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Emanuele Donalisio is chef and owner at restaurant Il Giardino del Gusto. Growing up in the Piedmont countryside, good food was a very important part of Emanuele’s early life. After studying at the Arturo Prever Hotel School in Pinerolo, he cooked at the six-star cruises of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises. In 2012 he decided it was time for his own establishment and he opened his restaurant Il Giardino del Gusto. Here, Emanuele expresses his own distinctive cooking style, blending regional tradition with international flavours. We asked chef Emanuele some questions to get to know him better, about his culinary inspiration, his favourite ingredients, and much more.
Emanuele, how would you describe your cooking style?
My cooking style is a combination of my homeland, the maritime place where I manage my restaurant, and the experiences I have gained around the world.
What's your favourite dish to make?
My favourite dish to prepare is risotto, an important part of my Piedmontese tradition. The aromas and products of the Ligurian territory give life to interesting, creative and intriguing combinations for both the chef and my customers. The influence of the nearby Piedmont region allows me to create risottos such as the one creamed with kohlrabi, its dehydrated leaves, grilled cod, porcini powder and my lemon bottarga from the Riviera.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
My favourite ingredient to work with is "Ghimbaru di Ventimiglia" (red shrimp from Ventimiglia), whose flavour is unique in countless versions. Its texture is unique and the flavour inside the head of the shrimp is an explosion reminiscent of the Ligurian sea in all its versions. It is used seasonally based on the fishing periods. Unavailable in France, but our fishermen know the pits and the techniques to catch them at over 400 meters depth.
The aromas and products of the Ligurian territory give life to interesting, creative and intriguing combinations for both the chef and my customers.
Il Giardino del Gusto
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
As far as fruits and vegetables are concerned, my only supplier is the "La Ciapeleta" farm, located 500 meters from my restaurant. As for the seafood catch, I turn to local fishermen who vary from three to four boats. As for events and activities for which I need important products, I turn to METRO in Ventimiglia. I find cheeses and dairy products in the Ventimiglia market, famous for hosting cheese producers from Piedmont. The same goes for meat, which I also buy there.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
Surely the experience I gained during my time as a chef on a cruise ship was the first and most challenging step outside my country that has launched me into the world of haute cuisine.
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
The gastronomic trend that excites me the most is that of Asian cuisine, due to its historicity and breadth. It has always fascinated me and perhaps it is the type of contamination that I prefer most in my kitchen.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life it would be the rack of lamb.
What’s one thing in the area that your guests absolutely need to see or do?
In my area, guests should definitely visit the villa with the Thomas Hambury Botanical Gardens for its unique biodiversity.
Thank you, Emanuele.
Book your table at restaurant Il Giardino del Gusto
Try chef Emanuele Donalisio’s creative Italian cuisine for yourself at restaurant Il Giardino del Gustoin in Ventimiglia, Italy. You can make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website, for an unforgettable event.