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Art of Craft to uncover multi-sensory flavors.Interview with Chef Ornato Antunes, Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin

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      Antunes 鐨“鑰佸”鍦ㄨ憽钀勭墮锛屼粬鍦ㄦ硶鍥藉嚭鐢燂紝骞朵簬 17 宀佸湪杩欎釜娉ㄩ噸缇庨鐨勫浗搴﹁幏寰椾簡鑷繁浜虹敓鐨勭涓浠界児楗瘉涔︺ Antunes 骞舵湭灏辨姝㈡锛岃屾槸鍐嶆帴鍐嶅帀鍙栧緱浜嗘洿澶氭湁鍏崇編椋熺殑璇佷功涓庣粡楠屻傛鍚庝粬鍦ㄦ氮婕箣閮藉反榛庢渶濂界殑浜旀槦绾ч厭搴椾互鍙婄背鍏舵灄椁愬巺宸ヤ綔骞舵敹鑾烽涓帮紝鑰屽悗浠栧甫鐫鑷繁瀵圭編椋熺殑鐞嗚В鍜岀儹鐖憋紝鍘诲埌鑻卞浗銆佺編鍥姐佽タ鐝墮銆佽憽钀勭墮绛夊浗銆傚湪钁¤悇鐗欐椂锛孉ntunes 鍏堢敓鍔犲叆浜嗕附鎬濆崱灏旈】鍝佺墝骞惰崳鍗囪鏀挎诲帹锛屾暟骞村悗锛屼粬闅忎附鎬濆崱灏旈】涓鍚屾潵鍒板ぉ娲ワ紝缁х画鍦ㄨ繖涓笢鏂归兘甯備腑涓“涓芥”涓璧风画鍐欑編椋熸柊绡囩珷銆

 

      鏉ュ埌澶╂触涔嬪悗锛孉ntunes 灏嗚嚜宸辫繃鍘荤殑鐑归オ缁忛獙涓庝腑鍥界敋鑷充簹娲插鍥界殑椋庡懗缁撳悎浜嗚捣鏉ワ紝浠栬鑷繁鍠滄涓浗鐨勭偣蹇冧笌鐏攨銆傜儹鐖卞涔犲拰鎺㈢储鐨勪粬杩勪粖渚濈劧鍦ㄧ户缁涔犱腑鍥界編椋熶笌鐑归オ銆傝皥鍒板ぉ娲ヤ附鎬濆崱灏旈】閰掑簵鐨勯ギ椋燂紝浠栬〃绀洪厭搴椾竴鐩撮噰鐢ㄦ渶濂界殑椋熸潗纭繚鑿滃搧鐨勯珮姘村噯銆傞厭搴楁瘡鏈堜笉鏂洿鏂版帹鍑虹殑涓嬪崍鑼朵篃鍒涙剰闈炲嚒锛屽惛寮曚簡寰堝椤惧鍓嶆潵鍝佸皾銆傞櫎姝や箣澶栵紝涓板瘜鐨勪富棰橀楗洿棰犺浜嗕汉浠浜庨ギ椋熸蹇电殑鎯宠薄銆傛潵鍒颁附鎬濆崱灏旈】锛屼綘鍙互鍦ㄩ婧㈤鍘呬綋楠岀嫭鍏风壒鑹茬殑澶╂触鑷姪椁愶紝鍙互鍦 FLAIR 椁愬巺閰掑惂浜敤鐗硅壊楗搧鍙婁簹娲插皬鍚冿紝鍠滅埍绮ゅ紡鑿滆偞鐨勬湅鍙嬩笉瑕侀敊杩囪繖閲岀殑澶╂嘲杞╋紝鎯冲湪闆呰嚧姘涘洿涓搧灏濅紶缁熻嫳寮忎笅鍗堣尪鍙婇浮灏鹃厭楗枡鐨勬湅鍙嬪彲浠ュ幓澶у爞閰掑粖浜彈缇庡ソ鏃跺厜銆
 
      Antunes 涓庝附鎬濆崱灏旈】鍦ㄥぉ娲ヤ竴鍚屾垚闀裤佸彂灞曪紝浠栦滑涔熷湪杩囧幓浜斿勾涓璇佺潃杩欎釜鍩庡競鐨勫彉鍖栦笌绻佽崳銆侫ntunes 杩樺悜鎴戜滑閫忛湶锛屾湭鏉ュ嚑涓湀涓紝閰掑簵鑿滃崟灏嗘湁鏂扮殑鎯婂枩绛夌潃澶у锛岃鎴戜滑鍏卞悓鏈熷緟锛
 
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When The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, opened its doors in 2013, Chef Ornato Antunes was chosen to create the best culinary experience for hotel guests. It was the luxury hospitality brand’s 10th property in China and Ornato goes beyond what is expected of a chef.

