is our best friend and first with my scientist in my kitchen lab, we picture the flavours in our brain and then we put them in practice. The secret is not to put too many strong flavours in one place, only a few but very intense, elegant and defined, and to do so we use our equipment in the laboratory. Your culinary philosophy… It may sound strange to you but I pretty much function naturally. I don’t push myself to create and for sure I don’t sit down for hours trying to come up with dishes. It comes very randomly and instinctive. I believe that when it is natural, it is creative because it comes out of fantasy or if we create a new technique, we will build a dish around it. For me the most important word for creation is spontaneous. You trained at some of the best kitchens, tell us about your experiences and who would you say is your mentor? Welll I have a lot of friends who chefs, food legends but for me it has been self-teaching. I went to a culinary institute, worked with my family members as baker, in pastry but today I apply new methods to everything as I am obsessed with precision and perfection. I have a very intimate relationship with my job I don’t have a mentor…but there are 2 people who means a lot to me. One is Pierre Gagnier, who is a good friend and a fabulous man and chef and Hervé This. Hervé, the legendary scientist who invented molecular gastronomy in 1986 and the inventor of the new note by note method, he gave to me to change the gastronomy world again. Hervé is the person who drives my actions.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Your ingredient obsession…

“Note by note” means preparing dishes out of basic constituent chemicals extracted from natural compounds of the best quality. It is the highest possible culinary sophistication where the chef is an artist limited only by his own imagination and skills.

My favourite food is cheese and bread but I like to work with just about everything. thanks to our laboratory and scientists working there is no problem in executing anything we want but as well more possibilities means more confusion and more difficult to make the right choice. Yes maybe we have many possibilities but not always they are all good to serve. Yes the obsession is to always find the best quality product in season but it doesn’t matter which one, for me a potato can be as luxurious as a truffle if the right choice is made. There is a lot of overrated ingredients these days due to mass productions. Before artisan making were making the ingredient unique and these days you find a huge mass and very often low quality. As luck has it and being the ambassadors of the Note by Note method, we work with pure compounds that gives us the chance to have flavours for all season regardless what product we will use. Special cooking techniques or equipment you particular enjoy using? As cooking techniques are concerned, it is unique because we have a range of personal methods that we develop in the lab. Equipment’s in the lab… it’s a kind of chefs Disneyland really - rotary evaporator / rotavap, centrifuges, homogenizers, lyodryer, etc. Produce, Creativity or Technique… Creativity, because the other two are a must and you can’t do without and should not even attempt cooking without, you need them both. It’s like a musician, if he wants to compose a track he must have the technique to study and a good instrument to make it possible but out of one million musicians who will make it to the big stage is the one who knows how to use those skills to be creative and different from the next person. So yes it is creativity and the other two you have to acquire it.

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

“I am in the kitchen every day for 17 hours, there is no other place I want to be”

Your greatest influence in the kitchen…

It is the passion, commitment, love, frustration and artistry. The desire to make things happen that pushes me to do always more. I am in the kitchen every day for 17 hours, there is no other place I want to be in as I feel comfortable in the kitchen. if you love what you do the road is much shorter. Your earliest food memory, flavors from your childhood… I am a very different person, I don’t have a particular memory about food memories, I remember almost everything of the past, I loved everything I ate and smelled before. I don’t have a memory of doing some bread with my grandma or things like that because every moment I spent with food was an important one that changed my daily routine. The world of food is what I have always been in, this is what my life is made off, my holidays are not holidays but culinary trips, my days off are passed with my wife deciding what to eat etc. I am constantly surrounded by food - my past, present and future, and this is reality. What keeps you motivated? Having been selected by Hervé This to be the new elbulli, the new Ferran Adrià, so now we are about to write another page of history and that’s what drives me at the moment, to do something good for the humanity in the most humble way.

