'It's hard to have only one favourite culinary destination'
Talking food with Nicholas Cuomo, Executive Chef, Emirates Golf Club
Your best food-related experience.
We were in a small Tuscan village; we asked the local farmers where we could eat and were guided to a local farm that was run by a 90-year-old couple and their son. We were the only foreigners in this place; it was on the top of a valley and all the meals were cooked over an open wood fire. The food was so authentic, and the experience lasted from 2pm to 8pm with singing and dancing. Memorable!
Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
I really admire Chef Dan Barber, who is co-owner of Blue Hill in Manhattan New York and his belief that flavour starts with the ingredients - even down to controlling the soil in which you grow produce. I like how he is always looking for the most ethical ways to work with food and how he is extremely passionate about changing our eating habits for the better. This is something that is very much in line with my approach and philosophy.
Your favourite culinary destination, and why?
My favourite destinations would be Thailand and Sicily for their rich and pungent flavours. It's hard to have only one favourite destination!
How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
I would say twice a month. My favourite place is Netsu.
If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them?
I would choose to cook for [professional motorcycle road racer] Valentino Rossi and try to impress him with traditional Maltese cuisine, such as fish stew, pan rabbit and a simple lemon gelato.
One ingredient/dish you can't stand, and why.
Dill - and I have absolutely no idea why, but anything with dill needs to stay away from me.
After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
Generally, no. I do not cook at home. My wife does, and she's a great cook. However, when guests are over, then, yes, it would be me.
Favourite comfort food?
Traditional Maltese goat cheese with freshly-baked Maltese bread and rabbit stew.
If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
It would be a fish.
Where can we find you, when not in the kitchen?
I spend a lot of time outdoors in the desert or at sea. I love the outdoors and have a passion for photography.
- Staff Reporter