Fresh from Italy-A A +A
Friday, September 6, 2013
A NEW arrival from Italy has just joined the culinary team at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa. Gianfranco Pirrone, who is called chef Franco, began his culinary career in England and Scotland. But he is not a stranger to Asia and the Pacific, as he has previously worked in Thailand, Myanmar and the Maldives.
Wanting to continue his career in the pleasant atmosphere of the tropics, Franco applied for a position in Shangri-La and was welcomed to the brand’s Mactan property about two months ago. Straight from working as an executive chef at a restaurant in Rome, he became the designated Italian chef at Shangri-la’s stylish Acqua restaurant that boasts of a relaxing view of the pool and the beach beyond.
Since his arrival, Franco has been busy delighting guests with some of his signature dishes, such as the risotto con gamberi profumato allo zafferano (arborio rice with saffron, prawns and parmesan) and the gamberoni grigliati alla Siciliana (grilled tiger prawns in chili-garlic sauce served with mixed vegetables and roasted potatoes).
Cooking has been Franco’s passion since his childhood in Sicily, where he grew up in a family of kitchen enthusiasts. Learning the family recipes taught him the subtle art of seasoning, and instilled his culinary philosophy: a perfect balance of flavors should be achieved every time, using fresh and healthy ingredients.
On his day off, Franco enjoys exploring Cebu, and going to the mall to watch movies.
At the time of this writing, he just returned from a trip to Palawan that he was very much looking forward to. He plans to travel as much as he can to see the beauty of the Philippines, one of his reasons for moving to the country.
Franco looks forward to coming up with new gustatory delights at Acqua and continuing to share his passion for savoring food.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2013.