Italian dining from the award-winning, holder of Two Michelin Stars Chef Antonio Mellino at Quattro Passi.
VELVET asked the award-winning Chef, Antonio Mellino about his most exciting new Italian restaurant, Quattro Passi, which introduced an Amalfi style sharing concept for fans of laid back Italian cuisine. Located at FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai, Quattro Passi is encouraging foodies to try the ‘Friday Famiglia Lunch’. The dining deal offers a sit-down service where the charismatic waiting staff brings a series of delicious, authentic Italian dishes to the table.
Where did it all start? Did you study in culinary school?
C: I studied in an Italian culinary school. Simplicity has always been part of Italy’s cuisine. Your passion, love and hard work will take you to new horizons and progress you in life. Today I teach in two different schools in Italy, from 25 boys I find one or two who have what it takes to cook in my restaurants. I always tell them if they focus their attention, put their heart and soul on what they love to do, it will come easy.
Where do you get all your produce for Quattro Passi?
C: Most of our supplies are from Italy, the best quality. Depending on the season we buy what we need for our restaurant to ensure freshness and taste. We had pumpkin soup and white truffles; we change our menu based on the season.
For Families who don’t know Quattro Passi, why should they visit your restaurant?
C: “Weekends in Italy are all about spending time with family and friends sharing great food”. “We want to replicate the spirit of the Amalfi Coast in Dubai and we are sure we can help you forget about your worries in our restaurant.”
Tell us more about your staff in the kitchen
C: I have trained them first in the culinary school that I teach in, after they prove themselves I train them further in my restaurant in Italy, whoever I think is best I send them here to Dubai. Italy is the original Quattro Passi with two stars, the one in London came next, and the one in Dubai right after.
Do you do a lot of travelling?
C: Yes, I do and both my sons, we rotate between our restaurants. For example, one of my sons based in Italy is coming next week to work here in Dubai while I will go back to Italy to work there. I have two chefs who are based in Dubai that I could rely on and that is the secret to maintaining standards in my restaurants.
What is your favorite dish on the menu?
C: The Linguini Pasta with zucchinis flowers complimented with white sauce. The white cream is done with pasta water, butter and cheese.
We created this dish a long time ago in the area where I grew up in and people come to eat this dish; every chef does it a different way. I have changed it a little bit to add my signature and technique. I’m proud to say it’s my signature dish on every restaurant I open. We use the pasta from the farm where I grew up in, they produce the best pasta and the best zucchini is exported from the same area as well.
Do you like parmesan cheese more or mozzarella cheese?
C: Depends on what dish I am making. It’s safe to say that every Italian is born with mozzarella, or at least I was. Parmesan cheese is an ingredient for the whole world; aged and a little dry while Mozzarella is always fresh.
Chef Antonio Mellino
What makes a good chef and a good restaurant?
C: To become a good chef, you must have a little bit of everything especially passion; you must first be understanding the ingredients then you need to buy the right ingredients. Many things must be in place to create the menu. If you are an intelligent guy and understand without wasting your mentors’ time you will make it in the real world. First you create the menu, and then you create the chef.
In this world, there are people who are willing to learn, without wasting months beforegiving up. This is life in my eyes, but it’s not easy to open a successful restaurant; the chefs must be organized, menu curated, table cloths, plates, silverware and ambiance all decided while having an organized dining room, organized kitchen design and make sure everything is up to incredible standards is not an easy thing to do. Since our menu is seasonal, when we need to change something both my sons and I need to be there to implement the changes.
Chef, do you still eat at McDonalds?
C: Yes! Definitely! In life you need to try everything, and you should never stop learning. I do eat fast food, and sometimes I go to the best restaurant in the world; Depends on my mood.
Quattro Passi, FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai
For reservations call: 04 455 9988