style and how does that marry with the ethos of Eataly?
tral Kitchen. It’s like a group of chefs that oversee all restaurants at Eataly. I’m the Chef at Manzo, but then there are a team of 5 chefs at Central Kitchen which oversees all the restaurants as another set of eyes. If we weren’t all under one roof like Chef Wolfgang Puck who has 10 restaurants, Wolfgang isn’t in every restaurant every day, but he has a trusted team of people he meets with I’m sure that make sure things are going to plan, food costs are looked after and that the menu makes sense. The same can be applied here with our Central Kitchen, as they are not in everyday but they are making sure things are ok. AM: How do you define your cooking
CHEF AH: That’s a good question. I like simple food that is well prepared. I like making something that is the best version of something that you have had before. Like, finding what it is that people don’t like about food or something that they could potentially like. A lot of people say that they don’t like mushrooms and when I was younger, I had a lot of bad mushroom – just thrown on pizzas with no seasoning and they got squishy and it’s a texture thing that grosses people out. I love mushrooms now and what changes them is when you get them a little crispy and mix them with a little garlic and butter and thyme. There are only 3 or 4 ingredients but it makes a lot of difference. Eggplant is another one if you eat it and there isn’t enough salt and you roast it – again, it’s a texture thing. If you get it a little bit crispy and roast it in a really hot oven, a good amount of garlic and oregano – people will eat it and the hugest compliment to me is when people tell me that they don’t even like eggplant but they ask me what I put in it to make it taste so good. I like to keep it simple as you don’t need to throw the kitchen sink on eggplant but if you find the right flavors to highlight it and to make sure the texture is correct – people can change their minds about it. At home, I would say that I don’t cook strictly Italian. I cook some different things. The other day, I was kind of sick so I made some noodles with a lot of garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce – because when I’m sick I want to eat a lot of garlic which is good for your immune system. That’s not traditional anything – just ingredients that I like to cook with. My style is very simple and focuses on seasonality and it matches up with Eataly because our whole style of cooking is about paying respect to the traditions of Italian cooking. AM: When you’re not cooking, how do you take time for yourself?