19 World Class Chefs Gather For One Night Of Incredible Italian Food and Three Honorary Celebrity Chefs
FIVE Palm Jumeirah, a true home of Italian cooking in Dubai with its signature restaurant Quattro Passi, is bringing together 19 of the world’s top Italian chefs to host a live cooking event on 22 November at 7.30 pm.
Representing restaurants from around the world, with a combined 21 Michelin-stars, Night Of The Stars’, is a unique dining and grape pairing experience at FIVE Palm Jumeirah’s newest venue, The Penthouse.
“This one-night event is a must attend celebration for foodies across the city. Bringing together extremely talented chefs representing their Michelin star restaurants. These chefs, such as Vincenzo Candiano and his two-star Locanda Don Serafino, will cook live before guests and let them sample their signature dishes. Our desire, as hoteliers, is to create a series of unique events to position FIVE Palm Jumeirah as the hottest experiential hotel in town,” said Aloki Batra, CEO FIVE Hospitality.
Part of the ninth annual edition of the Italian Cuisine World Summit, the evening will be a combination of live cooking, wine tasting and gastronomic demonstrations from the exceptional chefs (biographies included below).
Most importantly, guests will be able to indulge in a delightful selection of Italian food; from pastas and risottos, to seafood, meats and sweet treats.
The event will be hosted by Donato de Santis, judge of Masterchef Argentina and owner of Cucina Paradiso restaurant in Buenos Aires. Donato is a charismatic presenter who will share with guests his own knowledge of food and ensure an entertaining experience for all. The evening will also celebrate the bid for Italian cuisine to be recognised by UNESCO as ‘world heritage’ and presentations for the UAE’s Italian Food and Beverage Awards.
Some of the incredible chefs involved include Umberto Bombana, master of the Michelin three-star Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Hong Kong, Massimiliano Mascia, the Head Chef of the two-star San Domenico in Imola and Vincenzo Candiano, Head Chef of two-star Locanda Don Serafino in Ragusa Ibla. FIVE Palm Jumeirah’s own Italian genius Chef Giuseppe Pezzella, who is appointed Chef de Cuisine by Antonio Mellino will also be taking part.
Entertainment will be provided by the Mark Zitti Band, playing the very best up-tempo swing and jazz.
When: 22nd November, 7.30pm
Where: The Penthouse at FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai
What: The Night Of The Stars – celebrating Italian Cuisine with a collection of Michelin-starred chefs
Reservations essential and the experience is charged at AED 490 - those looking to get their hands on the hottest seats in town can do so on +971 4 455 9988 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The evening’s event will begin at 7.30 pm.
HONOURARY Chefs In The Night Of The Stars:
Umberto Bombana (8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana*** – Hong Kong): The acclaimed former executive chef of Toscana at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Hong Kong, returned to the limelight in 2010 with a personal restaurant 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana. The name is a direct reference to Federico Fellini’s 1963 biographical movie classic. Like the film director, Bombana is a maestro of his art, with 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Hong Kong being awarded three Michelin stars – the first Italian restaurant outside Italy to achieve this feat. He has also set up a sister restaurant in Shanghai in 2012, Opera Bombana opened in Beijing in 2013 and 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Galaxy Macau opened in 2015.
Riccardo La Perna (8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana** – Shanghai): Joining Chef Bombana at the helm of the iconic Shanghai restaurant, Riccardo La Perna hails from Sicily and has worked for a range of top Michelin-starred chefs, such as Ciccio Sultano and Claudio Sadler. Riccardo’s enthusiasm and feel for outstanding Italian flavours, together with Chef Bombana’s vision and creativity ensures tantalizing delicacies and new inspirations for Shanghai restaurant goers.
Marino D’Antonio (Opera Bombana Restaurant – Beijing): Chef Marino D’Antonio infuses Italian soul in to each dish he creates. He grew up in the same hometown as Chef Umberto Bombana (Bergamo, Italy, raised in a family of restaurateurs. After progressing through a diploma and apprenticeships, he was asked by Silversea to create an Italian restaurant on their signature cruise liner. He has opened award winning restaurants in Asia and now heads up Opera Bombana in Beijing.
Summary of Chefs Taking Part In The Night Of The Stars:
Vincenzo Candiano (Locanda Don Serafino** - Ragusa Ibla): Vincenzo won Best Youth Chef of South Italy in 2007, the same year that he was awarded his first Michelin star. His cuisine is rich in flavours, drawing upon Sicilian and Hyblean traditions, using local ingredients and Mediterranean fish. In 2013, his hard work was rewarded with a second Michelin star.
