Fernando Galbiati is an experienced Italian Executive Chef. He is talented chef, whose creativity and culinary knowledge are impressive. Today Chef Fernando talks to us about his beginnings as a chef, his culinary discovery of Dubai and what upcoming trends he sees.

 

Fernando Galbiati – Chef’s Portrait

 

Chef Fernando, where did your career start?

Food was my biggest inspiration; it takes great persistence, hard work and passion to keep going. When I was learning, I faced all sorts of daily challenges and it often wasn’t easy, however, it was my love for cooking that kept me going.

When I first started out, I worked all summer with a highly talented chef, who at the end of my apprenticeship told me that, as I still couldn’t chop parsley correctly, I might as well change careers! This really dampened my spirits, but it didn’t stop me – my love of food reigned on and thankfully, inspired me enough to get me to where I am today!

Parsley was not the only herb to offer a defining moment in my career! On my very first day in the kitchen, I was tasked with cleaning out boxes of basil to prepare pesto, which has since sparked a long lasting love for the fragrant herb and inspired me to create my signature dish, Paccheri pasta with fresh tomato sauce, made with three different varieties: ricotta cheese, deep fried violet eggplant and basil leaves.

 

Which culinary school did you attend first?

At the beginning of my career I followed the concepts of different chefs. During that time I tried to take the best ideas which I was using in developing my own cuisine.  Now my cuisine is a constant evolution of technique and passions, always referencing the past, while keeping an eye towards the future.

 

 

After some time as Sous Chef in London, you moved to Dubai as Sous Chef. Every beginning is hard. What was the hardest part for you at the beginning?

The language barrier is probably my biggest challenge. It has always been easier for me to communicate through a dish or recipe!  I believe that the best ingredients, a good atmosphere and happy staff are the keys to a successful restaurant; all the rest will come by itself.

 

In Dubai, your career as a chef brought you to the Italian fine dining restaurant Bice, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, where you worked as a Head Chef. What was your culinary concept back then? Only the classic Italian cuisine or also some modern interpretations?

We follow the concept of classic Italian food as for Bice standard, but my self and the team always have space for special set menu according with season ingredients that was very motivated and keep everyone motivated.

 

For the Social Restaurant by Heinz Beck/Waldorf Astoria Hotels Dubai Palm Jumeirah you have worked as Sous Chef. What did you experience during this time?

The most import thing when you are working with someone is the trust and consistency and there is no balance, because work and life they are always going hand to hand.

 

 

In your current job as Executive Chef at a Golf Club in Dubai – what is your culinary setup?

My usual day starts with cup of good espresso. After comes all the daily routine: ordering qualitative ingredients for making the best food for our guests; looking for new suppliers; checking if recipes are followed properly; making sure that all the equipment in kitchen is in good condition and on top of that I spending time with my team sharing new ideas, knowledge to improve guest’s experience.

 

Can you share some of your current creations with us?

Whole wheat spaghetti with carbonara sauce with homemade smoked duck breast and courgette flowers.

 

What are some of your unique cooking techniques?

I am very thankful to the chef Heinz Beck who gave me knowledge which I can use nowadays.

 

 

As you know, Dubai became an international culinary hotspot. What are the current trends in Dubai’s food and chef scene?

Over the past six years that I’ve lived here, I’ve noticed a lot of changes in this region. The industry has definitely grown, evolving in the ingredients used and the recipes created. The consumers’ tastes have also changed, with people searching for more authentic, homemade and organic dishes, and many looking for gluten/dairy free options. That being said, people are now more open and eager to try all sorts of new foods and different cuisines, which is great for chefs like me who love to experiment in the kitchen.

The introduction of food festivals and food trucks has also brought great culinary experience to the UAE and a variety of new dishes to the region, introducing a whole new meaning to F&B concepts.

 

Is there a place in the world where you would like to work as a chef someday?

Not really, but I would love to open my own family restaurant and work there.

 

Thank you, Chef Fernando! And good luck with that!

 

What are your future goals in your career as a chef?
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