Ginza Tower 2-7-12
2009. The people from the Bulgari Ginza Tower in Tokyo are looking for an Italian chef for their restaurant but they do not want just anyone, they want to hire a young and talented person. They call Niko Romito: he has already got the Casadonna project in his mind. They look around, their oriental eyes look far away and they call a silent chef in his 30s: Luca Fantin, born in 1979. He accepts.
2014. Paolo Marchi is looking himself for a chef under 40 to nominate “chef of the year” for the Identità Golose guide. Eureka: «It will be Luca Fantin». He had visited him recently and was enthusiastic about him: «Gianluca Fusto had told me about him. He said: he’s brilliant. I confirm». When the chef got on the stage of Eataly Smeraldo to receive the prize, many looked at him as if he were a mysterious object. A few biographical notes help place him: from Silea, near Treviso, he’s more shy than introvert. In 2013 he married Emi, a beautiful girl from Tokyo, and on July 30th, the next year, his son Nicola was born.
Luca Fantin, the son of Ireno, a railway man, and Norina, a housekeeper, got his passion for cuisine from his grandmother Anita. At 13 he enrolled in Treviso’s catering school, and started working at Osteria Nea in Silea. After his studies came some more local experience, at Marcandole in Salgareda. Then at Massimo Ferrari’s Al Bersagliere, in Goito, which at the time was a prominent place. Further stops: Carlo Cracco in Milan and Gualtiero Marchesi, at Hostaria dell’Orso in Rome. A little detour to Quisisana in Capri before flying to Spain: first in Murcia, then three years at Andoni Luis Aduriz's Mugaritz, until 2006. That year Heinz Beck called him back to Italy as his sous chef at La Pergola: «They called me, after the experience in Spain, so I could bring some fresh air».
Since 2009 he’s the chef at the Bulgari Ginza Tower, 5 stars, “Italian” dishes with obligatory inverted commas: «At first I would have lots of ingredients sent here. Now I focus on the extraordinary Japanese raw materials. The only exceptions: Carnaroli rice, extra virgin olive oil and Grana Padano».
journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief
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Sylvain F. Ercoli
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