Massi’s modern touch


How do you say “eat” in Italian? Mangiare (pronounced manjaare). Well that is a close enough motivation for yours truly to dig in. It is also what crossed my mind when the Roasted lamb loin scented with citrus zests and thyme, accompanied with grilled eryngii mushrooms, red apple and thyme emulsion, Acqualagna black truffle, mascarpone cheese and dried prunes quenelles, red onion and cooked grape must compote and Culatello ham sauté was placed in front of me even though I was nearly stuffed with the antipasti, pasta and the various flat breads on the table.

Chef Massimiliano Sperli’s new menu at Shangri-La’s Italian outlet Sorrento, promises not just this dish that will beckon you. The Fried black cod in parsley and basil batter, mild spicy chard and fennel, orange zest salad with red capsicum and thyme sauce was appreciated by my fellow diners as much as the lamb, as was the homemade potato, ricotta cheese and rosemary tortelli and homemade agnolotti filled with eggplant, smoked scamorza cheese, tomato and basil and served alongside grilled calamari, tuna orange carpaccio, mortadella sauté, Jerusalem artichoke and mint sauce.

While my philosophy of cooking rests on the foundation of classic recipes, I prefer to lend my own personal touch while retaining the authenticity of the dish, Sperli told Mail Today, explaining his new menu. Traditional southern Italian cuisine done in a modern [way]..Massi’s modern touch.

The authentic taste of these dishes is probably because most of the ingredients and goods used to make them are sourced from Italysuch as the truffles, pasta, cold cuts and cheese. But Sperli informed us that his key focus is on the seasonal produce, much of which he sources locally.

BOTH Italians and Indians have a family tradition attached to their food. Homemade’ is an important ingredient’ they include to bring forth the authenticity. Also, traditionally it is served in large sharing portions at gatherings. Apart from these commonalties, Sperli adds that both cuisine’s share similar preparation techniques, particularly in the braised dishes such as lamb, chicken and legumes. Certified with the Golden Q from Ospitalita’ Italiana and with extensive global culinary experi-20 EAT, PRAY SUNDAY SPECIAL Chef Massimiliano Sperli introduces a new menu at Sorrento based on traditional Italian recipes, but with a personal twist ence, Sperli is a master in international cooking styles too.

People are well travelled these days and they are also open to experiment with new flavours and we need to only convince them to try new cuisine’s and travel the world through their palate, said the Italian chef whose most loved cuisine happens to be Spanish and Valencia Paella his all-time favourite dish.

I always tell my guests to come to my restaurant with an open mind and I will serve you real food of my origin. I will make you experience my special artisanal pastas, Neapolitan delicacies, pizzas and slow-cooked family-style specialties, made with seasonal, authentic and regional ingredients.

Also to make his guests understand the difference between oregano and basil, scamorza and parmigiano reggiano, ravioli and tortelli, the chef made us do a blind taste test. Now, food, we all know, is a sensory experience involving sight, smell, touch/texture and taste. So this elimination of one sense was to heighten the experience through others, we ask. We wanted [you] to unravel the mysterious flavours of Italy and show your love for Italian cuisine through this fun activity and hence Mystero Pranzo Esperienza was organised, said Sperli. It is true if one sense is lost the areas of the brain normally devoted to handling that sensory information get rewired and put to work processing other senses.


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