CULINARY ARTIST SALVATORE MORELLO
Interview: Lara Abrati
English text: Margaux Cintrano
Please, tell us a little about yourself, and where you were born and raised.
Firstly, I am now living in Koblenz, Frankufurt am Main.
I grew up in Catanzaro, located in the south of the Italian peninsula, in the region of Calabria.
I lived there until the age of 16, when I had I decided to leave.
I was sure I wanted to study the culinary arts, and had been strongly influenced and inspired by several people in my family who are in the restaurant business, and this interest has become contagious, a passion that you feel inside, and, in my case, influences your choices and your life.
What has inspired your interest in TRADO? What are the advantages for a chef?
I can say … “finally”! Before Trado, it was difficult to find quality products abroad and, especially, when choosing ingredients and creating a real planned organised system. As a chef, Trado can be very useful because, the standard market availability is usually very average or downright poor.
If you want to cook with high standards on a top tier level, you need accurate research and highly selective raw materials. Then, for those who love details like myself, it’s not hard to be seduced by Trado product selection….
Have you experienced a “clash” with the professional kitchen ?
Fortunately, when I was young, I had the chance to “mentee” in the bakery of my uncle.
I was awe-struck by all the goings on, and often went in the afternoons to spend my spare time. I loved the precision, methods and compelling aromas.
The repetition of calibrated actions looking for a perfect balance. ! The step attending culinary academy, was really easy and I was totally convinced. The world of epicurisim belonged to me and I belonged to it.
I have always felt a happy sensation in this realm.
Could you tell us about, The training program and the beginnings of your professional adventures in the field …
I graduated, but while studying, during breaks and on weekends, I tried to sneak into restaurants in town to start doing a little bit of staging and observing and thus, had my beginnings, to build and sharpen my skills and enhance my experience.
At first I worked for some time in a very coveted seafood restaurant, I was in charge of cleaning fish and also handled the vegetable preparation.
Veteran elderly Michele Valletta, a real guru in cooking fish and shellfish was in her 90s and she had taught me the how to´s.
From there, other opportunities began to come about with apprenticeships at the culinary school, including Fratta di San Marino, where at the helm was a great Croatian chef (Dado Matkovic) with a structure and a brigade above the average for that time period.
With him I learnt the disciplines, the importance of team work and of course, sacrifice. All notions that I had, already acquired, are the basis of what I’m still doing.
Then the doors opened wider, to new experiences in larger restaurants, and abroad.
After being out of Italy for some time, I felt the need to return, and I had the opportunity to be a sous chef for the restaurant, Peppino Sirianni of Catanzaro Lido Carmelina, where I remained for several years. During my holidays and vacation breaks, I continued to do internships abroad and in staged at prestigious venues.
Then, I followed my dream, and opened my first restaurant, which, I managed for nearly three years before moving abroad again.
First in Berlin, where I worked for a long time in different positions in top restaurants, and now in Koblenz for a major gourmet group as Executive Chef.
What or who inspires you to create a new recipe …
Inspiration to create a new dish can arise from any thing and, above all, at any time. I am often stimulated by art, but also from music or from a state of mind which is followed by a reflection. Then comes the raw material, research and the idea materialized.
Could you provide us, with some words to describe your cuisine …
Acidity and bitterness characterize my kitchen and culinary movement. In some cases with net acidity research, I have found and firmly believe, that acidity is fundamental and is often balancing in determining the pleasantness of a dish.
It makes a difference. Bitterness as well as minerality, increase the perception of taste.
When I talk about movement, I mean the merging of techniques that do not belong to our traditions, as well as ingredients from around the world and of great quality.
How would you describe yourself ?
I’m obsessed, extreme and disciplined. I do not know if they are qualities or deformation!
For the guys I work with, I am hard and obsessive, but it is also true that the figure of a calm Chef, in charge of brigades with so many people, is a real fairy tale … it simply does not exist in a real life kitchen.
It requires discipline, rigor and concentration to reduce mistakes.
What do you have in mind for 2017 and the future …
I am birthing my new restaurant along with a close friend in a very sought after destination amongst European gourmands. The restaurant will open in the autumn 2016 and will be small in the number of seats, but great for the cuisine project we have developed, where there will be more space for young people and where we demonstrate to the world our point of view.
What is the direction in which the world of the professional kitchen is going?
The directions are always different, depending on the type of cuisine that is being proposed. Then fads do not last long and, although very modern, I think that the cuisine, from some points of view, is still a few years ago, with the exception of a few geniuses such as Scabin. Then, only a few can make it evolve and give directions, I believe that people need certainty and not of fashions. Innovation is a process that comes from reflection and technique.
How much you like your work from 0 to 10?
Ten! Or rather, I liked ten, but now I must say nine because I have little time to devote to my family. I would not recommend this work just for this.
Follow me on Trado blog, coming recipes and … much more!