Chef of the Month – Giorgio Pappalardo

 

Giorgio Pappalardo, co-founder of Angie’s F&B Group, has been devoting to offering a genuine and simple approach to Italian cuisine in Taiwan. “When I first moved to Taiwan, the perception of Italian food here was only about pizza and spaghetti.” He aims to move forward to introduce the Italian lifestyle, which includes not only the food itself, but also how Italians eat and drink.

 

Pushed by his own passion for cooking, Pappalardo seized opportunities to work in luxury hotels and Michelin star restaurants, such as Luc Figueras in Spain and Alain Ducasse in France before he came to Asia. “I am competitive with myself. I’m ambitious and I like to learn.” The self-motivated chef then became the youngest corporate executive chef for Hyatt Hotels at the age of 27. “I was lucky to have good bosses who believed in me and gave me the chance to challenge myself.”

 

Settling in Taipei with his family and starting his own restaurant, Osteria by Angie, in 2010, now Pappalardo has successfully expanded his culinary business into the F&B Group with his partners. “In Asia you can do things quite fast. In Europe, bureaucracy makes things move slowly. If you want to open a restaurant here, it takes three months, but it may take one year in Italy,” he said. “What I like about Asia is the flexibility to do what I like to do. I can push myself as much as I want and find my limits!”

 

1. Your Restaurant/Business:

Co-Founder, Osteria by Angie / Angie’s F&B Group

 

We feature regional Italian cuisine. We adjust the menu based on the region where the chef comes from. If the chef comes from Southern Italy, we provide flavors of the Southern style. We always try to give our chefs the opportunity to do what they can do their best.

 

All the pasta and even ice cream in our restaurants are homemade. We use local products as much as possible, but if we can’t find the ingredients that meet our needs, we import them to ensure the quality and taste.

 

Overall we insist on the authentic Italian taste instead of working on localization, or so-called fusion. Of course we still balance a little bit to show respect to the local culture and avoid being too aggressive. For example, we know that rabbits are pets in Taiwan, so we don’t serve “stewed rabbit with polenta” here, though it’s a traditional Italian cuisine!

 

2. About Your Kitchen:

I love to work in open kitchens.

 

An open kitchen is like a film studio, where customers can see chefs performing like actors/actresses and enjoy the show. I think that makes customers feel comfortable. There is nothing to hide. I like to interact with my customers and share the energy and vibes in the kitchen with them.

 

In terms of building my back of house team in Taiwan, of course passion is important. We try to identify chefs who enjoy their work. We have our chefs move around in different stations, helping them to acquire multiple skills and making them complete chefs in a relatively short time. They can do appetizers, main courses, and desserts, not only a specific kind of cuisine.

 

I do have chefs come back again after five years. I think it’s a good sign. It means I have at least done something right to them (smile).

 

3. Your Favorite Chef Works Item:

Urban Collection

Portland Bib Apron

 

4. First Job:

When I was studying in a culinary school at 14, I was introduced to work in a family hotel in Bologna, Italy, during the summer vacation. That was my first job, and I worked 14 hours a day for two months without any holidays (while all my friends were enjoying their vacation!!)

 

5. Your Favorite Cookbook:

My own book!
《簡單,就是最好的味道 (Simplicity Brings out the Best Flavor)》

 

I spent 6 months concentrating on this book. I enjoyed the experience, and I think I should write another one!

 

I make simple cuisines.

 

I think when people go to a restaurant at the end of a day, they want to know what they are eating. If I serve you pasta, I want to ensure that it tastes good, looks good, and still, you know that it’s a plate of pasta with tomato sauce. (smile) If it’s a restaurant that you want to go once a year, it’s a different story. But I hope my restaurant is a place where customers want to come back often, a place where they feel like home.

 

Simplicity is not easy to achieve though. Everyone seems to be able to do it, but it’s hard to make yourself different.

 

6. Your Awards:

Osteria by Angie was ranked No. 61 in “101 Best Restaurants in Asia 2014” by The Daily Meal.
(Personally I am not especially interested in joining culinary competitions.)

 

7. Your Cooking Inspiration:

Alain Ducasse.

 

He is the mentor for so many good chefs around the world. He always gives his chefs opportunities to learn and develop their own cuisines.

 

Now I look for new inspiration by travelling as well. But more often, I look back to my roots, to where I come from, and where I have been working. I am not into making so-called contemporary cuisines. I aim to strike the balance between creativity and tradition. Following current trends is just not my style.

 

Also, when I build a new concept for a new restaurant, it’s not just about food. The food, the interior design, the atmosphere I want to create—they are all inter-related. This helps me to find new inspiration for my cuisines too.

