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An Interview with Nino - Chef at Blue Italian Seafood & Grill Restaurant

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An Interview with Nino - Chef at Blue Italian Seafood & Grill Restaurant

The Pasta Craze in China

Shenzhen China is a rapidly growing city and is slowly becoming more and more diverse as many migrate from their home countries to seek a better life in the ever-growing Chinese economy. This spanks much diversity within the local culture as new ideas from other countries spawn new restaurants, bars and other international forms of entertainment.

One culture that is quickly growing in China is the Italian culture. Many Chinese owned restaurants are now offering pasta, pizza and their own versions of spaghetti, or lasagna. This craze was started when many Italians moved into China bringing their pasta dishes with them and leading five star restaurants.

Goose liver with strawberry sauce and maccaron  

carpaccio sword fish marinate in sicilian style

scallops with porcini sauce and truffle

Nowadays it is easy to go out and get a spaghetti dish or spaghetti carbonara, but at Blue – a unique twist is added to these Italian staple items by head chef Nino.

Nino – Genius of the Kitchen

Nino has been cooking since he was seven years old – being pushed by his mother who was also a great chef.  His mother gave him a passion to cook at a young age along with his brother and sister who are also great chefs.  His greatest memory in life is when his mother told him that he is now a greater chef then she is – even though he does not believe it for a second.

He has made himself famous to some and infamous to others by stepping outside the traditional Italian look and feel of Italian cuisine. He does this by taking the staple ingredients of the dish and creating it in a way where the taste is there but presentation is far from what you would expect.

“I am different from most chefs. You can have spaghetti carbonara anywhere, but once you have tried my ravioli carbonara – you will see something different” -Nino

Cooking is something that he takes very seriously. He looks at cooking as a form of art and his dishes as a work of art. He does not use a cookbook to create his dishes but feels that his creations ought to be an expression of look, smell and lastly – taste.

A Different Look with a Traditional Taste

Although the look of his dishes is far from the traditional look of Italian food, he prides himself in not being a fusion chef. This means that no new flavor or influence is added to the dishes. They will still be made with the same ingredients that many Italian chefs use, but will have a unique twist of appearance that can be described by Nino as “Music.”

“The truth is that other people enjoy the dishes, but I also enjoy the dishes because I love to make all of my guests happy. This is why I love this job. This job is like a mission – I never notice the negative frustrations or pains – I just love it”

-NINO

Taste by Sight and by Smell

He does it this way because his philosophy is that the last thing a diner should experience is the taste of the food in their mouth. The first form of taste to Nino is the “visual taste.’ He feels that if the presentation is made correctly, the eyes will tell the diner to be hungry rather then full (if the presentation is made bad). Secondly, he feels that the other form of taste will be the smell. If the dish looks delicious and has an amazing smell, it will create the experience for the diner that is summarized in the taste.

This method brings mixed feelings to other cooks and even some diners. Nino expects some guests to be confused about his creations and loves to speak to diners about the “why” of how the dish is made and help them to understand how to eat and appreciate it.  Although many call him a crazy chef, his dishes have become the trademark of Blue – offering an amazing menu of Italian dishes with an unorthodox look but a traditional Italian taste.

“I make it this way and it’s not always a winner. It is a game that I play really hard and if I win – I win big!” NINO 

 

Gamberone with caviar and cannolo with caponata.

Jelly red orange an lemon with grilled beef and gamberone with caviar

Japanese style sushi in Sicilian taste

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