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Meet Michelin Guides Rising Star Chef Monica

Chef Monica was at the recent Tuscan Pop Up at Shangri-La. She along with her partner Chef Franca started La Locanda Di Pietracupa, a Michelin Guides Rising Star restaurant in Chianti Classico. In conversation with Explocity.

 

Where did you grow up?

In San Donato, Poggio, a beautiful medieval village of 600 people in the heart of Chianti Classico region. It’s a small paradise on earth where nature and man live in total symbiosis.

What led you to becoming a chef?

By chance, I’ll say or by luck. A family episode guided my decision to become a chef. My husband’s family has always been in the restaurant business and running a historical traditional Tuscan restaurant in downtown at San Donato. The restaurant was run by my mother in law earlier then I took over and it has been 25 years that I’m working there as a chef.

How long have you been a chef?

25 years.

 

What do you enjoy more? Cooking or creating?

I love both as cooking and creating go hand in hand. Creating is the most fascinating part, since I keep myself updated about everything, driven mostly by curiosity. I always try new restaurants and meet new chefs which inspire me a lot. I take inspiration and try dishes with my own interpretation. I always maintain my own identity which is steadily founded on my Tuscan roots and I like to add my own personal twist to all the cuisines I prepare.   

Do you feel there is virtue in preserving the authenticity of cuisine?

Preserving authenticity of cuisine is my motto and aim. Italian regional cuisines are so unique and diverse that every chef in their own region tries to preserve the authenticity of their dishes.

What dish do you like eating the most?

I prefer main course in general both for the complexity of making it and also for the different flavors and aromas that you generally find. Among those that I cook I would say Mediterranean Herbs Lamb, a dish that I also prepared here in Bangalore I had read about the high quality of lambs available in India so I was very curious about the final taste.

What do you think of Bangalore?

This is the very first time for me and Franca to be in India, so we are thrilled about this amazing country. Bangalore we know that is a very "young" vibe city with a wonderful climate and food. Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru is one of the finest hotels and has been an amazing good host.