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Portrait Restaurant La Pergola - Chef Heinz Beck

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(Photo: Francesco Vignali)

Three Michelin-starred Chef Heinz Beck from La Pergola in Rome, Italy has created a special menu for the next World Gourmet Festival 2016 to discover new culinary landscapes. The menu is inspired by a wide range of locations around the globe and beyond. I had the chance to interview Chef Beck to get more insight about his motivations and inspirations as a world class chef.

 

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Fillet of venison on an autumn field
(Photo: Janez Puksic)

Interview

1. Tesi: Heinz, you are a three Michelin-starred Chef at the restaurant La Pergola in Rome. Can you tell me how you found your way to Italy?

Chef Heinz Beck: I would not have imagined that I would specialize in Italian cuisine. Before I came to Rome, I had gained different experiences abroad. I moved to Rome to take the job at La Pergola, at that time inside the Hilton hotel, even though I had never visited before. I only planned to stay two or three years.

Once I got here though, I started studying the Italian culinary art: its traditions, its ingredients, and their properties. I took advantage of my free time to eat in typical restaurants, and I fell in love with raw Italian materials, fragrances, and flavors. I realized that this was the kind of cuisine I wanted to cook.

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The sun..
(Photo: Janez Puksic)

2. Tesi: Your dishes are inspired by many locations and elements of our planet and beyond. What inspires you and drives you forward?

Chef Heinz Beck: Inspiration comes from everything around me. I'm an art lover, so I might take inspiration from a piece of artwork, music, a movie, even a landscape. Nature itself is a great source of influence. The seasonality of raw ingredients guides my choices in creating different menus in all my restaurants. But, perhaps more than anything else, emotion inspires my cooking the most and drives me forward.

article 2 Fillet of venison on an autumn field

Fillet of venison on an autumn field
(Photo: Janez Puksic)

3. Tesi: What is your favourite dish, and what memory do you connect with it?

Chef Heinz Beck: I always find it difficult to answer this question because it would be like asking a mother which is her favourite son. I am fond of all the dishes that I create because there is a story behind each of them, and every dish is the result of study, experimentation, and constant redevelopment.

4. Tesi: What is your dream for the future? Where do you want to be in five years?


Chef Heinz Beck: Exactly where I am now. I cannot imagine one day away from the kitchen. Cooking is my passion, my dream, and my life.

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The sea...
(Photo: Janez Puksic)

5. Tesi: A young person is thinking about their career and considering becoming a chef but is not sure whether to go down that route. How would you advise him/her?

Chef Heinz Beck: Becoming a chef requires study, passion, creativity, and dedication. If an aspiring chef is really sure of his/her choice, I would recommend he/she find a good school to build a solid foundation.

6. Tesi: Chef Heinz, what does good food mean to you?

Chef Heinz Beck: We are what we eat, so, to me, good food means good life.

Thank you,
Matthias Tesi Baur

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