Andrea Miacola was named the best young chef in Benelux region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and he will now put his passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef David Martin.
We spoke to him about his preparations on how he turned a passion into a profession.
My dish is unique because…
For the presence of tulips, an unusual element that harmonizes all flavors in this dish.
What are the main influences in your signature dish?
The influence comes from my experience in the Netherlands in restaurant De Librije where I learned the knowledge of tulips, fermented, the all spices of Jonnie Boer that they contributed to the creation of my dish.
How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
In September the chef David Martin and I will devote ourselves to improve some points that might help me for the win.
What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
I born in the world of cooking and for me it is not a job but a passion. A way to express themselves and mine thought. My grandmother every Sunday when I was a child was preparing a meal for the whole family with energy, care, and attention. She wanted to do this every Sunday, just to keep the whole family together. The same commitment that I put to transmit to customers when I cook for them that I try to make them happy.
Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
Each person has been a fundamental part as Mentor in my career, from the simplest advice of a friend and colleague, to the teachings of the kitchens of the greatest chefs.
What are your professional ambitions?
My desire has always been to open a restaurant where there is not only a chef, but most people with their professional experiences can create different dishes between them, so get a menu even more full of curiosity. Another future project that I would to start is to cultivate algae and shellfish, because today the sea where I come from my region has only been used and I would be able to repopulate the natural habitat and make it alive again.
What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
My best dish I tasted in Turin at the restaurant Del Cambio, it was the first time that I came out of my region and I was only 19 years old, that was, 'agnolotti del Plin' made with the meat of capon, it was a very strong dish like flavor that I had never tasted anywhere. The strangest thing about this dish was to serve the agnolotti on a napkin and serve their broth aside I enjoyed this dish taste but also the elegance of serving a dish so Italian and so elegant.
What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
Each step of the competition makes me different emotions from fear to happiness, but I think the most powerful emotions will be stronger when I pour the tomato boullion in my plate and, taking a deep breath, I'll know to be destroyed but at the same time satisfied of the result.
What will you do if you win the competition?
After that I'll be recovered from the shock of winning and I have resigned from the hospital, I will continue to discover new flavors, spices and herbs all around the world for my personal and professional growth. I look like the Marco Polo of the new century and the knowledge of new cultures makes me feel alive and give me the incentive to create new dishes in my future.