Business SenseFine Dining

VINO VINO BISTRO: fine delicacies in casual settings

By March 24, 2016No Comments
vino1“As a chef, you need to know how to manage with just salt and pepper”, said Chef Claudio Cucchiarelli, Executive Chef (Italian Cuisine) of Vino Vino Bistro. He believes in respecting raw materials not because the chef is ‘lazy’ but because they know how to add just enough seasoning to elevate an ingredient yet without losing the experience of what the produce ought to offer. The affable 64-year old speaks about the profession with fervour and reminds aspirants that a kitchen only works when every department – purchasing, accounts, marketing, chefs are working towards a common goal. To that, he is thankful that the Management of Vino Vino, operating 4 outlets around Malaysia; is very supportive of his ideas.

Many guests have been surprised by the Japanese yakitori (grilled items on sticks) cuisine in Vino Vino as it would be only natural to expect Italian fare with a name like this. What’s not out of place is its extensive collection of wines from European and Australian vineyards that has won positive reviews from wine lovers. Chef Claudio tells us he is working on an Italian menu featuring classic fare in the restaurant of the Kota Kinabalu outlet which is also divided into a bistro and lounge. Due to its location within a mall, lunch is offered as a set to attract office workers while dinner will be more elaborate with a different menu.

vino3Having decades of experience in the industry and working around the world has definitely enriched the Chef’s mind towards learning new things and always experimenting. Much as he is at home with a skillet and the stove, he
also extols the wonders of technology and spoke excitedly of Vino Vino’s MKN SpaceCombi oven. We asked if it was difficult to shift his mindset and the Chef replied honestly – one can do without tools but consistency will be a factor especially when labour crunch is an issue everywhere. He noted that in Malaysia, not many chefs stay in the line for long therefore other methods must be adopted. “It all depends on how open-minded you are. If you can see things at 360°, you will be able to adapt and progress but if you’re stuck at a 120° view, something isn’t too right”.

vino4Using the SpaceCombi, the team prepares bread, dried tomatoes; dry its own chilli for flakes and many other items to bring out the authentic Italian flavour. For Chef Claudio, the compact oven is a space saver and extends to savings in food cost when the same ingredient can be cooked differently and quickly. And gone are the days of a frenzied chef chasing for time. The chef says “I can sleep well” because everything is programmed and he doesn’t need to be there all the time; of course the caveat being having trained his crew to run the kitchen well.

It is apparent that respect for materials, knowledge and skills balanced with technology, a like-minded team are main ingredients of Vino Vino’s success. Outlets are in Kota Kinabalu, Johor Bahru, Penang and Kuala Lumpur.