We caught up with La Bella Vita master chef, Andrea Chin to find out about his family’s history of traditional Italian cooking, and how he perfectly fuses his new love of Eastern cuisine into his menu…
Meet La Bella Vita Chef, Andrea Chin
What is your favourite dish to make on board?
Since my first cruise, eight years ago, I used to prepare what I consider my speciality: fresh homemade ravioli. I have never changed the method my grandmother taught me. There were very strict instructions to follow, such as:
- How to prepare a healthy fresh pasta using the eggs directly from my grandfather’s hens
- How to use the rolling pin
- And the best one: how to not break the ravioli when they are cooking.
What's the inspiration behind this dish?
Cooking is a family tradition, and this recipe has been passed down to me. My grandfather was a cook, and also my father for some years. When I was a child, I wanted to continue the family tradition by getting into the hospitality industry. And now, twenty five years later – I think this is one of the best choices of my life!
Which destinations have inspired you?
I love all Eastern cuisine. In my latest trips to Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia I have learnt how to combine and to exalt spices and fresh exotics herbs. Now I like to improve my dishes onboard using these techniques, but without excess and with a big respect for traditional Italian flavours.
Who do you consider to be your culinary heroes?
One of my favourite chefs is Massimiliano Alajmo. He is Le Calandre’s patron – a three Michelin star restaurant located very close to Padua. Alajmo is a very talented chef, deeply in love with the territory and traditions – and I believe he shows this in all his creations using different techniques. I see a lot of this in my cooking style – they are the characteristics that I most admire.
Who would you compare your cooking style with?
In Italy, there are a lot of different regional cooking styles, each with their own particularities and local products. To my taste, Venetian food is one of the best. It enjoys incredible varieties of fresh vegetables from Sant’Erasmo fields, seafood from the Lagoon, game from the ‘barena’ area and freshwater fish from the Sile and Adige rivers; you can prepare and serve everything according to a thousand-year old culinary experience…
Name 3 ingredients you cannot live without
Only 3 ingredients? That’s a hard question…. Extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes and bread.
Next big foodie trend?
Over the years, research and technological development has introduced a lot of new cooking methods and devices, like the roner (that is a slow cooker device). You can cook vacuum-packed food into hot controlled temperature water. The result is very healthy and tasty food, because all the flavours are kept inside and the vitamins aren’t destroyed by the high temperatures. I predict that this kind of cooking will play a major part in future cuisines. In my opinion, innovation and tradition must go together to create ever-improving recipes!
Describe life as a barge chef in 3 words
Creativity, adaptability, organization
Meet Andrea and the Crew aboard La Bella Vita
Cruise between Venice and the Renaissance city of Mantua aboard the elegant La Bella Vita, and sample Chef Andrea’s incredible cuisine. For more information on this picturesque 6-night cruise, talk to one of our cruise specialists today, or request a brochure by clicking here.