Another world/2

From YinYang to Pino Lavarra’s Tosca to the colours of Macau. The journey continues

24-11-2013
The dining room of restaurant Tosca, on the 102nd

The dining room of restaurant Tosca, on the 102nd floor of the Ritz/Carlton hotel in Honk Kong. Since a few months ago this is the kingdom of Apulian chef Pino Lavarra, already awarded with 2 Michelin stars at Rossellinis in Ravelllo (Salerno)

see part one

Between the first dinner, organised at Ristorante Gaia, with executive chef Paolo Monti and chef Paolo Morresi, and the second event at The Dining Room inside the very exclusive Aberdeen Marina Club managed by executive chef Laurent Varachaud, sided by chef Ryan Crawford, we had a free day to smell the real air of Hong Kong and to see some peculiar places.

Known almost exclusively by locals but recommended by jet-gourmetters friends Gianmaria and Valentina, we started with a lunch at YinYang, an atypical restaurant serving traditional cuisine with ancestral yet creative methods. All the products used come from a certified organic farm in New Territories countryside. In the evening, instead, we enjoyed the hospitality of chef Pino Lavarra in his Tosca, on the 102nd floor of the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, that of hotel Ritz-Carlton, offering the most breath-taking view of the whole trip, with a very defined cuisine, focused on raw materials which, thanks to research, is shaped by a complex mix of different components. Finally, we visited the top floor, to the Ozone bar, an open terrace, and apparently the most beautiful bar in the world.

The following morning we left for Macau, the land of entertainment. The island of Taipa, where we stayed, is like a little Las Vegas. As soon as your hydroplane arrives, you start receiving tons of advertising messages from the different casinos on your mobile phone. The skyline is defined by multi-coloured skyscrapers among which, in the island of Taipa, the Altira stands out. Here, inside the multi-awarded

The peach of Eugenio Boer

The peach of Eugenio Boer

Of course it will not be easy to forget all the people we met, the things we learnt, the great professionalism and the immediate and palpable team spirit you can feel inside the kitchens, but which, from outside, the guest can hardly imagine. In these days as an insider, I saw a union of intents, natural gestures, shared by people who chose this job and who, every day, fight to make people understand that being a chef means, first of all, being a cook, working at the stove, coordinating an international team, making all sorts of efforts to reach the break even point without ever putting quality or respect aside, with great professionalism and without any compromise.

The footlights are only a Machiavellian means to an end, that of making people understand the importance of a true cuisine, of the both physical and mental, meticulous work that lies behind. This is the point of view of someone who has done something else in his life, who has visited many places, has lived abroad and for different reasons has had the honour of knowing many restaurant professionals on each side of the kitchen-dining room wall.

Christian Milone's salad

Christian Milone's salad

Young Italian and foreign chefs, emigrants or locals, with a common talent and passion are momentarily united in the same place, thanks to the ingenuity of Paolo Montanaro, another Italian who has devoted himself to making the white truffle from Alba world renown, and Mosun Abrate, “adopted” by Italy. By sharing ideas and efforts, they demonstrate commitment, intelligence that allow to be proud of Italy abroad (something very different from Frank Bruni’s vision) - the perception of the richness of this beautiful country being still untouched.

2. the end

Giuseppe Iannotti's dish

Giuseppe Iannotti's dish


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