Stefano Deiuri – one of the most experienced and ingenious pasticciere in Italy
Stefano Deiuri is an Italian, fifth generation pastry chef. Since his youth, Stefano worked in the family pastry shop, where he learned the art of the traditional Italian patissier. Stefano expanded his knowledge at some of the best schools and traveled the world to gain new experiences and learn some new skills.
Stefano Deiuri is always thirsty for new knowledge, but today he shares his experiences and knowledge with us.
Stefano Deiuri – A Chef’s Portrait
Stefano, you are an internationally experienced, fifth generation pastry chef. Where does your passion for pastry come from?
As in family everybody was involved in this field with a family business, and everything surrounding me was about the world of pastry. Since when I was a young kid, I felt to belong to this. My first mentor has been my grandfather, who was considered a chemist in leavened dough. He`s been my first inspiration and where my passion started.
How did your pastry career begin?
My career started after the culinary school working in the family business, where I worked for 10 years before deciding to explore the world and getting know new cultures, flavors and culinary techniques.
Which cooking or pastry school did you visit?
I started with my first school in Cividale del Friuli-Udine, in Italy where I achieved my qualification. Thirsty to get more knowledge I was attending specialization schools in Italy like Etoile Culinary Center, private courses with Chef Robert Schicchi, one of the best pastry chefs in France, with his school in Marseille, in Switzerland with Chef Eliseo Tonti, in Meulan – France at Cacao Barry and Sicao in Italy.
From Italy into the wide world – that was and still is your path. What are your basic Italian pastry basics on this path?
My essential Italian pastry basics are the fundamentals for my identity. I never lose them, even after many years living and working overseas.
In Tokyo, you worked as Chef Pâtissier several years. How would you describe traditional Japanese pastry?
The traditional Japanese pastry is very different from any other kind of pastry in the world. It respects the Japanese culture from a long tradition, with unique techniques and textures.
Is there any space for Italian-Japanese fusion within the pastry?
Yes, it does. One of my favorite Japanese pastry texture is mochi. There are several ways to make new desserts using that rice dough base applying it with Italian flavors and textures. In terms of flavors, the tea matcha is one of the most popular Japanese ingredients used nowadays in different combinations.
From Japan to Mexico – where you worked for more than two years as co-founder of an Italian Gourmet Gelato. What did you learn during this time?
The time in Mexico was quite interesting because I learned new flavors, typically from the area where I was living on the Pacific coast. With the Italian Gourmet Gelato, I got the opportunity to explore and experiment new combinations of flavor in Gelato, dedicating all my time just for that.
You spent as well several years as a chocolatier in Singapore. What is the secret of an excellent chocolatier?
To be meticolous, perfectionist and creative. An excellent chocolatier need to have an extraordinary knowledge in the raw material to be able to develop new techniques and feel difference in aromas of varieties of cacao’s cru.
As a consultant you worked in Dubai, Hong Kong, Miami…what are the key factors for authentic Italian food concepts outside of Italy?
The key factors are the ingredients that must come from the best producers in Italy to guarantee the quality and the respect of methods of preparation for the different typologies of Italian food.
What are the most common mistakes you see for Italian food concepts outside of Italy?
The most common mistake is the non-authenticity of Italian food, managed sometimes by improvised operators or cause a local market requiring you to create something non-authentic to match the local flavor.
The “real stars” of Italian cuisine are the Italian Grannies. Have you ever seen Italian Grannies cooking in Dubai or Asia?
I have a friend of mine, which is a Grandma who every year goes to Dubai doing promotions of Italian pasta in one of the best establishments, she was working with me at restaurant Gold, by Dolce & Gabbana in Milan.
With previous experience at ElBulli in Spain and most recently as Executive Pastry Chef in Barcelona – how do you rate the Spanish pastry compared to Italian pastry?
The experience at ElBulli was one of the best in my life. There I could develop my knowledge in molecular gastronomy from the Godfather of this science. The pastry there was outstanding and not as traditional Spanish pastry. Today the pastry style is quite common in style in all Countries, following similar techniques, shapes and looks alike. We can find differences in flavors, in traditional or seasonal products from Country to Country.
Regional, seasonal, fusion, Nordic cuisine are some of the biggest trends in the kitchen scene. Which new trends do you see in the pastry?
Internationally speaking, the trend of pastry today is to try to make something look alike a real one in nature e.g. fruit, a landscape on plate etc. with a non-stop researching of new textures. By the way, personally I never follow trends, I like to give my own personality to my work.
How would you describe your own culinary pastry line today?
I`m trying to be unique in all my creations, I don’t like to be compared with others in similitudes. I have a strong respect for ingredients, I search for new shapes and textures. My target is to create a pastry line where people recognize that belong to me. I consider myself an antagonist.
Can you share some of your latest creations with us?
These are some of my latest creations as plated desserts:
- Milk chocolate 40% cremeux with licorice sponge cake-m, passion fruit gelèe, almond milk gelato made with nitrogen and dark beer reduction
- Ivoire chocolate-wasabi mousse, citrus eggnog coulant, yoghurt sponge-m and frozen bergamot pearls
What are some of your unique preparation techniques?
My unique preparation technique is the way to make a chocolate sand and a jelly mousse.
Is there any place in the world you would like to work one day?
(➔ international job offers on Cook Concern)
Actually, I worked already all over the world, at least in all countries where I was interested in. Today I have a plan to go back to Tokyo where to settle down with my own business.
Thank you very much, Stefano! And good luck with your future plans!
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