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CHEF OF THE WEEK

Roberto’s love for cooking can be traced back to his childhood when he would often help his grandmother and aunt create delicious meals for their home. The first recipe he ever learnt was his aunt’s Torta Caprese cake, which still remains his favourite dish.

A journey that started in his grandmother’s kitchen has since moulded him into a seasoned creative and professional chef, with experience of over 15 years in kitchens all over the world. Professional studies at AMLA – The National Academy of Italian Cuisine — gave Roberto an insight into the history of Italian and international cuisines, where he further mastered Italian cooking. His sheer passion for food and love for cooking took him to exotic locales in Italy, China, France and has eventually brought him to India, his new home!

Prior to joining Le Meridien Gurgaon, his last Marriott assignment was with the award-winning Italian restaurant in Sheraton Grand, Bengaluru. Before his journey to the Indian subcontinent, he is known to have held various positions of repute at Michelin-starred restaurants in various international locations. During this time, he had the opportunity to work with distinguished personalities with the likes of Ristorante II Buco of Chef Peppe Aversa and Ristorante II Postale of Chef Marco Bistarelli, in Perugia; all of whom who had directly trained under Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi — the founder of modern Italian cuisine.

In his free time, he indulges himself by reading gastronomic history books and learning more about the art of cooking, while listening to jazz. Chef Roberto is an avid biker and enjoys discovering fresh ingredients during his biking escapades.

In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:

 

Your philosophy on food?

I believe food has the power to transform the mood and is personal to each individual. So the idea is to personally engage and assist each table with their menu choices that results in signature dishes which are delightfully unique to that moment. Staying true to the authenticity of the Italian cuisine, I want to bring my experiences and family-learned techniques to the Bella table. Through the menu the idea is to bring to life the right blend of in-house handmade recipes, locally sourced seasonal produce, along with the finest of imported Italian ingredients.

 

Your fav cuisine?

Italian

 

Your idol?

My love for cooking can be traced back to my childhood where I started out by helping my grandmother and aunt create delicious meals and learned all about the cuisine through that.

 

Your fav spice?

Basil

 

Your hot-selling dish?

Torta Caprese, my childhood love is already a favourite here.

 

Lessons learnt in the kitchen?

Cook with passion, respect your ingredients and your signature dish will be prepared.

 

How do you like to destress?

Go on bike rides, tasting new dishes from various cuisine orientations and creating dishes with fresh ingredients.

 

How do you define yourself?

Fun, food connoisseur and a mixologist.

 

What are you passionate about?

I like to indulge in high-octane art of mixology during my free time. I also during my free time like to indulge in my culinary calling by reading gastronomic history books and learning more about the art of cooking, while listening to jazz music. I’m also an avid biker and enjoy discovering fresh ingredients during my biking escapades.

 

Last meal on earth, what would you choose?

The first recipe I ever learnt and created was my aunt’s Torta Caprese cake, which still remains my favourite dish.

 

Recipe: Torta Caprese

 

Ingredients

200g almond

200g chocolate

200g sugar

200g eggs

200g almond ice cream

3 biscotti crumbs

Method

Chop the dry items.

Mix sugar and egg – whisk it well

Add dry almonds to the mixture

Place the whisked mixture in oven moulds

Cook it for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C.

Torta Caprese is ready to be served with butter biscotti crumb base and almond ice cream on side.