Behind The Apron: Marco Violano (OTTO Locanda)

Helming OTTO Locanda’s kitchen is new head chef, Marco Violano, who first came to Singapore to work at Basilico in 2008. Born in a small town of South-eastern Italy- Puglia, 36 year-old Chef Marco has come a long way in pursuit of his love for food. From working in pastry shops to owning his own restaurants and moving to another continent, the chef shares why food is a huge part of his life.

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How did your love for food come about?

I was always surrounded by flavours and my mum’s cooking at home. I made my first Christmas dessert when I was nine, with my mum’s help of course. At 14, I started helping the pastry chef at a pastry shop just below my house during my school breaks.

Why did you decide to come to Singapore?

I used to own two restaurants – in North and South Italy, both up on a cliff. However, they were destroyed by waves within a week of each other. Shortly after, a friend who was working in this region invited me to join him.

I feel at home here as I get a lot more support than I did back in Italy. People here are more appreciative and passionate about the Italian food I make.

What is one Italian recipe you hope to pass down to your descendants?

It has to be the Melanzane alla Parmigiana (an oven baked layered eggplant dish)! My mum used to cook it back home and it was one of my family’s favourite dishes. Because it is really complicated to create, we could only have it once a fortnight. So there was always a sense of anticipation for this dish. I still remember the taste of my mum’s eggplant dish from 20 years ago. It tastes different today because back then, the ingredients were more natural.

What is your favourite Singaporean dish?

Roasted chicken rice from Boon Tong Kee. It is the best and I have it two to three times a week!

What is the best culinary advice that you’ve received?

Respect for the food. When I think of the origins of the food and the long way it has come to reach my hands, I respect the food even more. Also, I’m Catholic so I believe that since food comes from God, we must respect it.

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Check out our review on Chef Marco’s new dishes from the revamped OTTO Locanda menu HERE!

Interview

One Response to Behind The Apron: Marco Violano (OTTO Locanda)

  1. […] Find out more about Chef Marco Violano as we chat with him about his passion for food HERE! […]

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