The medal winner Chef Luigi Quinteri with its refined dishes gives great taste sensations and visual pleasures to the resources of the fertile land of Calabria through the region’s food and wine. As well as the guardian and innovative interpreter, he is also the bearer of discovery and exploitation. Since 2008 he is the Chef and patron in the town of Soverato (Cz) at the restaurant “La Tavola di Melusinda”a point of reference for those artists that attend the Pearl of the Ionian Sea. The Chef has returned from an exciting professional performance in Tel Aviv working in the residence of the Italian Ambassador. Whilst working here he exposed the flavours of Calabria were people ended liking and appreciating these. At the famous Hilton Hotel where working in the famous ‘King Solomon’ salon he’s gaining a huge success with his exclusive Calabrianmenu prepared ad hoc and which will be available until the 30thNovembre.
How does the passion for the kitchen borns?
It was born by accident, I enrolled at the restaurant and hotel school because you didn’t study math, however from the first year the school captivated me. At that time I worked helping to set up the banquets for President SandroPertini and Pope John Paul II, the experience left me with an adrenaline rush that gave me the impetus to continue. Immediately I realized that for me everything in kitchen was easy and spontaneous.
How would you define your cooking style? And which names you consider your teachers?
Mediterranean cuisine linked to the territory, the so-called Km ‘zero’ cooking but with an innovative style. In Italy, my “teachers” are Don Alfonso Laccarino which for me is the best, and then the true gurus of Italian cuisine around the world, Mr. Michael D’Agostino, Alberto Tomasi and Fabio Momolo. From Puglia I have three chefs, the child prodigy Pierluigi Ardito, Gabriele Ferro and Fabio Pisani.
What are the skills that a chef should have?
For start a lot of patience, the chef should be the person that in a work issue is the one that finds the solution to the problem. Also a chef must have a good palate and artistic eye because the dish must be good to eat and good to look at.
Does a chef paints and creates as an artist?
I’m convinced of this, my moto is “the artistic taste of the food”.
Which is the most difficult part when creating a new dish?
Knowing how to combine the ingredients well to balance the plate as well as making it look good.The plate must be chromatic and my dishes are in fact very colourful, in practice I do a bit of kitchen chromotherapy.
How much of Calabria you take with you and what do you think the region can offer to fine dining?
Everything! We are one of the most beautiful territories ever. Our foods and wines makes us to be one of the regions that makes Italian culinary culture. Our products are sublime and we should bring out more of our heritage, at this precise moment I think of the “stroncaturareggina”.
your creations is there a dish that you love the most?
Buckwheat candy stuffed with lamb, potatoes and artichokes on top of a cream of peas, a dish I presented to the competition “La Pasquanellagastronomiacalabrese”, which I then also won.
Do you feel you should thank anyone in particular for your career?
My mother before anything else she’s a great cook, surely it must be a matter of DNA. But even the stubbornness of doing things in a hostile environment, in my case when still in Calabria there wasn’t a fashion for the kitchen.
Does Luigi Quintierihas a dream?
Of course, establishingwith the great Italian masters a cooking school for fine dining.
What advice would you give to a young person that wants to become a chef?
Who wants to become a chef has to understand that it must go swim upstream like the salmon. When others are free the chef has to work, it is a difficult job, beautiful, challenging and sacrificing, but it also takes a lot of talent.
Chef, can you please propose a menu to the readers of “Calabria a Tavola”?
A starter of pearl barley with mushrooms and smoked ricotta. First dish: Maltagliatimade with buckwheat and Kamut flour, monkfish and asparagus tips. Second dish: Spatula fish prepared old farm style with black olives, capers, tomato and aubergine eggplant, and to finish a chocolate dessert.