Food & Drinks

Italian cuisine decoded by Celebrity Chef Bill Marchetti

Chef Bill Marchetti who hails from Australia shares with us life experiences as a chef and his love towards Italian fare!

Chef Bill Marchetti Chef Bill Marchetti

Bill Marchetti, is a household name
when it comes to Italian cuisine.  His love for food is fascinating, and his style of cooking is awe-inspiring. Over the past 20 odd years, Bill has established a public profile in the Australian Hospitality industry and has a broad understanding and the requisite capability of remaining at the forefront of this business. He successfully juggles the roles of Chef, Restaurateur, businessman, author, educator and consultant. And his sense of humour can give any comedian a run for their money. Over a super fabulous Italian meal got talking to the chef who made our dining experience so worthwhile. They say, “Company matters,” and now we know why. Below are the extracts from the conversation.

Tell us something about yourself and your tryst with Italian cuisine?
I started my career at the tender age of 13, in my father’s home town of San Benedetto del Tronto, on the Adriatic coast. We had the freshest seafood with everything coming live to the kitchen. We had great quality produce and respect for ingredients.

What is so special about Italian cuisine which makes it the top most favourite?
It is the variety of dishes and the entire beauty lies in its simplicity. Italian cuisine has a robust of flavours which makes the whole gourmet experience fascinating. There is also a great variety for vegetarians with a wide choice of dishes from pastas, pizzas, risottos, soups and salads.

Which is your favourite destination for having Italian cuisine other than of course Italy?
It has to be Australia. For its large Italian migrant population and for its fantastic fresh produce.

How is the Italian cuisine catching up in India?
Same as everywhere, very rapidly and is loved by all.

Is Italian cuisine a healthy option?
It is a known and medically proven fact that the Mediterranean diet, of which Italian is probably the best example, is the healthiest diet with its use of olive oil, fresh vegetables wholesome grains and tasty herbs.

You been a chef for two decades now, what has been the most fascinating experience?

Every time I open a new Spaghetti Kitchen is like having another baby. Other than that it is probably receiving an award for Italian culinary excellence from the Italian President at his palace in Rome.

Share a few anecdotes?
At my Melbourne restaurant, we were the hangout for all the tennis players during the Australian Open. One day we had Andre Agassi book a table for himself and Brook Shields for Saturday lunch.

Though we were normally closed, my head waiter took the booking. During the lunch Agassi’s cell kept ringing and he kept excusing himself and went outside on the footpath to take the call. And after the 6th such incident my head waiter asked brook if she wouldn’t mind if he shifted the table outside, so they could be together. I had them sitting in front the restaurant all afternoon. And it was a great advertisement for the restaurant.

And another time he asked for 2 large portions of our Gnocchi with a very rich Bolognese meat ragout to take away as he had Boris Becker to face in the final the next day and wanted to get his carb intake up, those tennis players eat huge amounts of pasta. Well, he lost the game, maybe he should have had lighter pasta like an aglio-olio perhaps!

Do you see any dining trends within India or abroad; including types of food today?
As Indians are some of the biggest travellers to every part of the world, their tastes are changing. New cuisines are becoming popular. You are seeing entry into the market of famous overseas brands like Nobu and Hakka-san on the top end and a great expansion of fast food joints. People are dining out more and more. And overseas I can see a great expansion of quality Indian restaurants as the next big thing.

You have traveled the world extensively, which is the country or city you think is a food lover’s paradise?
Italy and France without a doubt for most people but for me it’s Hong Kong. Greatest variety of cuisines and the best Chinese food money can buy.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef, one thing you love making?
I thrive on the noise of a dining room full of contented guests. It’s a very special kind of music to my ears. I love making pasta. It’s tactile and thoroughly satisfying.

Tags: spaghetti kitchen, honkong, italy and france

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