In a candid chat with Franchise India, Italian celebrity chef Roberto talks about his journey from Italy to India, Italian foods and the food festival at Favola.
Please tell something about your Journey.
I am an Italian chef who has worked with different five star hotels. I worked on the classic Italian food. Though I like to do some innovation with the food, I never forget the Italian culture. I came to India 3 years back and started training people on Italian food. Here it was a little bit difficult to introduce pure Italian food because Italian food is less spicy and Indians like spice in everything.
What are the things that came along while designing your restaurant menu?
In the kitchen, my team and I have worked together on the menu and the dishes. When we opened the restaurant, I personally asked the guests about food- whether they like it and do they need some changes or not. I then formulated their suggestion in making our menu stand out in the crowd.
What menu tweaks are you working on?
Working on Italian food is a bit difficult in India because in this country people like spice in all types of foods. However Italian food is very light, mainly made of garlic, onion and rosemary. Indian people have a good taste of food; they like Italian foods but with an Indian touch.
How do you keep a check on the quality of food?
We provide high quality food to our customer. All our foods and raw materials are imported from Italy- from spice to olive oil to rosemary all are imported to give the customer an original taste of Italian food products.
Who inspired you to become a chef?
I am a chef not by profession; cooking is in my blood. My grandfather, my grandmother used to work as chefs. I don’t know how I became a chef; I always wanted to be a pilot by profession. For me being a chef is not a job; it’s pleasure. I love cooking and experimenting new things.
Please tell us something about Favola? What was the food festival all about?
Favola, is an Italian restaurant at Le Meridien, Pune. Derived from the Italian word ‘fable’. Favola serves pure and authentic Italian food. From Pasta to Pizza to different breads, it spins a marvellous tale of good food, genuine hospitality and classic Italian flair.
The food festival was all about giving our customer a gift of Italian foods, thus promoting the concept of Italian food. I worked up-on three unique menus; some of the soups are Minestrone alla Genovese, the classic Pasta e fagioli and Chicken stracciatella consommé and many more. The soups were placed as a starter and after starter one can choose from the varieties of Pizza and Pasta from both Vegetarian and Non- Vegetarian segment. The food was available for just Rs 850 plus the taxes.
What all offers were you giving at your food festival?
The food festival is all about to promote the concept of Italian food among Indians. We provided 50 percent discount menu to children between the age group of 4 to 12 years. We also provided a discount to Starwood Preferred Guests and EDM members on the occasion.