Some Italian chefs that I know usually have something in common aside from their unparalleled cooking skill. They’re all bubbly, friendly, but also sentimental at the same time. Let us see how our chef of this issue shares the whimsicality about his beloved dish back home.
“Risotto alla Milanese!”, he decisively answered.
Chef Gianluca Visciglia, the recently appointed as the executive chef for Intercontinental Midplaza Jakarta, was never hesitated to admit that when asked about his favorite dish ever.
Among the countless of dishes spanning from the northern, central, and southern part of the country; the simple but sure risotto alla Milanese is always a good choice in any given Italian restaurant. But for him, it’s more than just that.
“First of all, my hometown is Merate, a beautiful small town situated perfectly between Milan and Como. That’s why Lombardy cuisine became so influential in my family”, he said.
During wintertime, the chef and his family are usually having the risotto, ossobuco, as well as cassoeula – some kind of pork stew with vegetables.
“Both of my parents are wonderful home cooks and I got a lot of influence from my dad. I observed him, I learned from him, and decided that my passion was to become a chef. However when it comes to risotto, I am siding with my mother. My dad never likes it for some reason”, shared the chef jovially.
How does it differ from the rest? I asked the chef.
“Well, when my mom cooks the risotto, she always does it properly. Starting from the scratch with fresh ingredients, she then uses the bone marrow, good chicken stock, and saffron with a bit of gremolata on top. I just love everything about it. The consistency and the creaminess were just perfect”, answered Chef Gianluca.
I was honored with the opportunity to taste the recreation of his mother’s risotto and I must admit that even a stranger like me would fell in love immediately with the dish.
Chef Gianluca himself is already familiar with Indonesia. He was once appointed as a head chef around ten years ago for a renowned Italian restaurant chain in Jakarta. Afterwards, he had his spell at five-star hotels in Oman and The Philippines at Boracay and Cebu totaling for around seven years.
“So when I first came to Asia, I was sincerely happy. I’m an Italian that loves rice a lot!” again he remarked it enthusiastically.
We wish the chef an exciting new spell with Intercontinental Midplaza Jakarta and his authentic Italian touch with the hotel’s iconic restaurant, Scusa.
Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Apr 2015 edition
Download it for free here via SCOOP!