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

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EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

What do you do to stay on top of the new cooking trends? I try to come out with things that are never been done before, to make something new and surprising, to be on top it is important to know who and what is below and to understand what is below you must have to be there before and I did it for many years but I learned what not to do today so it was a good life lesson. In the past years how has cuisine changed around the world? It is changed a lot indeed, those days gastronomy went incredibly fast. A lot of good talents around the world and a lot of choices, while 20 years ago all the world went French now plenty different styles to take into considerations, plus the public has more knowledge so is more demanding, stakes are much higher than it used to be and the competition is fierce.

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ANDREA CAMASTRA

Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time‌ I don’t know if I’m the appropriate person to give advice as I still need a lot of advice but sure I can say that if a young guy wants to approach the kitchen work, he must be sure to know what it is and understand what it takes to arrive to the top. A lot of mental and physical work, a lot of hours and stress but if there is the love for this amazing job then all of those suffering converts into pleasure. So the secret is to love the job and have fun, having fun is the key and it is important to recognise your own passion because I have seen plenty of people who thought they had the passion but after a while they start to drop. I always tell my boys if you do the same thing for 20 years every day and you still enjoy it then you have the passion for it, remember if you repeat something you give more value to it.

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“the secret is to love the job and have fun, having fun is the key and it is important to recognise your own passion”

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FABRIZIO GALLA

The chocolatier in San Sebastiano…

His inspiration comes from the desire of making his customers live a unique experience while savouring his creations and allowing them to dream and enjoy themselves… his culinary journey started 30 years ago, at just 15 he started working as an apprentice in one of Turin’s historical patisseries, famous for its minute petit fours, weighting 8 grams each. From there, he worked in pastry for 10 years, after which he moved to restaurants for 5 years, where he embraced both sweet and savoury preparations. Part of this experience was also spent in the family’s restaurants, a traditional trattoria from Piedmont with a 161 years history.

FABRIZIO GALLA

“I found my path immediately, the day I started attending Turin’s pastry institute Arte Bianca, it was the first time I saw a sugar sculpture, of the city’s iconic Mole Antoneliana, whichh was taller than me. I was literally blown away! I’d never seen anything like this before and had never thought sugar could be used that way.” During these years, he met some Italian professionals who encouraged him to participate in competitions, a passage that has highlighted the path to becoming a true professional. He took part in 5 pastry world cups, where he always made the podium, and at the 2007 coupe du monde de la patisserie, his cake “Jessica” won the prize for best chocolate cake. Competing allowed him to really dig deep into his profession but then also learnt that the biggest contest takes place, every day, in his lab and business.

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FABRIZIO GALLA

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JESSICA


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

Jessica is more than just a dessert, it is an exciting and breathtaking experience that she is about to embark on. Through the different tastes and seven layers, Jessica will discover her own individual perception of this wonder that she is about to behold. It starts with a crispy base with I.G.P. Piedmont hazelnuts with Himalayan pink salt, a delicate Gianduja cream (hazelnut paste and chocolate) then moves on to two fluffy chocolate sponge cakes that wrap a delicious caramel with mango passion fruit and Tahitian vanilla, next a layer of soft tiramisu’ cream, and then ending with an amazing dark chocolate mousse Santo Domingo 72%. Lastly, the creation is covered with a caramel and dark chocolate mirror glace, decorated with dark chocolate and edible 24k gold leaf.

EX.IT catches up with Fabrizio Galla… Your philosophy, the inspiration behind the best you have created… It’s very simple: do everything, even the simplest thing, in the best way possible. If I say that a dessert has vanilla in it, the flavour of vanilla has to be there, present and true, something some might see as banal while it’s not at all. It’s a cake inspired by Jessica Rabbit, the best is my signature dessert, “Jessica”, a cake boasting chocolate, tiramisu, mango, passion fruit, Tahitian vanilla, gianduja and Himalayan pink salt. All the flavours are very different from each other but, after six months of trials, I was capable to achieve a perfect balance in which all ingredients express themselves in sequence, individually, without interferences. Crafting a dessert with such characteristics is very difficult, I enjoy blending all these ingredients in a serious experimentation approach, aimed at creating a good dessert that to me has to be beautiful, elegant and divinely delicious. To do this, I fully rely on my experience, year after year, attempt after attempt, I believe to have mastered the fundamentals needed to obtain a balanced dessert.

