Fresh from the Med
Bringing the taste of
Sicily, a new chef takes the
helm at Rossini's
Rossini's, one of Bangkok's award-winning Italian restaurants, has announced the arrival of its new chef, Gaetano Palumbo.
The 33-year-old native of Sicily hails from Sciacca, an old fishing town wedged against the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean, regarded as a heartland of traditional Sicilian cuisine.
Growing up in such an environment, Palumbo was inspired to become a chef at an early age.
"In Sicily, cooking is a central part of family life. Italians are passionate about food and high-quality produce," he explains. "Living there, learning to cook is as important as enjoying the pleasures of eating fine food. Growing up surrounded by good food, the desire to cook was strong for me. It was a very natural process".
Sicily exhibits a stunning diversity of regional food and wine, and Palumbo says he's continuing a rich and important culinary heritage.
"The very best Italian food is localised. Dishes are specific not just to a region but to a particular town. What they all have in common is the use of excellent local ingredients.
"The area I come from is famous for high-quality capers and the finest sardines caught in local waters, both of which feature strongly in many regional dishes," says Palumbo.
From humble beginnings and with cooking clearly in his blood, Palumbo quickly scaled the culinary heights to become recognised as a master of Italian cuisine.
His early career was spent in Rome at two of the world's leading hotels, the Lord Byron and Hassler Hotel. As executive sous chef at the Hassler's La Terraza restaurant, Palumbo was responsible for creating daily menus, supervising and training a staff of 20 and ensuring the smooth operation of the restaurant.
Palumbo's move to Asia came in 2003, when he accepted the position of chef at the Toscana Italian restaurant in the Sherwood Hotel in Taipei.
The chef is excited at the prospect of living and working in Bangkok, and hopes his passion, creativity and experience will offer diners something to look forward to.