Northrop & Johnson sat down with Chef Gionata Rossi of the 236-foot (72m) Tanko superyacht SOLO to discuss food, chartering and travel. Chef Gionata Rossi has enjoyed 25 years as a chef. He has worked in some of the world’s best restaurants, including Casa del Nonno 13, where he received a Michelin star. He has a deep seeded passion for food and strives to make plate a nutritional showpiece.
Why did you decide to become a chef and how did you end up working on yachts?
Gionata: Cooking has always been my passion. I started at a very early age. I started at a very early age, and after earning my master at the hotel school in Massa I started working immediately. I have been a chef for 25 years and have worked in some of the best restaurants in the world. I received a Michelin star at Casa del Nonno 13 and have featured in the best gourmet guides. I joined yachting because it combines my primary passions: cooking and traveling.
What is your favorite cuisine and can you prepare different styles of cooking?
I cook different styles of cuisine, but contemporary dishes based on traditional cuisine is what I consider the most interesting. As a chef on a superyacht I believe that the cuisine served is not only a show but a nutritional experience as well. My passion for food varies from creating the perfect roast dinner to a seven-course degustation menu where I can display a whole range of different cooking techniques and products. My notable talent is Italian and French cuisine whilst still offering Asian and Japanese menus.
How are trends driving guest expectations and how do you stay up to date?
In my kitchen and galley, I take pride that everything is made from scratch with fresh produce. Stocks, sauces and dressings are always made on board, ice creams are churned to order, pasta and gnocchi rolled fresh, fresh bread baked daily and our meats and seafood are always the freshest on the market. I also specialize in vegan, vegetarian and low-calorie diets.
What trends are you noticing in wine and food pairings?
I drink only bio-dynamic wines and I think that this trend is on the increase. Therefore, the combination must go in that direction even if I consider it to be fundamental to combine food and wine. By the way, my favorite wine is the Pinot Nero!
Can you share with us a spring menu you would prepare for charter guests?
Marinated spring onion and tomato with lime sorbet, cold tomato soup with fresh spaghetti garlic oil and chili, cold English cream with berries and apple crumble.
When are you happiest at work?
Cooking demonstrations with the guests either at the table or the kitchen. This is a special experience that I like to offer to charter guests. I love to share my passion for food with my clients and create an amazing atmosphere for their dining experience. If can establish a good relationship with the guests, the rest is easy….
Is there a chef you admire above all others and why?
If I have to mention only one, then it is Raffaele Vitale, an important Italian chef, as I had definitely the best experience working with him. I have many friends but the research of taste and knowledge of raw materials with Raffaele were essential for me.
Which nationalities tend to be the best charter guests?
I am lucky, I have always had good relationships with guests from many different nationalities. Having said that, I have worked a lot with Russian charter guests and they generally love my food.
What is your favorite destination and why?
Greece and Turkey are always in my heart for the quality of fruit and vegetables you can find on the markets.
What are the strengths that make you a great superyacht chef?
In order to offer a great experience, a huge amount of organization needs to be in place. My organizational skills allow me to present food the way that it is intended. I am also up to date with all the latest cooking techniques, methods and equipment so that as a private chef I can still rival the best and most fancy restaurants.
For more information on luxury charter yacht SOLO contact your preferred N&J Charter Broker.