Roman by birth but of Abruzzo origins, Chef Adriano Baldassarre is known to most for his amazing career sprinkled with prestigious collaborations with Locatelli in London, Antonello Colonna at Labico, and Heinz Beck. Most outstanding has been his stint at the head of the legendary Tordomatto in Zagarolo, Rome – where he won the Michelin Star in 2007, making him one of the youngest chefs to win this prestigious recognition.
He also spent two years in India as Executive Chef of the Vetro restaurant at The Oberoi, Mumbai. When he returned to Italy in February 2016, he opened the Tordomatto in the center of Rome. In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:
Your philosophy on food?
For me, the sole focus is on great-tasting food, which is rooted in traditional cooking. In short, robust flavours that have always held their own and lasted generations. I am open to innovations, but I greatly respect the traditions of the cuisine and the ingredients that one must use. When you try to change tradition too much, it does not work in the long run as you are not being true to the origin and authenticity of the cuisine.
Your favorite cuisine?
Indian and Italian
Your favorite spice?
Your hot-selling dish?
At Perbacco – Ravioli with Ricotta, Spinach and Parmesan
At my restaurant in Rome – Linguini with Prawns, Bell Pepper and Marjoram
Lessons learnt in the kitchen?
One must always remember that the ultimate goal is to make people happy with what you put on the table. So, if you cook with a happy mind and put your heart into it, it’ll show in the taste and quality of the dish.
How do you like to de-stress?
I listen to music.
How do you define yourself?
Simple, but simple is complicated.
What are you passionate about?
Taking photos, discovering and enjoying wines.
Last meal on earth, what would you choose?
If I die in India – Butter Chicken. If I die in Rome – Carbonara.
Recipe: Classic Tiramisu
Mascarpone Cheese 1.5 kg
French Cream 1 lit.
Egg Yolk Golden 12 nos.
Sugar 300 gms
Egg White 12 nos.
Kahlua Liqueur 185 ml
Ladyfinger Cookies 20 nos.
Whip the French cream and mascarpone cheese until soft. Keep it aside.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar together on double boiler until pale yellow in color. Add cheese in mixture.
In a machine bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar till soft peaks form.
Add both the mixtures by cut and fold method.
Add Kahlua liqueur in the mixture. Take fresh espresso from machine. Let it cool down to room temperature. Add 2 tablespoons of Kahlua.
Take the ladyfingers and quickly soak them in the Kahlua for about 1-2 seconds.
Place them in a serving bowl or glass.
Pour over a layer of the mixture to cover.
Repeat second layer of lady finger cookies, then again cover with cream mixture.
Let the tiramisu set in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
Dust with cocoa powder and serve.