 

8. Your Speciality Dish:

Seafood and pasta.

 

I love seafood myself. In my hometown, seafood was rare and expensive. Since I started to work in restaurants, naturally I have been dealing with seafood very often. But until now, seafood still evokes the pleasure of eating something extraordinary when I was a child. We always have special feelings towards something that was missing in our childhood, don’t we? (smile)

 

As for pasta, we provide both dry pasta and fresh pasta in Osteria. We just imported a new machine from Italy to provide more options of our homemade dry pasta.

 

9. Favorite Dish To Eat:

Spaghetti with fresh tomato

This is what I eat. It’s my daily life!

 

10. Weirdest Thing You Ever Ate:

Crocodile, in Cuba.

I went there for holiday. The crocodile meat was a bit jelly and didn’t taste too good….

 

11. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:

Bitter chocolate.

 

12. Favorite Drink:

Water.

 

13. Favorite Wine:

Brunello di Montalcino 2007 – Stella di Campalto.

 

14. Who Would You Most Like to Cook For:

My children.

I can only see them in the morning, so I always make breakfast for them before they go to school. Sometimes I take them to the kitchen and try to cook with them together. They like to see the blender spinning when we blend fruits. We also make cakes or cookies. I like the interaction.

 

15. Who Would You Least Like to Cook For:

Alain Ducasse. (smile)

 

16. Favorite Things to Do When Not Cooking:

Sports! I go to the gym, running, swimming, etc.
I used to be a parachutist when I was in the army (military service was mandatory back then).

 

17. Your Latest Project:

Recently I’ve been busy preparing for opening new restaurants. The Yellow Lemon Dessert Bar at Xinyi A4* has been launched in the end of Aug, and the new Osteria by Angie restaurant at the new Breeze Center (also in Xinyi District) will open on Nov 5th with a new concept!

 

Overall, I think the culinary market of Taiwan is expanding. When we first opened Osteria in Taiwan in 2010, there were few Italian restaurants. Now there are more good Italian restaurants, and I think competition is a good thing. Together we provide our customers with more access to tasting real Italian flavors, and they start to know what Italian food is and learn to appreciate what/how we eat and drink.

 

*Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store, Xinyi A4 Store

 

18.Favorite City and Why:

Verona in Italy. It’s a historical city with good food and friendly people.

 

Overall I love Taiwan too. Taipei is quieter, and the pace is not that fast compared with other major Asian cities. However, instead of urban areas, I actually prefer natural scenes more. Mountains, forests, and lakes here are beautiful. The Sun Moon Lake reminds me of my hometown, where it’s full of nature.

 

19. Your Greatest Indulgence:

Dessert! I love he millefeville from Rebuchon Restaurant in Macau.

 

20. Your All Time Best Culinary Tip:

Taste the food and be patient.

 

Sometimes I see chefs not tasting their cuisines before offering them to the customers. I think it’s a problem. If you don’t taste your food on your own, it’s very likely that you fail to create the cuisine you expect to serve to your customers. And you won’t even know it if the customers don’t complain.

 

In Taiwan, I see a lot of young chefs who are ambitious, but they don’t wait for their time to come. They move forward too fast. It’s like you remove the training wheels before you fully learn how to ride a bicycle. You may end up falling because you couldn’t take full control over what you are doing.

 

I suggest young chefs be patient about not only their career path but also cooking. Don’t spend time on thinking about how to take shortcuts. If the recipe says three hours, don’t change it into one hour only because you want to save time. Spend the time you have to spend on your cuisine, and I think it will work better.

 

2015 秋冬「新時尚宣言」:機能時尚 全新剪裁

 

FUNCTIONAL FIT

機能時尚 全新剪裁

 

Chef Works 推出全新機能時尚設計,將透氣涼感布料融入俐落剪裁線條,同時強化細部功能,再次提升便利性與實用度,提供絕佳的舒適與時尚,讓您每天都能展現專業自信!

