Mau­r­izio de­vel­oped an un­ri­valled pas­sion for the culi­nary world after spend­ing most of his life­time in the kitchen. From his par­ents’ restau­rant in Italy, to im­pres­sive din­ing des­ti­na­tions in Monte Carlo and China, be­fore mak­ing the move to In­done­sia, whe

Exquisite Taste - - Contents - – By Runi In­drani

If you love the kitchen game, then meet some of the most valu­able play­ers. We sit down with Ha­jime Ka­suga from Hen­shin, Mau­r­izio Bom­bini from Man­dapa, a Ritz-Carl­ton Re­serve and An­gelo Cic­cone from Re­gent Sin­ga­pore, A Four Sea­sons Hotel.

: How did you first de­velop a pas­sion for the culi­nary in­dus­try?

Mau­r­izio: My par­ents used to run a restau­rant, my fa­ther was a chef and my mother was a restau­rant man­ager. I was born into the in­dus­try, it's a big part of my life. A week after I was born, my mother put me in a stroller and went back to the restau­rant. I used to spend all my day in the restau­rant, help­ing my fa­ther in the kitchen. When I was about 8 years old, I used to go shopping with my fa­ther to the mar­ket for the restau­rant. He would teach me which prod­ucts to pick. When I was about 12 years old, I started to look at my fa­ther as a role model, some­one I as­pired to be. Pas­sion for food is in our blood, since I was a kid my par­ents taught me to eat well. I was prac­ti­cally born into the in­dus­try, the kitchen for me was my home, my play­ground, my fam­ily and my friends. So ev­ery time I go to work now, it feels like go­ing to my fam­ily.

: Where do you draw in­spi­ra­tion to cre­ate your dishes?

M: It changes over time. For the first two years when I was in Bul­gari, I was more modern, by try­ing to give a modern, fancy touch. Then I re­alised that tra­di­tion is im­por­tant in the kitchen, so I started stick­ing to the ba­sics of tra­di­tional cui­sine, but still giving a modern touch. In­spi­ra­tion usu­ally comes from my past, I'm from south­ern Italy, so I get in­spired a lot by the south­ern Ital­ian bay cui­sine. The last few years since I've

been in Man­dapa, I've also got to ex­pe­ri­ence Asian cui­sine a lot. I started to get in­volved in cre­at­ing the In­done­sian menu in Sawah restau­rant, and I re­ally en­joyed it be­cause it was to­tally dif­fer­ent for me.

: Can you de­scribe your cook­ing style? M: I take in­spi­ra­tion from ba­sic recipes

– an au­then­tic touch is still manda­tory for me – and change the meth­ods, but the real flavours still have to be there. I don't like to mix too many in­gre­di­ents, I usu­ally stick to four to five in­gre­di­ents. I'm tra­di­tional, but pre­sen­ta­tion-wise I al­ways try to do some­thing modern. When guests com­ment that they can taste each in­gre­di­ent on the plate, that's what's im­por­tant for me. No need to put rasp­ber­ries just to give colour, you know? If the colour is dark, it's dark. What's im­por­tant is that the dish tastes good. Things on the plate need to have a con­nec­tion to one an­other, oth­er­wise it doesn't make any sense.

: Can you share the most mem­o­rable mo­ments in your ca­reer?

M: First was when I was in my fa­ther's restau­rant, be­cause it was my first step in the culi­nary world. Sec­ond was when I was in Monte Carlo, be­cause I learned a lot about French cui­sine, the ba­sics, the dis­ci­pline and the dif­fer­ent kinds of tech­niques. The third mo­ment was when I came to Bali. My stint at Bul­gari was the first time in my ca­reer when I had the free­dom to ex­press my­self in the kitchen.

: Do you still have fu­ture goals in your ca­reer that you would like to achieve?

M: I never thought about it too much, I didn't think about want­ing to be the ex­ec­u­tive chef at a five-star hotel, or want­ing this or that. For me the most im­por­tant thing is my pas­sion. As long as I can do what I love, I'm happy to go any­where.

That's what I'm do­ing now, I'm happy here be­cause I can fol­low my pas­sion.

: What was the most chal­leng­ing mo­ment in your ca­reer?

M: The first time when I moved to Asia, I worked in China and it was a big chal­lenge. The com­mu­ni­ca­tion was very hard, and the way peo­ple there see Ital­ian cui­sine – it was to­tally dif­fer­ent from what I was used to do.


Black cod, roasted onion, hazel­nut, smoked mushroom con­somm

Mau­r­izio Bom­bini

Tuna crudo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.