1 November 2013
Few chefs can boast a CV as impressive as Alberico Penati. The Italian master has been a leading light in the world of fine dining for more years than he would care to remember.
A native of Bergamo, the legendary chef cut a dash across some of the most famous restaurants in Italy, like Giannino and Savini, cutting his teeth and learning his trade at the feet at some of Italy's most renowned chefs, before moving into the hotel industry and establishing himself as one of the leading Italian chefs in the world.
Chef Penati worked at the famous Ville d'Este in Lake Como, the Grand Hotel Rimini and the iconic Excelsior in Venice, building his reputation and turning his name into an impressive brand.
Working his way across Europe, the chef helped establish and expand the reputations of Paris' Michelin starred Le Carpaccio at the Royal Monceau, Harry's Bar at Annabel's and Aspinal's Casino, both in London... before opening 5 Hertford Street in Mayfair, a favourite haunt of the British Royal family - notably Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Along the way, he cooked for the great and the good, worked in the finest private houses around the world, was the chief consultant of Flavio Briatore's Sardinian venture on the Costa Smeralda, and mentored a range of exceptional talent, including: Bisetto David (two Michelin stars), Angelo Aliano, Joel Robuchon and Enrico Vespani (two Michelin stars).
After a long and illustrious journey, Alberico Penati is now making his home at 9 - 11 rue Balzac. This quaint street, just off the glittering bustle of the Champs Élysées is already synonymous with Paris' fine cuisine - being the long standing home of Pierre Gagnaire's eponymous three Michelin star flagship restaurant. Chef Penati is determined to do for Italian cuisine in Paris, what Chef Gagnaire has done for French: deliver a contemporary take on traditional cuisine that looks to the future, but is respectful of the past.
The concept behind Alberico Penati's new venture is simple: Using the produce of today to recreate the exciting flavours of the past. Penati is adamant that much of today's produce is not as flavoursome as it once was. As a chef, he has to work hard to recreate the traditional tastes that would have been served up on the tables of his Italian ancestors.
By utilising complex skills and precise cooking techniques, all of which have been painfully researched and perfected over time, the expert chef is able to serve up contemporary Italian cuisine that puts a new twist on the textures and tastes of Italy's rich food heritage.
The result is a light, seemingly simple, but extremely complex cuisine that looks to the future, is respectful of the past... and is one that is set to open up Paris to a brand new element of Italian cuisine, and without doubt, one that the city can be truly proud of.