'I tried the poisonous fugu fish in Japan'

I tried the poisonous fugu fish in Japan

Talking food with Antonio Iacovelli, Head Chef, Trattoria Toscana



Your best food-related experience.
I have been lucky enough to visit El Celler de Can Roca, the renowned restaurant in Girona, Spain, run by the three Roca brothers, which has been twice ranked the #1 restaurant in the world. I had an amazing dinner there, a truly inspiring gastronomic experience, which helped shape me into the chef I am today.

Who do you admire most in the culinary world, and why?
There are so many great chefs that I admire, so choosing only one is very hard. One of my favourites at the moment is Enrico Crippa. I admire him for his minimalist approach to cooking and his great respect for the products he uses.

Your favourite culinary destination, and why?
Other than Italy, Japan is, without a doubt, my favourite culinary destination. Osaka and Tokyo are such diverse cities and the food scene there is simply mind-blowing. It was here that I tried fugu fish for the first time, which is a poisonous fish and a risky Japanese delicacy.

How often do you eat out? What's your favourite place around town?
I have two days off per week and, on one of those, I always dine out with my wife. We try different places almost every time, but my favourite restaurants are The Noodle House, 3 Fils, Butcha Steakhouse and PF Chang's.

If you could cook for a high-profile personality, who would it be and what would you serve them?
I would love to cook for Richie Hawtin, who I believe is one of the greatest DJs today. Not only is he a musical genius, he is also a big lover of food. I would invite him to my restaurant and cook him a modern version of a beef fillet rossini, with juicy meat, foie gras and truffle - delicious.

You're asked to invent an unusual dish - what would it be?
I would create a dessert using ingredients that are normally used in savoury dishes; for example, a dessert using eggplant, black garlic and coconut sugar. At the moment, the restaurant serves a dessert that looks like a tomato but is actually made out of strawberry mousse. I love dishes where the eyes perceive something, but it is, in fact, something completely different to what you see.

One ingredient/dish you can't stand, and why.
Boiled zucchini - not very versatile.

After cooking all day, do you cook for yourself at home too?
No, I save cooking for when I am working in the restaurant. If I really need to make something for myself, the most I will do is a cafe latte with a biscuit on the side!

Favourite comfort food?
A proper plate of pasta or anything slow-cooked, like a juicy and tender beef or veal cheeks. I can't resist those, they always hit the spot.

If you could choose a last meal, what would it be?
An amazing array of raw seafood with a lot of sea urchins.

Where can we find you, when not in the kitchen?
On the beach, relaxing and getting a tan, or in the gym, lifting weights and sweating like there is no tomorrow.  
- Staff reporter


More news from WKND
Telling stories that 'stick'

WKND

Telling stories that 'stick'

Everyone knows that oral and written traditions of storytelling are the most effective ways to pass on values. The modern marketplace is no different

WKND1 year ago