Angelo Scirocco, Africa-Middle East finalist: "I'm in search of perfecting flavour"

Angelo Scirocco of Cape Town’s Chefs Warehouse and Canteen is the Africa & Middle East region finalist for the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 competition.

The 24-year-old sous chef will cook his signature dish entitled Milk is Thicker Than Water at the Grand Final in Milan, the 26th of June. He spoke to us ahead of the big event.

Tell us about your signature dish... 
The strength of the dish is based on a foundation of light and floral panna cotta with unexpected milky textures. The second part of the dish showcases silkier and more richly cultured milk components. The balance together gives a refreshing and textural milk experience.

What made you decide to become a chef?
My family have been chefs for five generations. I wanted continue the legacy of my forefathers. I've always been more interested in how and why food tastes good, so I took up the career in search of perfecting flavour.

Which chef or chefs inspire you daily and why?
Ferran Adrià is without question my greatest idol, still. He has shown the world that there are no boundaries. This is very important to me because my greatest strength is my imagination and creativity. Ferran Adrià has created a life time of imaginative dishes and tools which will be used for a very long time.

What’s the best dish you’ve ever tasted - where did you eat it, who cooked it?
The first time I ate risotto was in Italy. My grandmother cooked a tomato risotto in her small village, Montalto di Castro. Even today, I can't get the flavour and textures right.

What’s the most challenging aspect of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 for you?
My dish is a dessert which consists of very fragile flavours. My ingredients need to be almost identical in terms of milk fat content, to release the required flavour profile that marries with the rest of the dish. The balance is vital. Gathering the right ingredients is the most challenging part yet.

What kind of help/guidance would you like from your mentor?
The experience behind my mentor will give me the certainty and confidence that I'm on the right path.

What will you do if you win this competition?
Winning this competition will point me in the right direction in becoming the chef I'd like to be. This gives me the exposure and experience to take up bigger challenges that will come later in my life. I will experience more and take bigger risks to achieve what’s necessary to be at the top of our industry.

Angelo Scirocco mentor: meet chef David Higgs