Editor’s note: This is a series highlighting just some of the fascinating skills on SkillPages. Gianfranco Chiarini is an Italian celebrity and Michelin starred chef. His career has included work in Michelin starred restaurants, deluxe hotels, consultancy and has even starred in over 50 cooking shows. We chatted with Gianfranco Chiarini to find more about his skill and his advice for others starting out.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born in Italy in a multicultural environment with an Italian father, Colombian mother and American relatives. At the tender age of nine my family immigrated to New York City. I learned to grow up between the delicious contradictions of an Italian-Latin family with strict values on a fast paced metropolis like New York; which still remains my favourite city in the world. I guess New York describes my personality from every angle. I am an upbeat, ambitious chef, which recreates himself in creativity and innovation with the true flavours of Europe.
Have you always known you wanted to be a chef?
I think so. I grew up surrounded with great, natural, honest and nurturing food and had a value and appreciation for raw products. Although I did choose at some point, a Latin musical career, I realized that the culinary side of art was less superficial and more in line with my personal values and ambitions.
Would you have any advice for people starting a similar path?
An optimistic attitude, passion for what you do, and remember to work smarter, not harder. To become a top chef you need to learn and apply quickly to remain competitive, but that doesn’t come without a lot of effort!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently departing for Ecuador for one month and then I go to Colombia for another month. My company Chiarini Culinary Consultants are opening new frontiers not only for our business, but for the culinary world at large. Both American and European governments have hired our expertise to immerse ourselves into the heart of the Amazons to study indigenous plants, ingredients and much more. This could be the next generation of ingredients for the world to enjoy and for the culinary to express in different and delicious ways. I will also be doing a photo-shoot for my fifth and sixth books that will be published in 2013 and 2014 back-to-back.
Could you explain what skills are necessary to become a world class chef?
I think the most important skills for a chef are creativity and passion. These are the skills that will contribute to culinary arts and to others.
What has been your favourite dish to create and why?
I love all my dishes, but if I have to stand out one that will be my ‘Honey Truffle glazed Duck breast, over a nest of Tropea onions marmalade and Umami-Chocolate-Rum demiglace’.
This dish combines the goodness and sex appeal of a perfect blend between Europe and the South American region. I consider this a superb dish!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy anything and everything about my trade. The people, the raw materials, the cultures and countries that I have had the privilege to be in contact with. But especially the people, I love the fact that the new generation are so eager and hungry for knowledge. I enjoy passing that knowledge on to the future of culinary.
Can you tell us about how you use SkillPages?
SkillPages has helped me to build my on-line portfolio and promote my new books and recipes. SkillPages allows your skill to become more credible when others recommend you on your performance and activities. It’s a great tool!
Has featuring your services on-line helped you to generate business?
Absolutely! In this new technology and on-line driven generation it is vital to be present on-line and feature your services to wider and bigger audiences out there. My business is very healthy, thanks to the on-line presence.
Apart from cooking, what new skills would you like to learn?
I would love to learn how to fly planes and in any case I am open for new creative ways of spending my life here, whilst helping others to achieve the best of their potential, so that they can make their own dreams come true!
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