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FABRIZIO GALLA

“I’m not obsessed by ingredients but motivated by them”

The experience that helped to you as a Patissier…

Ten years ago I had the chance to work with Iginio Massari, who allowed me to understand what is needed to do to become a true professional. Massari mentored me through 3 world championships, instilling in me a unique work ethics which taught me how to work like Sherlock Holmes. Focusing on details, the research of perfection, of perfect consistencies, unique flavour combinations capable of pleasing the most diverse palates. In fact, during an international competition, the winners are not only those with the most appealing recipes but also those who make fewer mistakes. Ingredient that inspire you, your favourite ingredients and those you are unable to master… I’m not obsessed by ingredients but motivated by them. My work is constantly evolving, as are the ingredients I use. I keep looking for the best the market has to offer so that, by combining it with the best techniques, I can keep achieving optimal results. At the moment, I am truly inspired by Calamansi or Calamondin, a citrus fruit with a good acidity, a nice aromatic component that tends to be slightly bitter, not easy to work with, but I like challenges. I also working with vegetable powders, which I use to substitute colourings, and Callebaut’s new chocolate “Ruby”. I select ingredients though collaboration and dialogue, entertaining producers and manufacturers, with which I develop new products. Recently, for example, we created some aromatic citrus fruit pastes made with zest, selected sugars and a small percentage of essential oils, new in a marketplace offering only synthetically flavoured pastes. True to my roots, to Piedmont, hazelnuts are at top of my list, but I also work with chocolate a lot. In all honestly have been able to work with all ingredients, however sour dough proves challenging for a period but now I handle it with ease even if it remains the trickiest ingredients a pastry chef can work with.

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“I truly believe that there is always something new to learn and that race is never finished”

Special equipment you particular enjoy using…

Two years ago, I invented a machine to make Ginevrine (typical candy from Piedmont and Liguria) and I love playing with it! Another machine I love working with is called OneShot, capable of making filled pralines in one go, exterior and filling, with which I’m exploring new approaches. Produce, Creativity or Technique… They go hand in hand but I think that technique is more important because without a solid technical foundation creativity is rendered useless. Awards and motivated?

accolades…

what

keeps

you

Prizes and awards are a part of the professional path, they help and motivate, pushing one constantly to strive for the best. I truly believe that there is always something new to learn and that race is never finished, mantras I repeat daily. In the last years how has the sweet world changed? Equipment wise it has changed for the best because technology has been of great assistance in the last 10 years. Ovens that keep getting better, sous vide cutters, blast coolers and many other machine have helped us achieve a better product and quality of life. Ingredients are also evolving for the best and we are seeing ingredients that 5 years ago were largely unknown.

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FABRIZIO GALLA

Suggestions to the new generation of Italian pastry chefs… To learn English, to be patient and not to be afraid to start from the bottom!! Without a good learning curve and not starting with the basics it’s impossible to understand those aspects that have the power to shape out the job as it evolves in the future. Being a pastry chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, advice to young chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… It’s a fascinating profession but one that requires precision, patience, commitment, method, technical and product knowledge, where the understating of ingredients is paramount to prevent mistakes from occurring. My advice would be to study ingredients and their application thoroughly and to understand that without a good dose of patience this job is impossible to do properly.

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MARCO MARTINI

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A Unique Culinary Experience!

