S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 - Meet Mentor Giancarlo Morelli

An interview with the Italian chef Giancarlo Morelli discussing his role as a mentor for the upcoming S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 grand final in Milan.

Giancarlo Morelli is an Italian chef who isn’t afraid to mix the traditions and cultures of age old Italian recipes with the modern day techniques we’ve come to expect in the world of fine dining. 

He runs the award winning Pomiroeu restaurant in Seregno where he is deeply connected to the lands and local ingredients of age old producers. 

He’s famously known for making a truly tasty risotto and is a chef who is bright in both life and the plate. 

Morelli has also agreed to be one of the mentors for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, helping the young chef Alex Joseph with his dish of 'Rabbit tasting with potato puree, seasonal vegetables, violet mustard, pickled wild onions and a white Sancerre rabbit reduction'

We spoke with Morelli ahead of the grand final in Milan to hear about his own inspirations as a chef and his role as a mentor. 

Who was your most important mentor for your profession and why? 
My only mentor, my mom! I remember her way of organizing her mind, her kitchen and the precision in choosing what to cook basing on situations, guests and food at disposal.

What’s the best advice you were ever given when you were training? 
Work hard, is the only key to learn.

Do you remember one of the big mistakes you made in a kitchen when you were training? (Can you explain what happened and what you learned?)
When I was responsible for first courses – first time in my life – under the Chef Ferruccio Trani. In the menu there was the “Crème a la reine” (a cream made with chicken and potatoes, garnished with tapioca and sauted cockerel crests)

I was so excited for a such difficult preparation that the cream burned on the bottom of the pan during the service and he couldn’t serve the cream to the client.

This I remember the biggest humiliation in my life. What did I learn?
Emotion should never have an influence on your skills.

Is there one mistake you see young chefs making very often? What should they do do instead? 
They put all their efforts in learning techniques, but they should never forget that first  they need to know perfectly raw materials/food.

What are the best characteristics a young chef can have, nowadays? 
Dedition and creativity.

What are the worst?
Arrogance, no technique, no able to face debates.

What’s your main focus in advising the S.Pellegrino Young Chef candidate of your region? 
I will try to improve what it is already done instead of changing his idea of the dish.

What’s your message  to all the finalists of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 worldwide? 
You should prepare and present a dish that really represents yourself and your philosophy.

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