Having worked around Southeast Asia (Hong Kong, Shanghai and Thailand) for the past six years Chef Francesco Greco is brimming with experience working in the kitchen as well as experimenting with different Asian cuisines specialities.
Indonesia Tatler recently caught up with Chef Francesco, who is currently serving as the Culinary Director at the five-star hotel The Hermitage Jakarta, to talk about this year’s food trends and what can be improved on in the local dining scene, among others.
Has your culinary style changed throughout the years?
Having worked in many different countries around Southeast Asia certainly means that I have adjusted my approach to the food that I prepare. My culinary style currently focuses more and more on the quality of the ingredients, their origins and the culture. I try to be more direct with my food concepts.
What have you learned from handling The Hermitage?
The Hermitage has a rich and fascinating history and for me and the team it’s a very special feeling to work in this heritage building on a daily basis. Moreover, with my job title, I have more opportunity to propose the original Betawi cuisine as well as International specialities.
What do you think of the local restaurants? What can be improved?
There are a lot of excellent local restaurants in town, but in some the food hygiene practises could be improved upon.
What’s the biggest challenge when training as a chef?
I personally didn’t find any difficulty becoming a chef: it is all about working hard and in the right places.
What are the food trends in 2017?
I see a lot of natural cooking methods making a comeback this year, along with charcoal grills, fermentations and the use of herbs. It feels like people wants to get closer to nature, which is a great thing looking at what we are doing to our planet.
What do you want to implement at The Hermitage and what can diners expect?
The Hermitage Jakarta aims to be a gourmet destination in Jakarta because we have unique dining concepts here combines with the menus that I develop with the help of my team will surely make guest to experience the utmost pleasure of their meals as well as feeling cosy, just right at their home.
Last question: tell us your favourite guilty pleasure dish.
A very, very thick slice of fresh pan-fried foie gras……with truffles. [Smiles]