via A. Cadlolo, 101
Heinz Beck is one a numerous chefs bewitched by Italy. His journey has touched Sicily with his heart (his wife Teresa is from Palermo) and Rome with his head, and fortunately he’s still there. To be honest, you can count the number of times he’s returned to Bavaria in the last five years on one hand. Heinz, whose size, eyes and hair are reminiscent of those of a woodland elf, has lived in Rome for the past eleven years, since 1994, when the Cavalieri hotel entrusted the launch of Pergola, its roof-top restaurant which offers a unique view of the Italian capital, especially by night, into planetary orbit, to his capable hands.
Beck had no experience of working in Italy at all: he’d learned his trade at excellent addresses in Munich, Freeburg and Majorca, and later in Berlin, before being called by his namesake Heinz Winkler, a native of South Tyrol living in Bavaria, as sous chef of Residenza in Aschau. It was 1991 and Beck likes to remember that he was Winkler’s pastry-chef and that, if he’s an all-round chef today, it’s all thanks to his own efforts and the fact that he has mentally reprogrammed his way of thinking more than once. From sweet thought to sweet and savoury thoughts and from a largely German start to an Italian situation where he wasn’t asked to cook the food of his birthplace, but that of his adopted home.
«It took me 3 years to think like an Italian and a chef and no longer like a German pastry-chef», he confessed one day. There’s no doubt that, at the Pergola, the food is Italian, with Italian ingredients and a touch of lightness that makes every dish simple. With the release of 2006 edition of the Michelin guide at the end of November came his consecration, with the third star. And when I asked him, a little maliciously, whether we should consider those three stars as Italian or German, his answer was quick and clever: «No doubts: they are the Italian fifths and not the German eighths. My food contains not one ingredient, method or tradition from the country where I was born». And it’s true. For the record, Beck has more Michelin stars: at Cafè Les Paillotes in Pescara and at Castello di Fighine in Chianti (Tuscany). But he also runs succesful restaurants in Algarve (Portugal), Dubai (Uae) e 2 more opened on 2014 in Tokyo (Heinz Beck and Sensi by Heinz Beck), Attimi by Heinz Beck in Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci airport inaugurated in 2017, St. George Restaurant by Heinz Beck at the Ashbee Hotel in Taormina and Attimi by Heinz Beck in Milano CityLife, inaugurated in 2018.
born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
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Dossier Dessert is a classic of Identità Milano (all photos from Brambilla / Serrani)
The team at restaurant @3.fils in Dubai, Asian cuisine with a strong Japanese influence. They won the first edition of the MENA (Middle East & North Africa’s) 50 Best Restaurants, hosted at the Conrad Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, in the Arab Emirates