In the Backstage of Cenobio dei Dogi: Interview with our Chef
In December we started a section dedicated to gastronomy, to the flavors of our territory, Liguria, and to the many traditional recipes that enrich our culinary heritage.The section is called “Parola allo Chef” (“Let’s hear the Chef”), as he is our guide to escort us through the several typical products and the traditional dishes of our region. His name is Remo Gatto, an extraordinary Chef with many years of experience. From many years now, he is one of the most important figures of our Hotel. He does not consider the cuisine a job, but a life style.
In order to let you know him better we thought to ask him some questions. It was a quick but intense interview. Now you will be able to understand his love for cuisine, which everyday he transmit into his recipes and dishes.
Interview with the Chef Remo Gatto
39 years old
American and Italian
Catering and Hospitality Institute “Marco Polo” in Genoa.
What is the secret to become Chef?
Commitment, self-will and determination. As I always say to those who are training for this role: “Be a Chef it is not a job, but a real life style!”
How did you become so passionate for the cuisine?
I was always a glutton and after a while I discovered that I did not just really enjoy food, but I also enjoyed cooking.
Tell us an ingredient and a tool that are essentials in your cooking style.
Among the tools I would say: the cooking pliers. They are like a continuation of my arms. As for the ingredient, for me extra virgin olive oil is indispensable.
What does inspire you? Which is your point of reference?
For sure I have my own inspirations and my points of reference, sometimes they come from colleagues, sometimes from other (more famous) Chefs. I try to take the best from everyone and use what I learn to create new dishes with my own style.
Which is the recipe for success?
Perseverance! As I always say, in our work, it doesn’t matter if you reach the top if you cannot keep up with it. You must stay sharp and concentrate. This consistency always pays back for the sacrifices made.
Which is your favorite ingredient?
It is simple, but for me essential: garlic; in my personal taste is an ingredient that goes well with almost anything.
In your Menu do you focus more on the tradition or on the innovation?
I started here at Cenobio dei Dogi 10 years ago, with a great wish for innovation. I changed the Menu, but I realized after some times that the tradition must be included. That is why 4 years ago I decided to dedicate an entire page of my Menu to Ligurian tradition. I must say that those dishes are the ones that are most requested.
Which is your favorite dish to cook?
I like to prepare fresh pasta, in “all its sauce” (an Italian expression to say “in every contingency”).
Which is the most requested dish?
For sure, the most requested one is “Cappon Magro” (see here the recipe), or Trofie al Pesto and the Fresh Fish Catch Ligurian Style.
What is the main characteristic of your cuisine?
I especially like to cook fish.
How would you describe your cuisine and the philosophy behind it?
As I say to my colleagues: “cook for others as if you would cook for yourself”. And as well: “Do not fear to risk”.
How do you create a new dish? A New recipe?
I combine my experience with the knowledge of the products and I imagined how the final result will be. Then I try to experiment with the dish in all the steps up to its final form.
How will you describe your cuisine?
Simple, well-finished and even if it is not so common nowadays, abundant.
Exotic ingredients or local ingredients?
The exotic ones have quickly become part of our cuisine: bananas, avocados, coconuts and Chinese lantern fruits. However, the local ingredients are for sure the very best that you can use for keep trustful to tradition and flavors.