 

 

Chef of the Month – Giorgio Pappalardo 杜喬治

 

Giorgio Pappalardo(杜喬治),安琪餐飲集團(Angie’s F&B Group)總監暨共同創辦人,五年前來到台灣,致力於推廣簡單又道地的義大利美食,「我2010年來台灣的時候,一般人對於義大利料理的認知就只有披薩和義大利麵」,Giorgio不只將道地的義大利料理帶到台灣,更希望進一步體現義大利人的生活美學。

 

對料理滿懷熱情的Giorgio,自義大利的餐飲學校畢業後,爭取到了在Luc Figueras(西班牙)以及Alain Ducasse(法國)等頂級餐廳工作的機會,「我是個求進步的人,我一直熱衷於學習新的事物,」來到亞洲之後,他連續十年在Hyatt凱悅集團旗下飯店服務,足跡遍及曼谷、首爾、北京、東京、上海,當時年僅27歲的Giorgio更成為了Hyatt集團史上最年輕的行政總主廚,「我很幸運能遇到很好的主管賞識我,讓我有機會挑戰自己,發揮所長。」

 

2010年時,Giorgio和家人來到台灣,與合夥人共同開設了「Osteria by Angie」餐廳,現在更已成立了安琪餐飲集團,將相關事業群一一納入旗下。「我覺得在亞洲比較有效率,歐洲的官僚體系讓很多事情都走得很慢,如果你想在台灣開一間餐廳,可能只需要三個月,如果是在義大利,應該會花掉一整年的時間。」Giorgio接著說道:「我喜歡亞洲的地方就是,這裡讓我有自由發揮的空間,我可以竭盡所能的將自己推到極限!」

 

1. 目前任職/經營的餐廳或餐飲事業:

Osteria by Angie餐廳 / Angie’s F&B Group安琪餐飲集團 共同創辦人

 

我們主打道地的義大利料理,並且會依主廚的出身地來調整菜單,假設現在的主廚是來自南義,我們就會提供南義口味的料理,這樣主廚才能盡情發揮。

 

Osteria所有的義大利麵,甚至連冰淇淋都是自製的。我們會儘量使用本地食材,但為了維持道地的義大利口味,若在台灣找不到合適的食材,還是會進口。

 

我們不走「在地化」,或是跨界的「創意料理(fusion cuisine)」路線,而是堅持提供原汁原味的義大利口味。當然我們還是會基於尊重在地文化而稍做取捨,例如Osteria就不會提供「燉兔肉佐義式玉米粥」這道傳統義大利菜,畢竟在台灣兔子是拿來當寵物養的,不是拿來吃的(笑)。

 

2. 請簡介您的廚房(團隊):

我非常喜歡開放式廚房。

 

開放式廚房就像片場一樣,餐廳的客人可以放鬆的享受一場秀,看廚師們像演員般肆意揮灑。開放式廚房讓我們毫無保留的與客人互動,將廚房的熱情與活力分享出去。

 

而談到如何建立內場團隊,熱情當然很重要,我們希望廚師對於自己的工作能樂在其中。我們會讓旗下的廚師輪調到各個工作站,協助他們在相對較短的時間內,習得一個主廚需具備的完整技能,不管是前菜、主菜或是甜點都能掌握。

 

來台灣五年了,現在也有五年前曾在Osteria工作過的主廚再次回來找我們,我想這是個好現象,這代表我有做對了一些事情!

 

3. 最喜歡的Chef Works產品:

Urban Collection都會系列

Portland波特蘭丹寧連身圍兜圍裙

 

4. 第一份工作:

我還在就讀餐飲學校的時候,利用暑假期間到爸爸朋友家開的一間家庭旅館工作,那時我才14歲,每天工作14個小時,完全沒有休假(但我的朋友都在快樂放暑假!),當時真的覺得很辛苦。

 

5. 最喜歡的料理書:

《簡單,就是最好的味道》
這本是我寫的書(笑)我花了六個月的時間專注在這本書上,這是段很不錯的經驗,我應該再來寫一本!

 

我的料理很重視「簡單」。

 

我覺得當你辛苦工作了一整天後,走進一間餐廳,會希望知道端上餐桌的是什麼料理,而不會對著眼前的盤子一臉疑惑。如果我為你做了一道義大利麵,我希望這盤麵好吃、好看、而且你很清楚這是一盤番茄義大利麵!如果是一間你一年只會去一次的餐廳,當然另當別論,但我希望我的餐廳會讓顧客感覺像家一樣,會想常常回來光顧。

 

所謂的「簡單」其實並不容易做到。因為看似簡單,好像大家都會,不過要做到有特色的簡單就不容易了。

 

6. 曾得過的餐飲獎項:

Osteria by Angie在美國美食網站The Daily Meal的《2014年亞洲最佳101餐廳 (101 Best Restaurants in Asia)》排行中榮獲第61名。

 

我個人倒是比較沒有興趣參加餐飲競賽。

 

7. 料理的靈感來源:

Alain Ducasse。

 

Alain Ducasse是世界各地許多名廚的老師,他總是讓旗下的廚師有機會能發展出屬於自己的料理風格。

 

