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Interview with Chef Gianfranco Chiarini

Gianfranco

Awards: Michelin Star, Celebrity Chefs Hall of Fame UK

Web:                    

Fan Club: https://www.facebook.com/Gianfranco.Chiarini

Website Chef: http://www.executivechefgianfrancochiarini.com

Website CCC: http://www.chiariniculinaryconsultants.com

Wikipédia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gianfranco_Chiarini

Books and Publications: http://www.blurb.com/user/store/ChefGianny

Symrise Alliance & 15.000+ Chefs in six continents: http://www.symrise.com/en/flavor-nutrition/our-brands/the-global-chefs-network-chefs-united-exclusively-by-symrise.html

Paul Bocuse and Chef Chiarini: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150897370395382.411729.19641570381&type=3

Celebrity Chefs UK: http://www.chefjobsnw.co.uk/


Biography:

Corporate Executive & Michelin Starred Celebrity Chef Gianfranco Chiarini has earned the title of the most diverse chef globally. His activities range from, Michelin Restaurants, Super Deluxe Hotels, and R&D for the Retail, TV Personality, Book Writer, Restaurateur, and Global Consultant and possess the biggest network of culinary professionals with 15.000+ chefs on his private network at his disposal.

From Italian origins he grew up between Italy, Venezuela and the U.S. He joined the Instituto de Alta Gastronomia de Caracas in the early 90s, from where he graduated as an International Chef.

Later, returned to the United States and graduated with a master’s degree from the Pittsburgh Culinary Institute. In Paris, France, he attended the Cordon Bleu, earning Le Grand Diplome Culinaire. Finally in Italy he earned the honourable membership of Executive Chefs of La Gran Accademia della Cucina Italiana. He has worked and trained to Michelin standards under great chefs in Italy and France.

He has been directly involved in the management, menu designing, prototype and product development, as well as the opening, of luxury Hotels, Culinary Centres and many restaurants in the U.S.A., Venezuela, the Caribbean, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Qatar, Dubai, Jordan, Egypt, South Africa, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Turkey, Hong Kong and India.

Selected as best chef in the Persian Gulf 2005 & 2006, by the acclaimed "Chaine des Rotisseurs" for their gala dinners.

Chef Chiarini has served personalities such as: His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, AMIR of Kuwait (*1926+2006), U.S President Jimmy Carter and his wife, The Presidents of the African Union, Princess Amira al-Taweel and her husband the Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Emir from Qatar, Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Vice President of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and many more.

Specialties: Multi Continental Cuisine, Culinary & Scientific research for new gastronomic trends, Molecular and Bio Cuisine, Design/Development of exciting new culinary concepts, Close networking with 15.000+ chefs around the globe in six continents. For more information on the chef; click on this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gianfranco_Chiarini


Interview: 

1.Tesi: Dear Gianfranco, some chefs discover their love for food and their gift to prepare ingredients in an outstanding way quite late, for some other it is already clear in their childhood years that they will become a chef. At which point in time did you discover your gift to prepare food far beyond normal standards?

Gianfranco: This is actually a very interesting question. As a matter of a fact and like most Italian chefs I discover my love for ingredients and the necessity and pleasure to transform them into culinary delights whilst in my childhood. But for other reasons and paths of life I actually took interest and started performing this talent professionally later in life. 

2.Tesi: The most underrated cuisine in Europe is...
(Please complete the sentence and explain why you rate the cuisine of your choice high)

Gianfranco: The most underrated cuisine in Europe is German cuisine.

In my own experience of course and after living many years in Germany I can truly say that Germany has probably the most under rated and misunderstood cuisine of Europe. Could be the fault of false advertising, or perceptions or the fault of German chefs not taking enough pride in their own regional products, but the truth is that they do have wonderful products and regional styles of cooking which makes their cuisine highly interesting.

For example:

I find very interesting the combinations of Sweet and Savory flavors within one dish, due to the influx of Jews in Germany in the last century. This crossover and the pleasure Germans find into it; leads me to believe that Germans have a complex palate that can reason and create great combinations. To balance Sweet and Savory needs a certain touch and Germans do.

Other interesting fact is, that fortunately, however, there is no one single “German” cuisine. Every region has its specialties. The Rhineland is known for its Sauerbraten a traditionally, marinated braised horse meat. In northern Germany they serve a dish called Labskaus; a mixture of corned beef, potatoes, pickled herring, red beets and onions, with a fried egg on top for good measure and much more from the Schwarz Wald region considered the Amazons of Europe with a great variety of game and animal species too, and other regions sum up to compile a great variety of influences.

