Mia Cucina: Chef Frederico Innocenti
Chef Frederico Innocenti
How did you develop a passion for food?
As a child, I excitedly watched my uncle, who is a chef by profession, working in the kitchen of a popular restaurant in Montecatini Terme. It was from him that my passion for this craft grew and, thereafter, culminated into my appointment as a chef. When you are immersed in something from the start, you inevitably develop a passion and fondness for it.
What is your philosophy behind cooking?
I believe in a ‘simple food’ philosophy, which lays emphasis on incorporating basic cooking techniques to retain the vital flavours of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Very often, simple flavours are overpowered with the use of modern cooking techniques.
What is your favourite food destination?
Singapore is my preferred gourmet destination as it has a diverse food culture, which perfectly balances traditional flavours and futuristic cooking styles. The country offers the choicest of delicacies from China, Japan, Malaysia and its neighbouring Asian countries, along with the best Western influences. It represents an ideal fusion of East and West and allows your palate to experience a wide variety of flavours.
What are your favourite dishes?
The Pear and Ricotta Ravioli is a preparation I treasure the most, as I personally savour and love fruit and cheese pairings. Also, this preparation was one of my first creations. My most popular preparation is the seafood risotto with a traditional
home-style fish soup.
Tell us more about Tuscan food.
Tuscan food is renowned for its fluent flavours and simple cooking styles. The preparations are made with bountiful seasonal produce and traditional cooking techniques, which retain the finer nuances of every ingredient. The Tuscan region in Italy is known for its premium wine produce, and with wines being indigenous to the region, wine pairing has become a part of the dining
culture in Tuscany. Wine goes a long way in drawing out the flavours of a dish, and enhances the dining experience for those who enjoy drinking wine.
Who are your inspirations?
My biggest inspiration is Chef Bartoli, who has been my mentor and is the Executive Chef at Grand Hotel & La Pace in Montecatini Terme.
How do you go about creating your culinary masterpieces?
My dish composition is determined by the best seasonal ingredients available in the market. I choose one distinct seasonal ingredient and prepare the same to enhance its natural flavours. Thereafter, I complement the main preparation with two other light accompaniments, which do not overpower the essence of the main ingredient. An ideal preparation is one that has flavours that maintain their exclusivity while subtly complementing each other, to enhance the taste. I abide by very simple cooking
techniques and enjoy showcasing the traditional culinary lineage of Italy.
What is your take on Indian food?
The diversity of flavours in Indian cuisine has always intrigued me and during this visit to Mumbai, I endeavour to explore the vivid flavours presented by the city.
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