我現在也會透過旅行來尋找新的靈感,不過其實我許多的靈感都是來自「追本溯源」,我會回憶我的家鄉、我多年工作中的所學,並從這些過去的經驗中汲取新的養分。我個人不太追求所謂的當代創意料理,雖然我也會試著在傳統和創意中尋找一個平衡點,但是追隨潮流真的不是我的風格。

 

此外,當我在籌備一間新的餐廳,或是改造原有餐廳時,會提出一個新的概念,這個概念不只包括料理,還包括裝潢和整體氛圍營造等等,這些都是一體的,這樣的思考方式也會讓我產生新的料理靈感。

 

8. 您的招牌料理:

海鮮與義大利麵。

 

我自己非常喜歡海鮮。在我的家鄉,海鮮稀少又昂貴,當然在我開始進廚房工作後,就有很多機會接觸海鮮,但是直到現在,吃海鮮還是會勾起我的兒時回憶,那是一種品嘗到珍饈的愉悅,人總是會對小時候的缺憾懷有特殊的情感,對吧?

 

至於義大利麵,Osteria有提供乾式義大利麵(dry pasta)和新鮮義大利麵(fresh pasta),我們才剛從義大利引進新的義大利麵機,讓我們的自製乾式義大利麵有更多的變化供客人選擇。

 

9. 最喜歡吃的料理:

義大利麵佐鮮番茄

這就是我的日常餐點。

 

10. 吃過最奇怪的食物:

鱷魚肉,我以前去古巴度假時吃的,我記得吃起來有點膠狀的口感,不太好吃……

 

11. 最喜歡的冰淇淋口味:

苦巧克力

 

12. 最喜歡的飲料:

 

13. 最喜歡的酒:

Brunello di Montalcino 2007 – Stella di Campalto

 

14. 最想為誰下廚:

我的孩子。

我通常只有早上有時間陪小孩,所以我每天都會為他們準備早餐。有時候我會帶著他們一起到廚房做菜,他們喜歡看果汁機攪拌的樣子,我們也會一起做些蛋糕餅乾,我喜歡這樣的互動。

 

15. 最不想為誰下廚:

Alain Ducasse(笑)

為他做菜的話當然會有壓力!

 

16. 除了料理之外最大的興趣:

運動!我會上健身房、跑步、游泳。

我在當兵的時候(當時是義務役)還當過傘兵呢!

 

17. 近期的規劃:

我最近在忙著籌備新餐廳。在信義新光三越A4館的「黃檸檬Yellow Lemon Dessert Bar」八月底才剛開幕,另外一間在信義微風的「Osteria by Angie」預計會在11月初開幕,雖然名稱一樣,但會以新的概念和大家見面。

 

整體來說,台灣的餐飲市場仍在成長中,我記得我2010年剛到台灣時,真正的義式餐廳不多,但現在市場上已經有不少優質的義式餐廳,許多客人也逐漸了解義式風味以及義式的餐飲習慣,我也覺得有競爭是一件好事。

 

18. 最喜歡的城市與原因:

義大利的維洛那(Verona),這是一座歷史悠久的城市,料理很美味,而且當地的人也很友善。

 

整體來說我也很喜歡台灣。和其它亞洲主要城市相比,臺北比較安靜,步調也沒那麼快,不過比起大城市,我更喜歡台灣的自然風景。台灣的山巒、森林、湖泊都很美,日月潭的美景會讓我想起我的老家。

 

19. 工作之餘如何犒賞自己:

甜點!

我特別喜歡澳門Robuchon au Dome的法式千層酥。

 

20. 堅守的料理秘訣:

品嘗你的料理,並且要有耐心。

 

有時候我會看到一些主廚在上菜前沒有先嘗過自己的料理,這是一個很大的問題。如果你自己不試吃,很可能你端上客人餐桌的料理並不如你所預期的成功,而且如果客人不抱怨的話,你根本就不會發現。

 

講到耐心,很多台灣的年輕廚師都很有衝勁,但是往往衝得太快,沒有耐心等待屬於自己的時機來臨,這就好像你還沒真的學會騎腳踏車,就把輔助輪拿掉一樣,這樣會很容易失敗,因為你根本還沒學會掌握所有必要的技能。

 

同時,在料理上一樣要有耐心,不要花心思在想要怎麼走捷徑,如果食譜告訴你這個食材要花三小時熬煮,就不要只因為想節省時間,自己縮短成一個小時,該花在料理上的時間不要省,我想這樣才會有比較好的成果。

 

送給Chef Works Taiwan的一段話:

我有發現Chef Works在台灣越來越受歡迎,恭喜Chef Works Taiwan團隊,Good job!