Interview with Executive Chef Daniele Sechi 0 Commentaires
Daniele Sechi, esteemed Executive Chef of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites since 2011, is 44 years old and at 15 he started as a dishwasher attendant. But he was a curious kid and often went to the kitchen to see what the cooks were doing. At the time he didn't think of becoming a cook. He planned to be a Carabiniere, and in fact shortly after he left his job to be a soldier in the Army for two years.
He felt being called by the culinary world and came back, but no longer to wash the dishes. Though, he did not want the small realities, the trattorias. He was looking for work where large brigades were, with novelties to be acquired from the Chefs and Sous Chefs, their deputies. Learning by discovering, this is his motto, and he travels, goes to Berlin, Paris and Milan, extending his research even to the Far East.
It's in Milan however that he meets his mentor, Sergio Mei, from whom he learns the basics. Chef Mei boasts a 50-year prestigious career: Griso, Biffi and Savini restaurants in Milan, then Executive Chef of the Aga Khan chain which allowed him to promote Italian cuisine around the world. The last 21 years Chef Mei has been at the "Four Seasons" in Milan where he has also trained 20 of the Chefs currently employed at the Four Seasons.
Q. Chef, what was your favourite childhood dish?
A. (Smiles) I was never a gourmet as a child or teenager. I ate junk food, bread, mayonnaise and grocery store salami. The love for flavours was born much later, spending time in the kitchens. Of my grandmother’s cooking, however, I still have the scents of grilled lard, sausage and cheese
Q. And did you eat those?
A. Oh yes, those were very good
Q. Years went by and today cooking has become a true passion, searching for flavours and the right scents combinations. What dish best represents you?
A. I have never limited myself to Sardinian dishes alone but I play to combine typical Sardinian aromas with flavours adopted from outside. I include Sardinian dishes in the menus in small doses, proposing first courses with Pasta, Malloreddus, Lorighittas, Filindeus and Culugiones each of which deserves a broad description
Q. Do you have any preference?
A. Yes, among all I prefer the Sardinian fregula for its uniqueness. It is a very ancient type of pasta typical of Sardinia, which is made with 3 simple ingredients: durum wheat semolina, water and salt. But not the smooth one. I prefer the porous fregula, which better absorbs the seasoning, and I can propose it in tasty, fragrant first courses. The black fregula is special with red prawns and burrata or the traditional fregula with clams, dried tomato and parsley
Q. Chef, which dish would you suggest to impress a special person?
R. (has no hesitation) A fresh dish, raw langoustine with lime and citrus fruits
Q. My mouth is watering, one day I will ask you to consider me special and to prepare this delicious dish for me…
Q. With a Chef it is inevitable to mention the Michelin Star award.
R. (smiles) The Michelin Star award is the agony to get it and the ecstasy once you have it. To get it you need to have an entire team behind you that supports you unconditionally and it would also involve total dedication that would take too much time away from the family. And I chose my wonderful family, I don't want to steal my children's time for prestige. They are already my Michelin Stars!
Q. Bravo Chef, giving priority to values is always a winning choice! And how are the relations between the kitchen and dining-room?
A. Over the years we have achieved a good collaborative relationship with the dining-room management and it is a pleasure to work. The hotel guests benefit from this, so that they can be pampered unconditionally as promoted by the philosophy that guides the management of the Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites
Thank you, Chef Daniele, it was a real pleasure to have this nice chat. Ad Maiora.--
Written by Daniela Toti