Growing up Colleferro, a village hour and a half from Rome. Marco’s comes from a simple with solid in values: responsibility, honesty and self-sacrifice are values which his parents raised him with and, of course, his mum passed down to him her passion for cooking and the culinary traditional flavours of their hometown. As a rugby player with a great passion after food, Marco learnt the importance of respect, team spirit and competition, both in the rugby field and in life. “I’d say I found my way into the culinary field firstly by necessity. When I was 16 years old I got a gig (a part-time job) to have some extra money in my pocket: I was a pizza delivery guy. Soon I started working for renowned restaurants such us Antonello Colonna in Labico, which was my first important experience. I was really fascinated by food and suddenly I realized that becoming a great chef in my own restaurant would be my future. And here I am.” says Marco.

MARCO MARTINI

A result of determination, enthusiasm and experience in some of the best kitchens, first with Antonello Colonna at his restaurant in Labico (RM). Marco was young, ambitious and determined. Colonna understood his talent and soon he wanted him to be the executive chef at the Open Colonna, the central restaurant at the top of Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome. He was only 24 and was given the responsibility, it was tough but a great source of satisfaction as it was the first Michelin star he received. After few years in Rome, he realized it was time to face new challenges, and one day he received a phone call from Heinz Beck. “I was talking on the phone with him and was trembling with emotion.” Working with Heinz Beck was an extraordinary experience as well as being a sous chef in Tom Aikens’ restaurant in London. After the UK experience, he went back to Rome and worked for Stazione di Posta where he received his second Michelin star.

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Finally in 2016, he achieved his dream to have his own restaurant. Marco Martini Restaurant in Viale Aventino is finally the place where he expresses his culinary philosophy. After a few months opening he was awarded with a Michelin star. ANIMELLA RABARBARO MOZZARELLA E BOTTARGA

“A perfect balance mix of beauty, tastiness, instinct and technique”

He learnt a lot from each and every experience and has the greatest regards for Antonello, Heinz and Tom as he could find his own personal style in cuisine. He wouldn’t say other chefs influenced his style, but rather say that his personal experiences, like a journey or everyday life, did it. He looks up to Enrico Crippa who is an extraordinary chef, whereas as leader and manager in culinary field I’d say an inspiring chef is Mauro Uliassi because of his deep knowledge and solid experience in managing his restaurant gained in almost 30 years. EX.IT catches up Marco Martini… Your culinary philosophy, your cuisine… My cuisine is “eyes, tummy and head”. It‘s a perfect balance mix of beauty, tastiness, instinct and technique. In my opinion a new plate it should be beautiful and tasting and their ingredients must follow the seasonality. My cuisine has been defined an evocative cuisine: each plate has its own story to tell, and it is made of emotions, memories, flavors of traditional cuisine - mainly Roman and regional Italian – but combined with innovation. Key concepts in my culinary philosophy are tradition and innovation. I think tradition, it’s our identity and should never be betrayed but read into innovation, and that flavors must remain recognizable. As for the creative process, it leads me to draw every dish in my menu. The inspiration takes shape first on paper, in sketches, and then, like in a painting, each drawing materializes on the table, enriched of taste and colors.

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FAGOTELLOCICORIAALICIMANDORLEELIMONE PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

VITELLO PANATO ALLA MILANESE OSSOBUCO E ZAFFERANO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

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MARCO MARTINI

RIGATONI AL SUGO DI CODA PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

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CALAMARO SCAROLA PROVOLONE PORRO BRUCIATO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

CREPES CAPESANTE PROSCIUTTO PISELLI E FUNGHI PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

“In my kitchen three elements are essential: wild herbs, vegetables and fond brun (brown stock). I use them to bring balance in my plates.”

Ingredients that inspire you, a favorite ingredient and is there an overrated ingredient… Ingredients I’m exploring right now are lemon, all kind of vegetables and wild herbs, like acetosella, mother-in-law tongue and chrysanthemum leaf. In nature there is such a lot of variety of wild herbs that it’s really hard to know all species; while walking I always look around to discover a new one Love working with fond brun (brown stock). I‘d say that black garlic and all kinds of fermentations are overrated ingredients. Produce, Creativity or Technique… They are all important and absolutely complementary; a great plate is the result of a balanced mix of all those elements. In order to give birth to a new creation the production has to be subordinated to an idea but, in the same way, to give shape to your idea you need technique, or rather you have to know how this technique is realized, and certainly choose excellent and selected ingredient.

