Chef Dario Busnelli started from humble beginnings – starting out in a small town in Lombardy, Northern Italy where he picked up cooking from his grandmother. Since then, he has worked in several renowned Michelin-starred restaurants before moving to Thailand where he spearheaded the openings of two award-winning Italian restaurants – Attico at Radisson Blu Plaza Bangkok and Allegro at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai.
Cuisine & Wine Asia sits down with Chef Busnelli to find out more about his culinary journey and his quest for his visit to the little red dot.
CWA: How did you passion for cooking start?
DB: It all started from my experience back home. Most of my family members could cook really well, especially my grandma. In 1990, when I moved to my hometown in Brianza, between the city of Milan and Lake of Como, I was immediately introduced to a ‘24-hour restaurant’ – which was my house. Our family considered the kitchen as the heart of the house as we gathered there most of the time. The scent of the room and conversations were always accompanied by some succulent dishes. No matter a busy weekday or a festive occasion, the kitchen always played an important part in family bonding.
I started with a career in catering jobs, and since then, I have had the fortune of crossing paths with many individuals in the hospitality industry, and this opened my eyes to the culinary world.
One chef that inspired my career was Chef Vito Mollica, presently the Director of Food and Beverage of Four Seasons Hotel Firenze whom mentored me for a grand total of 5 years in Prague. I learnt a lot from him – from the styles of cooking to how to interact with my team and customers.
CWA: What did you experience in working in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants teach you?
DB: What I really understood from working in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants is principally ‘Discipline’. Everything revolves around discipline. Some places might seem stricter than others but at the end of the day, it’s an experience that I would recommend to everyone who wants to work in a kitchen, to have in his/her lifetime.
Here again, I would like to mention Chef Vito Mollica. His vision of a restaurant is based on the people and the three words which characterises our way of cooking are simplicity, tradition and passion. The ‘people’ refers to customers, and the team who delivers the unique experience to the customer, which includes the suppliers, producers, kitchen, stewarding and service staff. Without the recognition of ‘people’, the hospitality industry would not be able to thrive.
CWA: Is there a favourite recipe that you will be serving here?
DB: I really like all the dishes I will be bringing to Carousel. Behind each dish is an episode of my life. Each dish evokes a specific memory – from being at home with my grandma to the Michelin-starred restaurants to the butchers I’ve encountered to chefs I have worked with.
If I have to name one recipe, it would be the Risotto al Nero di Seppia con Frutti di Mare, one of the main highlights to be served at Carousel, because it has two basic elements which characterises me a lot – risotto as it is a speciality of Lombardy, the region I grew up in (Risotto a la Milanese); and also because I love seafood.
These two ingredients together served in the same dish makes the perfect combination of two different regional specialities. Of course, I will adapt the execution of the dish in order to render a unique experience to the guests at Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts.
CWA: What is the main goal for your trip to Singapore?
DB: This is my first time ever in Singapore. My main goal is to enjoy myself while sharing my experience with the Carousel and Royal Plaza on Scotts team, as well as with the restaurant guests.
CWA: As an established chef, what is one piece of advice you would give uprising chefs today?
DB: Do what you love to do! Live the life you want and always respect the people around you, just like how you want them to respect you. Do not be afraid of challenges and mistakes because all these experiences will guide you to success. Once you are aware of your passion, always identify yourself as the person who will achieve the success your passion will bring you to.
Be sure to catch Chef Busnelli at Carousel, Royal Plaza on Scotts from 12th August to 25th August 2019!
25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220
Tel: (65) 6737 7966