Welcome to Hungry Chefs. It’s been a while since I posted any blogs but I’m getting ready for a busy Summer and thought I would take the time to introduce myself. I am Umberto and I am a Sicilian chef living in Somerset. I have worked in restaurant kitchens for over 20 years but started to work as a private chef in London in 2012. In 2014, I moved out of the Big Smoke and now live in the West Country. I have found many new clients for my personal chef service and now work full time as a chef cooking for people in holiday lets, their homes and even doing barbecues or Sicilian Street Food from a gazebo.
Sicilian food has so much going for it. Firstly, the ingredients are out of this world. The volcanic soil and the long hot summer mean that we have an abundance of great fruit and vegetables. Then we have developed – by necessity – a food culture of cucina povera in which we take a few, simple ingredients and create mouthwatering dishes – usually love and time are the added component. Invasions by Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Phoenicians have all added to the food culture so we have Middle Eastern and African influences and use a lot of spices that you won’t find elsewhere in Italy.
My take on Sicilian food is to use authentic ingredients such as Sicilian anchovies and tomatoes but to combine these with locally-sourced, high-welfare, high-quality produce from the West Country. I use modern techniques such as sous vide cooking to create dishes such as the octopus with fava bean puree (pictured). I really love what I do and am passionate about good food, good customer service and a dining experience that is unique and memorable.
If you have a celebration coming up; a stay in a large country house or just fancy a spot of luxurious living, talk to Claire about booking me for your event. Please call on 01934 641 706 or 0756 555 2748 for a no-obligation consultation.