Testimonials • 02.04.2020
“You must better yourself every single day” Ferran Adrià
I sent my first resume to Chef Gualtiero Marchesi as I thought: “If I am not fit for this job, let the supreme Master say it”. I was lucky: after completing the internship I was hired at the Marchesino and then at L’Albereta. I have been on the move ever since.
After being under the wing of Master Gualtiero Marchesi, Alberto embarked on a long training journey. Driven by curiosity and a “strong ambition”, as he defines it, he worked in some of the most renowned starred restaurants in the world, eager to learn as many diverse culinary techniques and cultures: vegetarian haute cuisine at “Joia” in Milan, traditional kaiseki at “Hishinuma” and ”Narisawa” in Tokyo, Nordic progressive and innovative at “Geranium” in Copenhagen, Spanish avant-garde at “Disfrutar” in Barcelona and Mexican contemporary creative at “Pujol” in Mexico City. He kept on collecting culinary experience for 10 years to finally land at CAST Alimenti where he has been mastering the pastry and bakery skills for the last 1 year.
Next is a ticket to France, a must-go professional environment to complete his haute cuisine long training journey. In his near future he sees himself pouring his global know-how into an own restaurant in Italy.
1. Considering your long professional training path, what are the most rewarding aspect and the most frustrating?
I have no doubt in saying that the most fulfilling part, and stimulating too I would add, was to realize that nothing is impossible: working every day with a goal and a focused mind creates a platform that leads you wherever you want. Where there’s a will there’s a way! Determination is essential in the equation.
On the other hand, I feel the pinch whenever I leave my family to join a new working experience as we are so close to each other. They always stand by me, morally supporting and boosting even in the darkest moments. I’ve flown so many times in my life I still can’t hold tears, a weakness I am not ashamed of.
2. Which cuisine has fascinated you the most and which one has taught you more?
Despite the fact that I was only 20 years old; the internship with Chef Marchesi was a lesson “beyond” the mere learning and cooking. It’s been an authentic experience in terms of wisdom, not only culinary, owned by the great Master and his capability to share it. It was not long ago when I was finally able to truly understand the real value of his teachings.
The most fascinating among the experiences abroad was at “Disfrutar” in Barcelona: they see through ingredients in a very special way, they compose a dish starting from the most unthinkable transformations but always with a meaning where nothing is for granted.
Not to mention “Geranium” where I witnessed a hyper-detailed work-flow and the meticulousness of each single movement.
Japan too was a unique experience in its genre, where I learned to peel carrots and onions according to their traditional cuisine techniques, not feasible in our frenetic western context.
These are teachings that not only train you to be a chef who learn to cook, but also to be a chef who thinks and bring soul to the recipe created for his customers.
3. What do you expect to learn during your stay in France?
I expect to cook. I wish to fine-tune how a fish or meat should be cooked without innovative equipment but only with casserole and fire. To master my knowledge on the origin and techniques that once properly assimilated can be the foundation for creating something amazing like “Cacio e pepe in vescica (bladder)” a signature dish of Chef Riccardo Camanini.
4. Based on your working experience in various establishments, which skills and attitudes are most in demand for a professional figure like yours?
I strongly believe that humility and personal commitment are determining factors in making the difference, along with a healthy competition with yourself, as well said by Ferran Adrià, “You must better yourself every single day”.
5. Can you share two very important pieces of advice to whoever pursues a career as a chef?
Since we never really stop learning, we must set high goals for ourselves to attain: as we live on stimulus the more we struggle to achieve them the more we push ourselves beyond our limits. Do not improvise and do not pretend you know everything, but just listen. These are for me the fundamental values to become a chef.
6. What memories do you cherish your time at CAST Alimenti and what teaching was useful in your job?
Honestly, my experience at CAST Alimenti was amazing. I earned much more than expected; professionally speaking the faculty members were exceptionally well prepared; not only that: the human element was indeed so valuable. Most probably the importance of brigade and working in group was the most precious wealth I gained. You know, in the kitchen you are never solo, but part of an entity that plays like an orchestra to deliver its best performance.
7. Do you have an opinion about a chef’s creativity? What are the elements that contribute to a signature style?
To be recognizable through an own style is a gift of a few chefs in the world, one for all the unforgettable Maestro Marchesi. A dish that shows accordance between concept and harmony is the key which allows the customer to unlock the philosophy of a chef.
8. How would you term your own style?
I strongly agree with Paul Bocuse’s words: “we Italians need to fully realize our own potential and only at that time we will be winning global recognition over the French, who are still at the top of the ranking”.
So my own cuisine has roots into the Italian gastronomic traditions evolving into a contemporary yet not radical style. It has to educate without judgment, seasoned with a dash of surprise for the customer.
9. Where are you going to be in a few years?
I have no secrets about it: I am going to be in Italy, in my own environment, expressing my personal concept of cuisine through my dishes.