Chef in focus
Mr Vincenzo Gatti
Chef Vincenzo, who is from Puglia, Italy, brings with him 20 years of culinary experience gained across many countries, with different positions in many kitchens of five-star hotels. He began his culinary career in Italy, after which he worked in various cities across Europe, including Amsterdam and Cologne. Within a year of moving to Dubai, his team and the Certo Restaurant were awarded ´Best Italian Restaurant in Dubai´. Chef Vincenzo is no stranger to the Hyatt family, having previously worked at Park Hyatt Guangzhou, China. Prior to joining Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, he was the Executive Sous Chef at Grand Hyatt Seoul, South Korea.
Contact: 032 521 234, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit website www.hyattregencyhuahin.com
Why cooking as a career?
When I was younger, I was interested in many fields but always for a short period of time. However, with cooking, it was different. Cooking never bores me.
Two biggest influences on your career?
As a child, I used to watch my mother cooking. Her care and love were evident in all her actions while cooking, and I found this very inspiring. I was also inspired by all of the mentors whom I’ve worked with.
Best early kitchen experience?
Amsterdam was one of the best restaurants I worked for. At that time, they had just won best Italian restaurant in Amsterdam, so I had plenty to learn from everyone in the kitchen.
Worst kitchen experience?
My first job wasn’t my best for sure. I had never travelled before, and my workplace was located 17 hours away from my hometown.
Best meal you’ve ever had?
A dinner I had with my wife at Vun Restaurant by Andrea Aprea, a 2-Michelin star restaurant at Park Hyatt Milan. I remember the whole experience was like a movie. Everything was flawless, and it was as if the restaurant has a soul of its own.
What’s your cooking philosophy?
I am a pretty straightforward character. Therefore, my food philosophy is simple. However, that doesn’t mean that my food is.
What’s your signature dish?
Risotto and bread!
The Flavor Bible
Most difficult ingredient to cook with?
Well, I would say eggs. As simple as eggs may seem, it takes a great deal of skill and practice to cook anything with eggs.
How do you keep in touch with latest food trends?
I like to go to restaurants to try new food. I also use the Internet and read books.
Have you ever created an entirely new dish?
I do it as a job. As I’ve said, I start from the traditional and then explore the many possibilities depending on various factors.
Greatest achievement to date?
My latest greatest achievement is becoming an Executive Chef with Hyatt Hotels Company.
Famous people you’ve cooked for?
Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Who would you like to cook for?
I would like to cook for my daughter. She’s a bit over seven months now, and whenever I can, I make her food.
Utensils you can’t do without?
My tongs have become part of my uniform. I always have them with me.
Music you listen to while cooking?
I don’t really listen to music while cooking. I always put my focus on food.
What’s your favourite dish to cook for yourself?
Spaghetti tomato sauce – a simple dish but everything has to be done right.
Favourite dish cooked by someone else?
Eggplant Parmigiana by my mom. It’s something that can’t be explained. We have that on the menu at the newly renovated Figs Restaurant.
Which restaurant above all others would you like to work for?
I am happy where I am, as we are very close to the opening of our newly renovated Italian restaurant Figs. The goal is to make it the best Italian restaurant in town.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
A mechanic was my dream as a child but I have to say I’d probably still be a hotelier.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just started a very exciting step of my career, which is becoming an Executive Chef. It’s a milestone. My first goal is to open Figs, our newly renovated Italian restaurant, in a few weeks’ time. We also have three other restaurants and a team of around 50 chefs to inspire.