Having opened the doors of their Swiss adventure only last May, the two chefshavesucceeded in showcasing their considerable talent. In just a few short months they havenot onlygainedwidespread appreciation for their Italian bistro with its stylish cuisine, but crowned this with their first Michelin Star.
What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Francesco Gasbarro |When I caught the fragrance of freshly-sliced mortadella in the grocery shop, or when my Mom took me to the butcher’s and he gave me a slice of raw meat to eat on the spot.
Paulo Airaudo |I grew up cooking alongside my grandmother, helping her make pasta and cooking the Sunday dinner. Right there, I could taste the meat before it was brought to the table.
What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
F |A love for food and a desire to always taste something I never saw before.
P |Always wanting to try new foods.
Describe your culinary style…
F |Straightforward and self-confident.
P |Simple dishes, composed of memories and cleanly-delineated flavours.
How did you feelwhenyou heard the news that La Bottega de Geneva had recieved one star in the recent release of the Michelin 2016 Guide, not long after having launched?
F |I couldn’t believe it. I felt such incredible happiness. All these years of sacrifice and dedication to my profession finally brought this first important recognition.
P |I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that I could earn that award so quickly. It was a great joy, since I finally was able to reap what I sowed, after so many years of sacrifice.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?
F |What I want is to present them with the flavours and fragrances of the meals I experienced as a child, those that my mother and grandmother made.
P |Exactly. I feel the same way as Francesco.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
F |Extravirgin olive oil
P |Butter, thyme, and laurel leaves.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
F |I don’t have any specific moment, but I have so many beautiful memories in my career up to this point. It was very exciting to cook for my son the very first time.
P |I too remember so many different places and moments.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
F |The only thing that I might say to myself is not to apprentice to a famous chef, but I don’t really regret a single thing.
P |To listen to some advice, because if I had, it would have been advantageous.
What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?
F |We want to push for a second star, and we’re going to open a top-quality pizzeria in Geneva right away.
What is your guilty pleasure?
F |A good piece of schicciata flatbread with mortadella
P |Asado (classic Argentine dish of grilled meat)I could eat meat all day long.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
F |I haven’t been getting around much recently, but for dishes that are uncompromisingly classic, my hat is always off to Heinz Beck.
P |I really love what Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco does, and his dishes are some of the finest I have ever tasted.
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