Ernesto Stefani Chef Profile
Born and raised in the countryside, I soon started appreciating the authentic Italian cuisine, made of ancient traditions and an almost stubborn love for its true ingredients. In my mother's restaurant, on the hills, in the Veneto region, I discovered my life-long passion. A careful selection of the best ingredients, all fresh and prepared in our kitchen. Meticulous and skillful cooking methods, aiming to unleash and enhance the true flavours of each ingredient. Special attention to detail and a careful presentation. And above all, love, passion. They are the "ingredients" that I put in all my dishes.
The passion for this work is fundamental and necessary for every Chef who wants to call himself a true Chef. Without this passion, I could not do the work I do. My ingredients, never frozen or prepared by third parties, are always of the highest quality, the basis of any good dish. My cuisine is designed to enhance the natural flavors, and not to mix them and cover them with inappropriate sauces. You'll never find cheap tomato or cream sauces in my dishes. You will undoubtedly find stews of venison, boar, and hare meats. And many mushrooms (I know over 200 types of mushrooms, good and bad!). I think creativity is certainly important, but it should not disguise reality beyond the true and authentic flavors of mother nature. In many ways my cuisine is more a science than an art: I do not write recipes that I cook - not for me, or for those who work with me - because in order to cook efficiently we must remember all details with great precision, and there is no time to check records. A good memory is therefore crucial. One of my first teachers, I remember, to help me exercise my memory, every day opened a refrigerator of the restaurant and made me look inside it for a second or two, and then closed it, asking me to tell him what was inside. Memory, attention to detail and execution speed are skills that are perfected over time, and with plenty of dedication.
Owner and manager of my restaurant since December 2008, I'm finally happy to have full control over my kitchen, from the selection of ingredients, to the preparation of each dish we serve on the table. I do my best to satisfy my clients, understand their needs and what they feel they want to eat, but without making compromises. Mine is a profession that not made to make money... but when I can get my guests to discover the values and pleasures of my cuisine, I find a satisfaction that is truly fulfilling. In the end, passion and love are indeed the most important ingredients of my country as well as my cuisine.
Thanks to my mother's restaurant, I can say that I was "born in the kitchen". However, the turning point for me was when I was 22 year old, thanks to two great chefs: Marquesi and Vissani. By then, they had both already worked with renowned international Chefs, exporting Italian cuisine, but developing primarily its presentation, while maintaining its traditional taste and flavour. Marchesi and Vissani revolutionized the Italian cuisine without changing its origins, but rediscovering its true identity, focussing on simple yet sophisticated flavours, avoiding complicated preparations, while advancing the appreciation of natural ingredients.
A good cuisine, traditional, simple and creative. A cuisine that doesn't disguise, but enhances the flavours of its ingredients.
Awards, Honors and Societies
Gold Medal - Erfurt 2002
2008 - present
Chefs I recommend
- Olivier Rodriguez (Tôkyô, Japan)
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