I have had great dishes and fulfilling combinations coming from this great very much misunderstood cuisine and let’s not forget the great wines from the Rhine region and all along the valleys. An outstanding variety that shouldn’t be forgotten.

 

3.Tesi: I give you €100 to have a dinner in Roma or €250 for a dinner in Paris. Which dinner would you choose and why? 

Gianfranco: This is more a mathematical question rather than a culinary one J. But to be candid I’ll give you both; the culinary and the mathematical. If I was a person in a budget I will definitely use the 100 Euros in Rome. Why? Very simple. (And this is not a nationalistic choice, trust me!).

Let’s consider first and foremost that in both capitals you will find excellent food for the locals and the connoisseurs and at the same time you will find bad and lousy fast food for the massive tourist crowd who does not appreciate or neither understands culinary and need only fuel to go on.

That being said, I will take the 100 Euros in Rome because based on my experience in both capitals; Paris has been definitely driven by the pressure of delivering a certain level of quality and trends, therefore 250 Euros for great cuisine will not be enough.

In most cases I’ve found that the very expensive cuisine of Paris to be over rated as the products promised in the menus versus the prices of such products in a country hit by the crisis too, has made the young and no longer passionate generation of French chefs and restaurant owners to take shortcuts, using convenience and chemical additives like molecular cuisine trends in order to deliver average cuisine (greatly presented) after long cooking processes on a very complicated and demanding cuisine that is turning lately to be without a soul.

On the other hand if I choose to eat fast food. It has become expensive too but then we understand what we are in for. Therefore with only 250 Euros I will end up hungry and unsatisfied. Plus the service in Paris is not really welcoming and to the top.

In Rome the service is lousy too and the bad attitude is seen as well in many places, which I cannot deny. Now, if you go to the super hotels and restaurants like “La Pergola” to name one; you will find that even the very simple and affordable fresh daily ingredients are presented with passion and care as the young Italian chefs don’t believe in chemicals shortcuts and molecular cuisine additives. The prices are not cheap, but 100 Euros for one person will be enough with a decent glass of wine.

But still the capital of Italy has this old school mentality where if you can go to a simple trattoria (not fast food) I am talking about the mom and pop little establishments. You’ll find here an honest cuisine executed with simple and affordable basic ingredients that doesn’t cost too much and can permit the chefs to cook what they have cooked all their lives at home to be deliver with the same honesty.

Plus on the bright side and the opposite of the French cuisine, Italian cuisine is made express and a la minute. The ingredients are fresher; they don’t need to be sold ASAP because otherwise they will be thrown away since the preparation was long and complicated. Therefore there is less waste and cooks in Italy can keep the budget in line. This secures the experience of a fresher and more honest cuisine.

Also remember what I said of the capital of Italy has this old school mentality? Well most chefs see the molecular trend as complicated and too process demanding and since this goes against the “a la minute” culture Italian chefs rather do things like we say “all’antica old style. Therefore with a 100 Euros in a humble place you will get great food and have money left for the movies J

 

4. Tesi: Where do you get your inspiration when you create a menu? Do you follow a method or a routine when you create a menu or are it different every time?  

Gianfranco: Nature and human creations can serve as a point of reference, but never as a point of inspiration. I think at least in my case, that inspiration comes from within. From a particular mental and emotional point in time, where all the muses and the right ingredients need to be in place to allow you to balance textures, flavors and colors in the right position and direction.

To allow you to create a flow of movement or an impression in time that allows others to feel how you felt in that particular second when I conceived that particular menu combination or dish presentation. But more important is to never create thinking on what others may think of my culinary creativity and artistic expression. Culinary Arts is a personal state and must be never judged. At least not by others rather than yourself.

 

5.Tesi: What does good food mean to you? 

Gianfranco: In a nutshell: 100% Natural + 100% Honestly and Creatively Prepared + 100% Chemicals and Additives Free. Even if it is presented in a humble way, it needs to have the essentials of Cultural Basic Ingredients and Honest Process to be defined as: Good Food.

Thank you very much for the interview!

 

 

Comments  

 
#1 Hadassah Patterson 2013-07-26 02:06
This was a wonderful and informative conversation. I especially appreciated the discussion of German regional cuisine, which one hears so little about. It truly is underrated! Also the synopsis of the culinary trends challenging restaurants and current approaches to cuisine in both Rome and Paris was edifying.
 

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