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MARCO MARTINI

Each dish has its own story to tell, made of emotions and memories. A culinary excellence born from the simplicity of tradition, from memories of childhood and passion. The craftsmanship of taste that, molded with passion, creativity and study, transforms itself into excellence...

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SEPPIA PISELLI E BRODO RISTRETTO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

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MARCO MARTINI

LINGUINA PEPERONI BACCALA CHORIZO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

“It’s the most playful and creative part of me, the same part that led me to learn by working, the same part that pushes me to keep trying new things and that gets my hands dirty”

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Special cooking techniques… I enjoy using and experiment broths. Thanks to broths that I can balance and complete my plate, I surprise my clients with flavours they don’t expect and in the same way broths make easier mastication and digestion. When you’re cooking for your clients, it’s essential to think about the time they are eating and enjoying your plate but it’s also important to think about their well-being after the meal, and in fact broths helps digestion. It’s not easy to change a solid thing into a liquid thing by keeping exactly the same taste and quality they have at the beginning of the process. In my carrier very often my plates have both, such as eggplants parmesan broth, piazza bianca broth or the potato broth, which was the first broth I made. All of them help me complete my dish and they allow me to play with the consistencies, surprising my clients who unexpectedly recognize in the plate ingredients invisible at the eyes. Your greatest influence in the kitchen… A part from traditional cuisine, especially Roman and regional tastes, my greatest international influences is French cuisine, mainly for the use of broth, and Japanese, definitely I appreciate their culture and respect for food. Your earliest food memory, flavors from your childhood… My mum’s cuisine, her plates were traditional recipes from Lazio, the region where I grew up, a cuisine which is savoury and simple. These kind of flavours from my childhood actually have inspired my personal style of cuisine which is always based on the tradition, rethought by innovation. “Milk, Ciambellone and Nesquik” is actually a plate inspired by the “ciambellone” my mum used to make when I was a child, it made me drool, and I had it for breakfast or for a snack with Nesquik.


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

PEPERONE RIEPIENOAL TONNO PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

RAVIOLI ALLA PIASTRA PORCHETTA PANE E BIRRA PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO

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MARCO MARTINI

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LATTE CIAMBELLONE NESQUIK PHOTO © ANDREA DI LORENZO


EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN BY ALFREDO RUSSO

“My mantra is: never stop dreaming and don’t give up”

PHOTO © BRUNO D’AMATA

What keeps you motivated?

I’m very determined and practical: I have played rugby for more than 13 years and my character has been molded by this experience; my ambitious and agonistic attitude pushes me to challenge my dream and work every day to make it come true. My mantra is: never stop dreaming and don’t give up. Do you follow cooking trends? I don’t like to follow cooking trends, I always follow my personal style of cooking, because it’s my identity; I want people to see and try a plate and, even without knowing the chef behind it or recognize that is mine.

MARCO MARTINI RESTAURANT PHOTO © BRUNO D’AMATA

In the past years how has cuisine changed around the world? Cuisine has changed a lot, nowadays we have a strong research for innovation but most of young chefs have forgotten tradition. Tradition is important even for innovation, because you know how a traditional plate or recipe is, the most you can change and innovate it. In other words, to make a new future and an innovative path you have to know where you come from. Being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, advice to chefs entering the kitchen for the first time… The chef’s image that society shows is warped, and being a chef is perceived as a glamorous profession, it’s not true. I recommend young guys who want to enter this field to be strong and steadily determined because behind every great chef there are great sacrifices and a hard work that leads him to gain a name, prestige and popularity. PHOTO © BRUNO D’AMATA