Chef Ornato is intensely driven to push the boundaries of what food can be, but for all his innovations he thinks of himself as an ordinary guy.

Tianjin Plus meets the French-born Portuguese chef to know a bit more about this extraordinary person, and get insider’s tips of his cuisine, acquired after many years of studies and work with world renowned chefs.
 
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Can you tell me a bit about where you are from and how you started as a chef? What drew you into pursuing culinary arts?
 
I was born in France and brought up in Paris by my Portuguese parents. I started studying cooking at the age of 14 years and received my first diploma when I was 17. Then I decided to further my studies and over the next couple of years received my second diploma and my bachelors in cooking. Doing my bachelors taught me a lot more about food quality and a detailed study of each ingredient.
 
Once I completed my studies I worked for 2 years at one of the best 5 star hotels in Paris, Hotel du Louvre. Thereafter I worked for the Constantini brothers at their Michelin star restaurant which was a great experience for me.
 
My international travels began thereafter; I travelled to England, America, Spain and Portugal. I worked for 8 years at The Ritz-Carlton in Portugal and also became the Executive Chef there. Later I was transferred to Spain followed by Tianjin. I have been working in Tianjin for 5 years now and at The Ritz-Carlton for 14 years.
 
I didn’t have a cooking background in my family; my mum doesn’t even cook [laughs]. Even though my mum didn’t cook she encouraged me to purse my studies if I enjoyed cooking. The pleasure of cooking for someone is always interesting.
 
I never thought that I’d be where I am today to tell you the truth. I’m so happy working at The Ritz-Carlton as they have given me so many opportunities to grow. I have taken an active role in building the kitchen and restaurants, and created menus with the team.
 
Where have you lived around the world?
 
I have lived in France, America, Spain, England, Sweden, Mexico, China and Portugal.
 
You have worked with renowned Michelin Star Chefs in Spain, such as Chef Sergi Arola, Chef Martin Berasategui and so on. Please explain how did these experiences impact your life? 
 
I have been privileged to work with 3 amazing Michelin star chefs and it was great for me to see all their work as it impacted my life greatly. I just wish that I could’ve worked longer with each of them.
 
The first Michelin star chefs I worked with were the Constantini brothers; they were amazing and the best! I left working with them because I wanted to work in the hotel industry more and this is where I met Sergi Arola. I was keen on working with him and I also wanted to be part of the opening of the Arola restaurant. Arola opened up in Portugal where I was chosen to be in charge, this was a great moment for me!
 
Martin Berasategui has 2 Michelin stars and is one of the best chefs as far as I am concerned; he is so charismatic, passionate and friendly. I hadn’t had the pleasure of working with him yet, but I have worked with a chef who works with him.
 
I have also done some training with Alain Ducasse in Paris. Alain Ducasse is what you call the top of the top!
 
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Which cuisine has influenced you the most?
 
French cuisine has influenced me a lot as it is the mother of the kitchen; however I also like Mediterranean cuisine - which includes Portuguese, Spanish and Italian cuisines. Ingredients used in South European cuisine are amazing as you get fresh tomatoes, cheese, ham, chicken and a variety of fish.
 
I am also learning a lot about Chinese cuisines as the food here has an influence from Japan, Thailand and India.
 
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How long have you been in Tianjin and what do you think of the city?
 
According to my mum I’ve been here for too long. [laughs] I have been here for 5 years and I remember when I first arrived I was a bit shocked because it wasn’t what I had thought it would be.
 
Tianjin is definitely a growing city, in terms of knowledge and architecture; there are so many new malls and hotels here. This city has something other Chinese cities don’t have, a western side, which is great because it reminds me of home.

What do you enjoy eating or better yet what’s your favorite type of food to eat?
 
It depends. I like to eat different things every day, but I do enjoy pasta, meat, fish and, in winter, a good soup. In terms of Chinese dishes I enjoy dim sum and hot pot, especially the spicy one. There’s such a wide variety of Chinese dishes that I currently am in the process of learning more before understanding everything.
 
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Zest is one of the best restaurants in Tianjin. How do you explain this consistent success?
 
We try to be the best but we cannot say that we are the best. Our team always tries to be the best by delivering excellent quality dishes to our guests so that they are always pleased.
 
An important thing to remember is that it’s not about having the most prestigious restaurant; it’s about having good, simple food that is cooked well. We want everybody to be able to access our restaurant.
 
Something that definitely helps is the variety that we offer. There are 4 kitchens available - the Chinese kitchen, the Japanese kitchen, the Italian kitchen - which has a lot of western food and the pastries kitchen that has pastries from around the world.
 
