giovedì 12 dicembre 2013

Ethics and Beauty in Florentine restaurants - Our suggestion today: MOYE' FIRENZE

The chef Marco Terranova
by Louisa Loring

Marco, you are the chef for Moyé in Florence.  Tell us something about your career.  How did you start? How did you end up working for Moyé?

My name is Marco Terranova, I am Sicilian and I am 37 years old.  I started working for my father when I was 14 in his bakery where I learned a lot.  After finishing my studies at the scuola alberghiera, a hospitality school, I first worked abroad in London, the United States and the Caribbean and then returned after five years to Milan in Italy where I worked for the famous restaurant Dal Bolognese. Being that I am a person who likes change, I started working for this franchising, Moyé after my experience in Milan.  There are four locations in Milan, one in Chieti and one in Florence.

I see that change is important for you.  Is this also important in cooking? I mean, do you like changing things and experimenting? 

Yes, I love change because I don’t like to always do the same things.  If you start this profession at a young age, it is important to have a lot of experience.  Experience allows you to change locations, styles and techniques.  Right now I am holding back a bit.  I don’t consider myself a famous chef but I am accomplished in my experiences. 

In recent years, how have you seen the restaurant world change?

The world of restaurants is always changing.  Even those traditional recipes are always being modified and changed.  I think that in the kitchen you need passion.  Take for example, a simple plate of pasta with tomato sauce.  It is enough to simply add a bit of rosemary to give it a different spin and a totally new flavor.

Changing something can be a risk. Do you like to take risks?

Yes, I do.  If I do make changes, I do it with ingredients that I know well so I don’t run into big problems.

In your opinion, what characteristics do you need to have to be a great chef?

You need to be very humble and have respect for others around you, but also, you need to surround yourself with other situations and people; just because I am a chef it doesn’t mean that I know how to do everything.  Even someone who isn’t a professional can teach you something.  Humility is certainly one of the most important qualities of a great chef.

When you cook, do you follow trends or try to start new ones?

Personally, I generally go with the flow.  It depends on the client in front of me: if it’s a person who wants to try new things, I can also try to bring innovation to the table.

Chef Marco Terranova and Moyé: how much did you have to change you culinary vision to adapt to Moyé’s style?

This restaurant serves traditional Pugliese cuisine and there is already a chef that decides the menu with set recipes that need to be closely followed.  Being a franchise, you have to follow their standards; I can be more creative by choosing the special of the day, for example, but besides that, we have to follow the recipes that we are given. 

In your opinion, why should a client come to eat at Moyé?

Without doubt, one of the reasons for which I recommend Moyé is that here, all the ingredients we use are of our own making: the mozzarella, the pasta, the tomatoes, the oil, etc. They are all fresh and of the best quality.

We have called this selection of columns ‘Ethics and Beauty in Florentine Restaurants’ for many reasons, amongst them being that Florence is obviously a synonym for beauty and because it is the city where the sense of political ethic was born.  How important are these words, ethics and beauty, in your work?

They are very important.  A dish needs to tempt you, it needs not only to be good but also presented in a certain way because we eat with our eyes first.  On the other side, the respect of ethics is relevant for a chef’s skills in regards to chemistry and to the origin of produce; having this knowledge is very important.    

What are your plans? Do you think you will stay at Moyé or will you continue your journey elsewhere?

I would like to stay here because the franchise is also expanding abroad and being that I will have the job to run the start-ups of these new restaurants, I will have the possibility to move and gain new experience.  Next year, we are expecting new openings in London, Paris and Miami.  It really is an all-involving profession.

What is your relationship with the city of Florence?

I lived in Florence for six years, ten years ago, working for the restaurant Il Caminetto, close to the Duomo.  I have lots of friends in Tuscany and I have always been drawn to Florence in a special way.  Then, I moved to America and then to Milan.  When I was asked to relocate to Florence, I willingly accepted and have been very happy to have had the chance to return here.  Florence is very beautiful, full or art, and you eat and live well.

Can you give us one piece of advice for a youth who wants to become a chef?

This work calls for a lot of time and if you choose to do it, it must be because you are very passionate about it.  It is also very important to gain a lot of experience because it will help develop your future and improve yourself. 

Moyé Firenze
Via del Parione, 16
50126 Firenze, Italia
+39 055 285635

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