Meet Chef Giuseppe Lioce, Head Chef at Bene, Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel. He talks to Explocity about Christmas and how he celebrates with his family in Italy. He also tells us about a traditional Italian Christmas meal that he likes to cook and eat.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Noicattaro, a small town close to Bari (Puglia region).
What led you to becoming a chef?
My interest for the culinary arts had grown from the tender age of 10. Later on during my classes at school, I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and with no hesitation I proudly said that I wanted to become a chef. And the first thing I have ever cooked was a ‘Frittata’ (An Italian omelet).
How do you celebrate Christmas?
I enjoy spending time with my family during Christmas and 3 weeks before Christmas, we start preparing the typical Christmas sweets of Puglia which is fun as there are lots of secrets to learn. Every festive season that I have spent with my family has always brought me a fantastic culinary moment.
In Bangalore now, we would be celebrating Christmas at Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel with the Sparkling Christmas Brunch.
How long have you been a chef?
I have worked as a chef for the past 15 years.
What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?
Without cooking you can’t create. I love doing both.
What Christmas dishes do you like cooking the most?
During Christmas, I love cooking the tortellini that is homemade pasta stuffed with ricotta and spinach sauced with slow cooked Ragu. I also like preparing typical Italian desserts like Cartellate, which is a special shortbread in the shape of a crown, soaked with wine reduction called ‘Vin Cotto’. All these dishes remind me of my childhood.
What Christmas dish do you like eating the most?
I love eating linguine with capitone. Capitone is a typical eel fish that you cook with linguine pasta and tomato. It’s a favourite dish during Christmas time.
My favourite dish is Panettone, a typical sponge cake with lots of dry fruits. In Italy, it can’t be Christmas without Panettone. I love it.
What’s your least favorite Christmas dish?
Everything about Christmas is so magical; there isn’t anything that I don’t like during the holiday season.
How long have you lived in Bangalore?
I have lived in Bangalore from the past 10 months.
Do you like it here?
Yes I like Bangalore. The weather is amazing.