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ALESSANDRO BREDA

ALESSANDRO BREDA

Taste Memory

Born in Conegliano, a city in the province of Treviso recognized for its Prosecco, the beauty of its hills and the strong relationship with the regions cuisine. As a child, Alessandro was passionate about cuisine and good food. He was lucky as his mother and grandmother were excellent cooks. At home great importance and respect was always given to food and this was the beginning of a culinary journey. When it was time to choose high school, he decided to take up culinary at the I.P.A.S. Alberghiero of Falcade, a hospitality-catering school in the Belluno district. After finishing school, he went on to horn his culinary skills at Ristorante Concorde, the one Michelin star restaurant in Mantova, it was the real world working with a big brigade. He then went on to work with Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan for almost 3 years, this is where he learnt the value of integrity, creativity and the concept-idea that drives a plate. Precision and accuracy were the daily cornerstone at Ristorante Tantris in Munich after which he travelled to Florence to Enoteca Pinchiorri and then on to London with the Four Seasons.

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ALESSANDRO BREDA

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Taste Memory the flavour and taste that are imprinted in our minds when we were kids...

Alessandro’s cuisine is a combination of tradition and innovation, the result of his particular personal experience and his strong sensitivity, with particular attention to the respect of colors, flavors and textures of the products of the territory. EX.IT catches up with Alessandro Breda… Your culinary philosophy, the process you go to creating a new dish, the inspiration… I like it all the elements are recognizable on a plate, and a clever balance of taste with a focus on a healthy aspect, like the use of fat (like butter) without burning it or the reduction of long cooking-methods which weight down the product. Another important aspects is the ‘Taste Memory’, as the flavour and taste that are imprinted in our minds when we were kids: think of one plate with an Italian tradition, for example the true taste of a Ragù or a fresh pasta like Gnocchi; I like to take these tastes and revisit them to create the same sensation and flavours in a modern way. I really think that by doing this you save and keep alive the Taste Memory. The process of a new dish… the idea starts from the product (seasonality is very important for me, it’s understanding the right momentum of choosing a product) and it goes through a transformation without losing its identity. Finding the right balance between the concept-idea, choice of the products, technique and flavour. Everything starts from the concept almost simultaneously with the choice of the product and through the right technique. This allows me to raise the taste, flavour and to be consistent, with the result that every product is recognizable. All these steps are most important thing in order not lose the identity of the taste.

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ALESSANDRO BREDA

Ingredients that inspire you, favourite ingredients and ingredients you were not able to master… I’m fascinated by what the season is able to give, getting the product at its best moment and right now I’m looking for vegetables, aromatic herbs and legumes. I think they need more interpretation and techniques in order to get an original outcome. I love working with lentils, crustaceans, potatoes and mollusc. If I were to select two of my favourite ingredients, it would have to be eggs and fish stock. I like their textures and the fact of using a working-class product and trying to make it original. I find it difficult to work with little winged animals as I don’t like to pluck them. Produce, Creativity or Technique… I have to say Creativity and Technique, which for me they live together. Both of them bring a mental-synthesis or summary. It starts with creativity which through a precise technique you are able to get the best out from the product. What guests expect at Gellius? The expectation is to sense of Italianity, taste and flavours that belongs to our land. I really felt it with the opening of Gellius Restaurant in Knokke, in the Flemish part of Belgium. I realized that our guests were searching that Italian taste and the identity of the Italian cuisine. Guests wanted to taste that hand-made fresh pasta, the flavours of the sauce and the pasta perfectly cooked.

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ALESSANDRO BREDA

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What was the feeling when you got your first award at Gellius and what keeps you motivated? The first feeling was that we were on the right track and this pushed me forward to do better for my guests. My research of identity where I unite myself with one of my dishes and achieve the results for which my identity will be straight connected with a signature. In the last years how has cuisine changed? Generally speaking, I think that nowadays there is more attention to details, the taste is cleaner then what it used to be before. Suggestions to the new generation Italian chefs‌ Very important is culture, the knowledge is essential: read the story of the cuisine about different eras and places, this will help you to get a global vision of this profession, also the origin of the product and their application as well as the cycles of the season is very fundamental. And always remember this job requires a lot of sacrifices. Cuisine is not about being glamorous, must have respect for everything that the food represents, don’t forget the feelings while you execute a recipe or plating a dish for your guests.

