Vincenzo Nigro – Italian Chef at Ritz Carlton, Bahrain
Vincenzo Nigro has traveled the world culinary. He has gained experience and impressions in Italy, Australia, Dubai and most recently in Bahrain. Chef Vincenzo now works as a Chef at Ritz Carlton in Bahrain.
Vincenzo Nigro – Chef’s Portrait
Bringing his Italian taste to Bahrain
You worked as a chef in Switzerland, in Melbourne, Dubai, Bahrain. Where did your journey start as a chef? Why did you become a cook?
My journey as a chef started 15 years ago when I decided to go to a hospitality school and then immediately worked in a restaurant in my hometown, Mottola. I decided to become a chef because I grew up in a family where everything we ate was homemade. The passion to eat healthy and good food has taught me my family since childhood.
Which culinary school did you attend first?
My first culinary school was Instituto Mauro Perrone in Castellaneta City. I had been there for 5 years and received my chef diploma when I was 18 years old.
What still fascinates you about being a chef today?
I’m still really fascinated by almost everything I do in the kitchen today, because this job is wonderful. You always have the opportunity to learn something new every day. There is no end to learning in this fantastic job. And if you are constantly learning, you can one day become an excellent chef.
Did you learn some about the local culinary specialties during your time as a chef in Melbourne?
In Melbourne I have always been working in Italian restaurant , but for one year I had the possibility to work for an Australian chef agency which they send me in different 5 star luxury hotel around Melbourne and there I have learn some of the local cusine , something that I still remember is the Australian pie
in Melbourne I’ve always have been working in an Italian restaurant, but for a year, I’ve had the opportunity to work for an Australian chef agency that sent me to another 5-star luxury hotel near Melbourne. There I got to know something of the local cuisine. Something I remember well is the Australian pie.
In Dubai, you worked as a sous chef at Palazzo Versace. What did you learn during this time?
In this amazing place in Dubai, I have learned a lot about different cooking techniques and how to be successful as a team together. This is one of the best establishments I have worked in my career. It taught me so much and I am very proud to have been part of this amazing team.
You stayed in the area and worked for the Ritz Carlton in Bahrain. In Dubai, Bahrain, there are all the fancy and expensive restaurants. Do you see a chance to open a simple and really good trattoria?
In this part of the world you have to be really authentic. People like to eat traditional food. You have to adapt your cooking, to what people like the most. But from this point you can create something else, something a bit differrent, but without changing the taste of the food too much.
If we lose tradition, we lose everything. – Chef Vincenzo
How do you see the Italian cuisine these days? What are the new trends?
I do not think Italian cooking is changing very much these days, it’s just the ability of the chefs to make the food look different, but the taste has to remain like a tradition. If we lose tradition, we lose everything.
What are some of your contemporary dishes that best express your cooking style?
One of my best contemporary dishes is Fagotelli with Parmesian Mousse, Croutons, Black Olives Powder, Basil Oil. It is a classic dish with the most famous ingredient of Italy, made with different technique, but with the same taste as 40 years ago.
How would you describe your own culinary line today?
Contemporary Italian cuisine, using grandmother’s recipes and interpreted with a modern key.
Can you share some of your latest innovative dishes with us?
- Crispy cannelloni with duck ragout and mushroom foam.
- Green olives gnocchi with king crab.
- Modern tiramisu hot and cold.
What are some of your unique preparation or cooking techniques?
- Sous vide cooking
Which lesser-known spices do you use for your creations?
My favourite spices are:
- black pepper
- bay leaves
Is there a place in the world where you want to work as a chef one day?
I am very happy to be a chef here at the Ritz Carlton, which is the best hotel brand in the world, but I would like to work with Antonino Cannavacciuolo one day.
Thanks a lot, Chef Vincenzo!
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