Antonio mancini: “Treat your ingredients like your wife”
Сhef de Cuisine, Master Craftsman Culinary World Champion Antonio Mancini is renowned for his master art cuisines with imaginary names like, «A Symphony of Fruits & Pastries». In an exclusive interview with Premiere, he reveals the secrets of one of his great recipes and tells of his culinary journey and experiences.
What inspired you to become a chef? Did you have formal training?
Assisting my mother in the preparation of cooking for the family developed my culinary interest. From an early age, culinary was my every inspiration.. I imagined fine creations of culinary art, creating dishes that have now become a reality. I wanted to give to «culinary» what Mozart has given to «music» and Renoir has given to «art». Can you imagine the three elements together? I formalised my passion and graduated at the Trani Gastronomic Institute of Hospitality in Italy. A country of fine cuisine!
Your culinary creations are truly amazing and a testimonial for exceptional talent and craftsmanship. Is there any family history of passionate and talented cooks?
I was very happy to have the opportunity to assist my uncle Mimi at his Michelin starred restaurant during school holidays. Such experiences are never forgotten.
You have worked around the world; please tell us some of your most memorable experiences?
The trademark experiences have to be the times I spent working in Monte Carlo, Paris, London, Tokyo and the Middle East. My experiences in all these countries have contributed to my understanding of food cultures and the creation of cuisine transformed into fine art.
You are regularly taking part in competitions and have won more than 200 awards and accolades. What was the biggest challenge in past competitions and how important is working in a team to win an award?
The greatest challenge in all competitions was winning the 11th edition of the «Chefs of the World Contest» in Paris in 2002. I was amazed to see so many participants from 36 countries. I was proud too, to win gold medals at the Ika Culinary Olympics in 1988 and 1992. Winning competitions defines and shapes your future, as well as meeting some amazing global culinary talents along the way.
You are a renowned personality in the International gastronomy sector. Have you ever prepared something very special for an International celebrity?
There have been many occasions, too many to mention, including Royal family members, famous singers, actors, politicians and country leaders.
Do you have a Mentor Chef who has enhanced your passion and a favourite country that you feel is «the» capital city of food culture?
My Mentor Chefs are many, but my favourite 3 are Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon, and Massimo Bottura, who I consider to be the perfect combination between France and Italy, 2 great capitals of cuisine.
What tips would you give to a student chef with a dream to be at your level one day?
«Work with passion», «treat the ingredients like your wife», understand and believe too, that «failure can make you a better professional» and always treat «your team like your family» and never stop learning.
You are a professional who is always striving for new challenges and who does not rest on his achievements. What are your projects for the nearest future and do you have ambitions for new culinary creations you would like to share with the readers?
With regards to future projects, there are many in the pipeline. Ultimately I would like to open a small restaurant, possibly in Cyprus and work hard to achieve my 3rd Michelin star, which has eluded me so far.
What are your personal preferences in cuisine?
My personal food preferences are of course Italian and French home cooked regional foods. I do however, enjoy Japanese cuisine in particular Kaiseki Ryori (traditional Japanese multi-course meal) specialities. My secret Recipe for Premiere readers is «Prime Rose Black Velvet Torte» — enjoy!