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FLORIANO PELLEGRINO

Creating His Own Identity...

Since he was a child, Floriano was always in the kitchen, his mother had a farm in Scorrano, a small village where he was born and raised. It was here that his passion for cooking began. He never stopped cultivating his culinary skills which at the beginning was only a dream, he committed himself and sacrificed a lot, hard work and determination, but above all it was the experiences abroad that made him what he is.

FLORIANO PELLEGRINO

When he realized that the kitchen would be his future, he decided to travel abroad, gain the experience required and to have professional training. He worked in some of the best kitchen in Europe with Luis Andoni Aduriz, Eneko Atxa, Alexandre Gauthier, René Redzepi and Claude Bosi at London but it was with Martin Berasategui where he tackled the hardest which is similar work to his current philosophy of cooking and thinking. Martin was and will still be his teacher. Floriano took something from everyone but their teachings would not have been useful to him if he had not succeeded in creating his own identity in his dishes. Harmony is the fundamental element in his dishes. In every dish that he imagines and creates, he tries to harmonize the individual taste of the individual ingredient. He tries to reach the balance of flavors. In Bros it’s called “gustative background”, research is done as they study the ingredients and try to go beyond the taste of the ingredient itself.

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FLORIANO PELLEGRINO

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His kitchen is defined in three adjectives: minimalist, conceptual and rooted. “Minimalist and conceptual” as simple and linear, in fact his motto has always been “The essential is visible to taste”: where everything is based on what the ingredient is, and therefore the dish, gives him the sensory and gustatory level, without too many frills and without any kind of contamination. Rooted is based on his dishes, the search for the ingredients of the territory to which he is particularly attached too. He loves the products that come from the land, the ones that every morning the farmers brings directly to the restaurant. At each change of season, he changes his menu, in short 4 menus per year. This choice derives from only one reason: you must be able to use every product and work at the exact moment when the earth offers it in its highest expression. What he simply does is amplifies its essence. During the study of the new menu, he lets himself be carried away by the aromas, flavors and traditions of the given season. He draws the right ideas not only from the memories of his childhood but also everything that the land brings back to memory ... a memory that is always alive in his dishes. Floriano adds “Ingredients, creativity and technique are the three fundamental keys to a high level cuisine. Each of these three elements can not be separated from the other: all are important in the same way. In my creations, the raw material covers an exceptional place, but without the ideas, the imagination, the innovation and a precise technique to be scrupulously followed, the raw material would remain such without any identity.”

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FLORIANO PELLEGRINO

His food memories, flavors from his childhood binds him with the scent as every time he feels that it moves him, it is the smell of burned olive branches and not an ingredient or a taste. In order to keep up with the culinary trends, he continues to study and learn, experiment and test himself. This does not mean following the fashions of the moment, on the contrary its reinventing oneself, without being contaminated. When asked what motivates him… “Every day we must find the right input to feel motivated and to continue improving. I am of the idea that we must remain focused on the goal, without ever losing focus: we must motivate ourselves to work hard, often sacrificing ourselves, believing in ourselves and continually testing ourselves, moving the bar always a little further. Only with this attitude is the right stimuli. To achieve one’s dreams, one must first believe and believe in it strongly. You must commit yourself and be combative, working long hours even 18 hours a day as I do in my restaurant; it is necessary to know how to make the effort and sacrifices in the belief that they will all be repaid. It is important to work on one’s own identity, to make sure that it is strong and absolutely recognizable in the eyes of others.”

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WG MAGAZINE JANUARY 2017

WG MAGAZINE

2016 A COLLECTIVE OF CHEFS

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2016 GELINAZ! WWW.WGMAGAZINES.COM

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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

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PASSION FOR NATURE www.wgmagazines.com

PEPE MONCAYO

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

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