One of the most celebrated Italian chefs of all times, Giuliano Tassanari , has made it big in the world that celebrates food from all countries. Giuliano Tassinari has served the likes of  supermodel Naomi Campbell and Prince of Monaco Andrea Casiraghi; however, he is a modest man and says the dishes he creates do not necessarily have to be unique. His recent visit to Pakistan was made in collaboration with 7 UP. In keeping with the brand’s latest tagline for Pakistan, ‘Mana lo food ka love with 7Up’, 7Up has flown in top chefs and entertainers from around the world to perform, cook and serve up exclusive meals in 12 of Pakistan’s leading restaurants.  Despite his high-flying career, Tassinari is a modest man and said the dishes he creates do not necessarily have to be unique. He said this is particularly true for someone in a position like his, who has spent most of his life in the kitchen. He thus rejects the idea of keeping his art a secret, making him an exception to the school of thought that “no cook shares his secrets.We had the exclusive opportunity to talk to him about his love for food and his visit to Pakistan.

You are one of the most celebrated and renowned chefs of your time. Where did all this start?

Food has always been my love. It was something I always planned on pursuing, ever since my mother showed me her love for food. My career has been one wonderful big experience. Cooking in different parts of the world, giving everybody else the joy of food through my cooking is all what matters to me. I’ve been to various countries all over the world, and I can say very confidently to all young people who have this potential to pursue their dreams and dream big for once.

Did you always want to be a chef or did the young Giuliano  have some other plans in mind?

No. I always had one line of career I wanted to pursue and it was always food. Ever since I was a kid I knew this is what I wanted to do. And now I’ve been in this business for as long as I can remember. There is nothing else that I would rather do.

What is your favorite place in Italy and why?

I love all my country (Laughs). Italy is a beautiful place to be to grow up and especially in the love of food. Our cuisine is very different from other countries. Our food is what sets us apart and that is something that makes me really happy and fat too! (Laughs). I can’t say I like this more then that, because Italy itself has an illustrious food history that I enjoy as a whole.

Did you receive any culinary training before you went to become a chef?

Yes I went 3 years in a culinary school for training. And I took many different classes, venturing into different arenas of food. Practicing perfection at pastry, at all kinds of meats etc. then I went on to Canada to learn something more because I believe that even now I cannot say that I’ve done everything. It’s a learning process. You can never stop learning when it comes to food. So I try everything. Everyday you can perfect something you already no and work towards being more professional.

So what are you currently doing now? Do you own a restaurant or do you work somewhere?

As of now I work for big restaurants as executive chef who’s in charge for looking after the service that they provide to their customers. Recently, I just came back from Iran where we opened up a new restaurant. And I am visiting different countries, just like now I am in Pakistan, and I try to show my skills as an Italian chef everywhere I go.

What’s your favorite ingredient?

I think it’s important to enjoy and appreciate whatever ingredients each season brings. As my philosophy is to work with fresh ingredients only, I enjoy making whatever the new season offers. Using fresh ingredients can make a big difference in the quality of food that you make.

 

How would you describe Italian food?

Italian cuisine is very simple. Italian food is made out of love. We use original ingredients and try to keep it as simple bringing out the best in any dish we make. Italian cuisine doesn't just consist of pizza and pasta. It offers more than that. There are over 76 typical products and original dishes peculiar to Italy. Every region has its own recipes. Italian cuisine is very popular all over the world. While I was a student in France, for instance, my teacher used to say to me that the Italian kitchen focuses on pasta. However, after some years, I saw that that many French restaurants had closed but Italian ones were opening. The Italian kitchen is healthy and open to innovation, using new systems in their cookery, while I find the French cuisine very heavy. Even the fish caught in Italy are purchased by the Japanese.

What do you think about Pakistani Cuisine?

I love it! There are a lot of flavors, it’s spicy and it’s really delicious. My favorite is the Biryani. The Pakistani palette does have a lot to offer and it has been a wonderful experience being here.

After Italian cuisine what is your favorite cuisine?

The kind of cuisine that attracts me the most is Japanese cuisine. Its very neat, simple and has beautiful flavors. The ingredients they use and the flavor you get in your mouth is not some feisty sauce, but the taste of the original ingredient itself.

What does being a chef mean to you?

I really enjoy my work, which is my first love. I have been doing my job since I started cooking school in Italy when I was 14. I like different tastes and try to see different countries as well as the tastes peculiar to them. Every country has its own traditional tastes. I saw various countries, tasted many traditional dishes and saw that Italian cuisine was very popular. A cook gives his soul to the dish. It is not the ingredients or the recipe but the personality of a cook that creates originality and makes the dish really different. This is because the interpretation of the dish and the experience a cook conveys to his dishes are important.

Are you the kind of chef that keeps his cooking recipes a secret?

Keeping cooking secrets is an old story. If you like your job and believe that you do it well then you don't need to keep its details hidden. It may seem strange from the outside, but why should things that you have produced in the kitchen for many years be so special? In fact, there are three sorts of chef: the students, who have little knowledge and few secrets to share; the traditionalists, who generally know the traditional recipes we all know; and the open-minded chefs, well-experienced ones at the international level, who know there is nothing to be kept secret