Massimiliano Mascia (San Domenico** - Imola): Massimiliano works alongside his grandparents Natale and Valentino, concentrating on the organisation and management of the Michelin-starred San Domenico kitchens. He began working at just 14 years old: while attending high school, he was always busy attending classes and working in the kitchens. Upon earning his diploma, he began to travel, with the aims of broadening his knowledge of raw materials, techniques, and various flavours. His work experience took him around the world: in Italy at Ristorante Vissani and at Ristorante Romano in Viareggio, in the United States at Osteria Fiamma in New York, and in France at the Bastide Saint Antoine and at the multi-star court of Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athené, Paris.
Paolo Gramaglia (President* - Pompeii): Chef Gramaglia cooks metres from the most ancient and archaeological sites of Pompeii. President was founded in 1993 as a family business, where Paolo learned the craft of cooking from his father Salvatore. Now, Paolo is in command of the restaurant, driving the restaurant to its first prestigious Michelin star, as well as Gambero Rosso, Slow Food, Touring, Routard and Globe Trotter Travel Guide awards.
Enrico Gerli (I Castagni* - Vigevano): While studying at college in Milan, it struck Enrico that he wasn’t doing what he was passionate about; food and drink. Returning home to the countryside of Vigevano, with the help of his parents and then-girlfriend and now wife, Luisa, Chef Gerli threw himself in to his work and in 1990 received a mention in Gambero Rosso. Taking courses at Michelin-starred restaurants and striving for perfection, Enrico earned a Michelin star for his restaurant and he has not looked back. Nearly twenty years since establishing Vigevano, it continues to go from strength to strength.
Maria Grazia Soncini (La Capanna di Eraclio* - Codigoro): Maria’s restaurant is at Ponte Vicini near Codigoro, where she mastered the art of cooking from her mother, Wanda. Building on those skills through invention and design, Maria believes in perfectly accurate cooking times and selecting local first class produce such as fish and game, to create fantastic dishes. This has lead to a Michelin star award.
Christian Milone (Trattoria Zappatori* - Pinerolo): Born in Pinerolo in 1979 to a family of restaurateurs, Christian learned the skills of a chef in his parent’s trattoria. In 1993, the Giro d’Italia passed through Pinerolo and inspired Christian to become a professional cyclist. The highlight of his cycling career was taking part in the Giro d’Italia himself – the pinnacle of Italian cycling. Retiring from the sport at the age of 25, he set his sights on culinary perfection. In 2006, he restructured Trattoria Zappatori and has earned two Espresso Hats, two Gambero Rosso forks and in 2016, a Michelin star.
Michele Biagiola (Signore te ne ringrazi* - Montecosaro): Michele is in love. In love with spaghetti. His obsession with the classic ingredient and his radical approaches to cuisine have earned him a Michelin star. The translation of Signore te ne ringrazi, is Lord, Thank You – for the ingredients, the talent, the chance to craft something in the kitchen that delights and excites.
Iside De Cesare (La Parolina* - Acquapendente): Iside De Cesare enjoys working with fresh produce from Lazio; whitefish from Lake Bolsena and oil from Biera and Canino. Iside was not supposed to become a chef, indeed she was studying to be an engineer before falling in love with cooking. Now, using her scientific though processes she has achieved a Michelin star and produced one of the leading restaurants in Italy.
Danilo Bei (Emilio* - Casabianca di Fermo): Dating back to 1965, Restaurant Emilio traces its fame to gnocchi and delicious fish dishes; it produces some of the best in the whole of Italy. Passing skills through the family business, now the sons, Osvaldo, Roberto and Danilo continue the strong tradition of the restaurant, adding innovation and creativity to the traditions.
Marco Bottega (Aminta Resort* - Genazzano, Rome): A family tradition in the restaurant business inspired Marco to become a chef. Cooking is his passion and following extensive experience working for a range of famous Italian and foreign chefs, Marco returned to the family business in 2009 and through restructuring the company across all areas, guided the team to a Michelin star.
Valentino Cassanelli (Lux Lucis* - Forte dei Marmi): Born near Modena, Chef Valentino was born in to a land of great culinary tradition. His passion and his hunger for knowledge took him to London, where he worked in the renowned and luxurious “Locanda Locatelli” and at “NOBU”, forerunner of the fusion cuisine. Returning to Italy, he continued his experience at “Cracco” in Milan and worked with some of the best chefs in the world. In February 2012, he arrived at Principe, where he cooks traditional Tuscan dishes with a contemporary twist. In 2014 Valentino was awarded as the best chef of the Versilia area and in 2015 he won the “Top Prize of Tomorrow” for the talent and the passion with which he leads the acclaimed kitchen staff. Through his creativity and eclectic style, Chef Valentino lead the restaurant team to its coveted Michelin star.
