DUBAI: Italian chef Giovanni Papi has a lot to celebrate this week as his Armani/Ristorante eatery at Dubai’s Armani hotel was awarded one Michelin star in the coveted guide’s first-ever edition in the city.
The restaurant was part of a list of just 11 outlets that received awards at Tuesday’s ceremony, with nine nabbing one star — including Armani/Ristorante — and two that were awarded two stars each.
“I feel extremely proud and emotional as a Michelin star is a dream that each chef chases,” the chef told Arab News.
“We knew that Armani /Ristorante was invited for the Michelin guide revelation but (weren’t) sure about the outcome for our restaurant. But I feel confident that we are delivering the outstanding service and culinary experience at Armani/Ristorante all the time,” he added.
The restaurant, which dishes up modern Italian cooking in a luxurious atmosphere, is known for its signature dishes such as agnolotti del plin, a pasta typical of the Piedmont region of Italy, fish dish filetto di scorfano and agnello al mirto, a lamb dish.
Despite the technical difficulty that each dish presents, Papi insists a passion for cooking makes it easy.
“I don’t have any dish that I (find) difficult to do as I am working with passion and determination. Each dish on our menu is created after many trials before presenting to our customers,” he said.
It would not be remiss to say that with a Michelin star the heat in the kitchen will surely be ramped up but the chef insists that he will take it all in his stride.
“This recognition changes a lot of things and encourages me and the team to pursue our culinary vision,” he said, adding “pressure will be certainly there since everyone will look (at) us, but (there will be) no pressure on the innovation (front) as this is what we have been doing for… years.”
If you plan to book a table at the newly crowned Michelin-starred restaurant, the chef suggests the signature chlorophyll risotto and Sicilian red prawns, along with the Armani/Ristorante La Sfera dessert.
As for his top tips for amateur chefs, he repeated the importance of being passionate about creating dishes.
“My top tip will be to cook with passion to delight your guests and family — cooking is all about sharing emotion and creating memories.”