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Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 37 years old and originally from New Brunswick, Canada. I have 25 years of experience in the kitchen! I studied Culinary Arts at Rivière du Loup. My experience includes The Château Bromont, Group Resto-Plaisir, Restaurant Cosmos and I have spent the last five years at the Lévis Convention Centre.
Tell us a bit about your work in the kitchen at such a prestigious Congress Center.
Oversee and co-ordinate all culinary activities that take place at the Lévis Convention Centre including managing inventory levels, human resources, and responsible for menu development.
Why did you choose Naboo for your kitchen?
I choose Naboo because of the simplicity, efficiency, and the customizable Android touch screen display that is easily configured based on the user’s needs. The Lainox Cloud allows for synchronization, as well as interactivity between the device and the Chef.
What advantages did Naboo bring?
The Naboo saves a lot of time and money in the kitchen! With the Multi-Level cooking the Naboo can cook many different types of food at once. The Naboo allows you to fill the cooking cavity and will advise you in sequence which foods to put in 1 at a time. We have noticed a reduction in cost of the operation in general as well as food cost.
Did you create any personal recipes in Naboo?
Yes, I have created several recipes and have saved them to the Cloud so they are always readily available! I have also customized the Grid Pork Mignon recipe to include the SmokeGrill, which replicates the benefits of cooking with wood – flavour, taste, and aroma. The dish comes out as if it were just cooked on the barbeque! I also have incorporate the Aroma into many of my recipes, which personalizes the dish. A winning recipe for us especially during Christmas holidays was poultry with grapefruit flavour!
What do you think of new technology in the kitchen?
The ability to standardize recipes saves us several house of work as well as the automatic maintenance routines it preforms.
What criteria do you use to choose the equipment you work with?
When I look for a new piece equipment for our facility it must save time in the kitchen, have warranty, good after sales service, and kitchen staff training available.
How do you guarantee the quality of the food that is served from your kitchen?
We have very strict qualifications, which is constantly being supervised by the head of operations. All equipment must be in compliance with HACCP standards. We take hygiene and safety very seriously.
What is your favourite dish?
Smoked Beef Tenderloin with maple wood aroma served with Old Port wine sauce.
Who can cook for you?
Only people who share the same passion as me can prepare good recipes for me!
Tell us a little about yourself
I've worked around the world, at major hotels in the industry.
This experience gave me an all-around view and knowledge of the kitchen.
I started out in Maremma and went through Rome, with experience in England and the Ukraine, to then come to the Royal with thirty years of experience.
Tell us a bit about your work in the kitchen at such a prestigious hotel.
It is definitely a source of pride and determination.
As goals are reached, there are reasons for growth. Each milestone is a new starting point and I can truly state that I am still growing, even today.
Moving forward and working in increasingly prestigious structures brings increasingly difficult challenges and greater results to be obtained.
I consider myself lucky because I never get bored, and I haven't lost the curiosity I felt on that first day I set foot in the kitchen. I must say that this is definitely the result of a great passion for cooking but also for the structures, like hotels, restaurants, etc., that wish to improve, thus giving chefs like me, great opportunities for growth.
Naboo is the maximum technology you can have in the kitchen. Like I said before, it never stops growing... With Naboo we can test how easy it is too trust automatic cooking and the ease with which new personal recipes can be created.
We heard about it and were convinced right away.
We definitely reduced the time spent setting up the various cooking cycles. We are more at ease because Naboo warns us each time we need to do something, from opening the door to insert the dish to changing steps in a certain recipe, etc.
Yes, absolutely! I tried to make sure that the oven would fit completely in our kitchen and I succeeded.
I believe that everything keeps moving. The kitchen itself is moving too and it's only right that we keep in step with the times.
What criteria do you use to choose the equipment you work with?
Many years of experience in the kitchen lets me evaluate a brand's credibility. Continuous research and the opinion of my colleagues help guide my choice, but in the end, a test in the kitchen is needed before buying any equipment.
By collaborating with trusted people and with companies that have always given excellent performance in the restaurant industry, without forgetting the importance of technology.
The continuous exchange of ideas with my employees on this theme always leads us to new solutions we can use to guarantee our customers the best quality.
Definitely Tuscan Panzanella
I come from the mountains of Pistoia: peasant food, antique flavours that take me back in time. And I am often inspired by those flavours in my own recipes.
Who can cook for you.
Only my partner who is an excellent cook.
A great cook, mother, partner and woman.
How and when did you start your career as a pastry chef?
I've always loved making pastries, ever since I was a child. When I was ten years old, I spent the summer holiday "playing" in a pastry shop in Puglia, where I was born. That was better than playing in the street.
When I was 17 I moved to Milan where I received my diploma as a pastry technician, working in the Sant'Ambrogio pastry shop in Milan. After that, I took specialised courses and internships with great Masters in the industry.
During the 90s I returned to my beloved Puglia and opened the Saint Martin pastry shop where I still work.
What inspired you to create a new pastry?
My biggest inspiration came from my surroundings with its colours and fragrances and the products that this land offers. Today, the thing that stimulates my imagination the most is definitely the Puglia region even though, I admit, my pastries often also include a touch of Lombardy.
What are your best pastries?
All my pastries are good! (laughing) But my speciality is baked goods. It's no coincidence that my name is Fornaio!
And your favourite pastry?
Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, I really do.
How important do you think appearance is for a pastry?
Appearance is extremely important because... "You eat with your eyes first and then your mouth".
How important is tradition in making pastries and how important is experimentation?
Tradition is the basis, the foundation. Although, in recent years there have been many changes in how the raw materials are processed. For this reason, we must always stay in step with the times by evolving and experimenting.
What are the fundamental tools for creating quality pastries?
An oven and blast chiller. The oven is fundamental starting early in the morning for breakfast - croissants, cream puffs and pastries, then there are cakes, tarts and muffins. So the oven is very important.
The blast chillers cool the products quickly and make them more crumbly, giving them a longer life and making them tastier.
Can high technology be of use to the pastry chef?
Technology is not only useful, it is essential because it allows the pastry chef to achieve the same results time after time without the need for constant supervision. In other words, it gives us more time to dedicate to those things we prefer to do and frees us from routine work. I have to say, Aroma By Naboo is a master at this.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps and become a pastry chef!
Passion, determination, willingness and humility.
What made you decide to accept the offer to work with Lainox?
Lainox is an Italian company, and this was a big stimulus for me. I like the idea of working for products that are made in Italy.
Plus, I was excited by the thought of participating in the creation of an innovative project like "Aroma by Naboo" where I was able to offer everyone my experience and professional skills accumulated over years of work and experimentation. Today, all of my most famous recipes that I kept closely guarded are now available on the Lainox Cloud, from Panettone to Paolo's famous pan pizza. I must admit that it makes me very proud.