Felice Lo Basso (Felice Lo Basso* - Milan): Hailing from the region of Apulia, Felice is an easy-going character with creativity in cooking. He loves to try out new things and use fresh high-quality products. He offers cooking courses and also participates regularly in TV programmes. In 2010, his first cook book “La Grande Cucina dell’Alpenroyal” (The Great Cuisine of Alpenroyal), was published, with a Michelin star following just a year later. Chef Lo Basso recently opened his new restaurant in Milano Downtown in one of the most iconic squares of the city with an astonishing view of the Cathedral “il Duomo”.
Gianfranco Pascucci (Al Porticciolo* - Fiumicino, Rome): Gianfranco is a self-taught chef, learning and honing his craft through Porticciolo. Along with his wife Vanessa, Gianfranco has established a project to improve the seafood in the local area, working only with wild fish sourced as close to the restaurant as possible. His passion for fresh local produce has earned him a Michelin star.
Andrea Brambilla (former Michelin star chef Bice Tokyo, now Hotel Resort Campagnola, Ticino, Switzerland): After studying in Milan and working his way through the restaurant ranks in his home country, Andrea moved to Asia. First his work took him to South Korea and Japan, a stint at Bice in Singapore, before moving back to Tokyo as Executive Chef of Bice Restaurant Tokyo where he earned his first Michelin star in 2009. Moving back to Europe, Andrea currently works as Executive Chef at Hotel Resort Campagnola in Ticino, Switzerland.
Errico Recanati (Andreina Restaurant* - Loreto): Errico grew up in the kitchen alongside his grandmother, Andreina, whom his restaurant is named after and Ave, his mother. Panna cotta was the first recipe he tried at a young age, before learning the techniques of real Italian cooking and developing his ‘neo-rural’ style, involving skewers and grills. Achieving a Michelin star in 2013 and joining ‘Le Soste’, a prestigious association representing the best of Italian cooking, Errico strives to teach people that fads in cooking come and go, but traditional, time-honoured classics will last for generations.
Alfredo Russo (Dolce Stil Novo Alla Reggia - Venaria Reale): Alfredo is from Piedmont in North Italy, where at age 13 he went out to help in the kitchens of local restaurants before entering catering college at 15. From 1988 to 1990, Alfredo served an apprenticeship at different Michelin-starred restaurants in Piedmont, before at the young age of 22, he opened Dolce Stil Novo. Just three years later he earned a Michelin star before being awarded ‘Italy’s best young chef’ in 2004 by the Espresso awards. In 2011, The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences awarded Alfredo Russo and the Dolce Stil Novo with the International Five Star Diamond Award.
Peppe Buffa (Al Ritrovo Restaurant - San Vito Lo Capo): Peppe Buffa delights in creating a sensory journey full of perfumes and flavours. He has been a professional sommelier since the age of 15, while his kitchen prowess is centred around the promise of ‘providing everything from fresh bread to sweets’. Signature dishes include couscous with rock fish ‘alla trapanese’ and tuna burgers with ‘vastedda del Belice’ – a special type of cheese from Belice.
Chef Giuseppe Pezzella (Quattro Passi – Dubai) – FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai: Chef Giuseppe Pezzella is the Chef de Cuisine at Italian fine-dining restaurant Quattro Passi at FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai. A native of Naples, Italy, the passionate and charismatic chef boasts a rich 10-year career history; his culinary journey started at the tender age of just fourteen when he was a student, studying at Scuola Alberghiera “Don Bosco” di Frattamaggiore and at the Hospitality Institute. It was the casual dining scene of Naples and Caserta that taught the enthusiastic young Chef his first skills in Italian cuisine, with the art of traditional pizza making. Over the next decade he went on to master the secrets of local Italian gastronomy and kitchens working at an array of prestigious establishments and five-star hotels throughout Venice and Rimini. In the wake of his success, Giuseppe then expanded his repertoire at the country’s top two-Michelin star restaurants, Villa Crespi and Relais Chateau Quattro Passi of Nerano by Chef Antonio Mellino. Such was the success of Chef Giuseppe’s time working closely under the highly regarded Chef Antonio Mellino, his next step would take him to Dubai to lead in the opening of the second Quattro Passi restaurant on international shores.