We talk to our guests every day because it’s important to get to know them and we try to accommodate their needs in order to be successful. It’s a daily battle for us to ensure that we are consistent in how we can be successful.
 
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What are your future plans for The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin? Will you be changing anything with the menu?
 
My plans are to keep to the top by using the best products. We use a lot of local and imported products and our Chinese guests love to see imported products because of the high quality. An important thing that we rely on is tasting the food before serving it.
 
To keep the restaurant at the top, we make sure that we get constant feedback from our guests to ensure that we keep them happy. We push ourselves every day and leave our comfort zones. We try to have something new every day so that our guests are happy. Our afternoon tea changes every month and currently we are the only hotel in the franchise to do that in China. We also try to find new themes and be more creative on a regular basis as there is always something new on the Internet so we have to be very creative.
 
You have invited many award-winning and famous Michelin-starred Chefs to The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin. Chef Anupam Banerjee, Chef Alain Devahive, Chef Aitor Olabegoya and Chef Yann Bernard Lejard, to name a few. Is Zest probably the best example of a Michelin Star Restaurant in Tianjin? 
 
We always make sure that we invite good, creative chefs who don’t necessarily need to be Michelin star chefs. The success is to bring someone and something new to our restaurant. All these chefs are from many different places of the world and it’s what makes us different and also makes Zest popular.
 
We get to learn something different from all these knowledgeable chefs and we’re always pushing ourselves and asking what we can do that’s new.
Share with us an interesting story from one of your postings.
 
The latest incident was with Tina and Chef Yann. We normally invite him for a normal dinner but our team said that he is a creative chef which is why we decided to do something different. We created 4 different themes, namely fire, wind, earth and experiments.
 
These themes were made just to give us more creative experience and it was so interesting. For fire night we took a wok outside and put some wood in it and fired the whole thing. Then we used the concept of iron branding and “burnt” the menus when our guests arrived. This definitely left our guests astonished. For the wind theme we had a big fan in the corridor which kind of felt like people were at the airport. During this theme Chef Yann presented desserts like crazy and painted hearts on acrylic boards on the table. Earth night was all about stones, land, grass, water and warmth. This themed event was probably one of our best promotions with Chef Yann and it definitely was because we brought our ideas together to create something unique and interesting.
 
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What can guests look forward to in terms of Food and Beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, at the end of this year and 2018?
 
By the end of this year we are going to get a lot more creative. We will be doing a few events and the hotel will try to surprise our guests by getting new themes for afternoon tea and even new menus. A new monthly dish will also be prepared for our guests just to change things up a bit.
 
During Christmas we will have a ginger bread house in the hotel lobby which is something to look forward to. This entire planning takes place a few months in advance. We also look forward to perhaps collaborating with a chocolate company, but that’s going to be a surprise. One definite thing that guests can look forward to is that we will keep up with our quality service next year and every year henceforth.
 
What does the future hold in terms of restaurants and eating trends?
 
So far eating trends currently are all about eating with the family, even businessmen travel with their families nowadays. People want to eat well and a lot of guests ask for seafood and healthy options as well. Guests like to know where food comes from so that the food served is trustworthy.
 
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What is the best/worst part of your job?
 
The best part is that I am passionate about my job which makes it easy for me to love my job. The thing I love most about cooking is that I can make so many different things with one ingredient. I constantly have to be creative and think of new concepts for different holidays.
 
The worst part is reading emails and I spend too much time in administrative work. [laughs] It is definitely the worst!

3_for_page_23_400x600_2.jpgWhat is your perfect food and wine pairing?
 
I love both red wine and white wine. I personally love Portuguese white wine although it is not very popular; it goes extremely well with some grilled fish or meat.
 
What are some of the things you would like to do other than anything cooking-related?
 
I do a lot of things when I’m not cooking, like photography, running and even bull fighting annually in Portugal. I recently had a child so I love photographing my child. However, whatever I do in life I always go back to cooking wherever I am. Travelling is also very important to me as it helps me be more creative and inspired.
 
What is next for you?
 
I’m very lucky and fortunate that there’s always something new to learn in the culinary field. There are so many chefs out there that I can learn from.
 
Is there anything you would like to add and share with our readers?
 
Yes, in the next few months we are going to have some new menu surprises so please do come and see and check it out.
 
The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin, has four in-house dining options. The Lobby Lounge serves a list of cocktails and traditional afternoon tea, while all-day-dining Zest offers world cuisine with its open kitchens. Tian Tai Xuan is the hotel’s Chinese restaurant specialized in contemporary Cantonese food. Meanwhile, Flair lifestyle bar and lounge provides live DJ music along with fine wines and South Asian-inspired snacks.
 
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