Segreto, Madinat Jumeirah, introduces Head Chef Francesco Di Noia and lavish new menu items
Dubai’s award-winning Italian dining spot, Segreto, has appointed a new Executive Head Chef, Francesco Di Noia, welcoming with him the restaurants most authentic, all-new Italian menu to date.
Deeply versed in the gioie della tavola, or ‘ joys of the table’, Italian dining is often recognised as a time of joy, warmth and magic. In the first few weeks, Chef Di Noia has successfully reworked the authentic Italian menu to utilise fresh, seasonal produce, encompassing the distinct delicacies of traditional cuisine, creating a menu perfect for the warm summer months.
Signature starters include the vitello tonnato, which comprises thin sliced pink roast veal, tuna sauce, capers and green apple; fritto misto di pesce, fresh seafood in tempura batter; and pesce spada affumicato, a beautiful orange fennel salad tossed with smoked swordfish.
A favourite of Chef Fransesco’s, insalata estiva features mixed mescaline tossed with fresh fennel, artichoke and pink grapefruit.
He notes, “The sweetness of the fruit mixed with the slightly bitter crunchiness of the fennel is light and refreshing, ideal for the Dubai heat, and bringing a taste of home to the UAE.”
An Italian tradition in any meal, Chef has created two hearty Italian soups for primo. Cozze alla tarantina is a delicious pot of mussels marinated in a rich, tomato, garlic and vino sauce, while Minestrone Ligure is accompanied with crisp, toasted bread.
The selection of traditional homemade pastas has been reworked to include some absolute must-try’s. The culurgiones ripieno di pecorino, crema di fave is a delicious ravioli stuffed with pecorino cheese and creamed broad bean; whilst lasagna Naopletana is whole-hearted beef lasagne, with rich ricotta cheese, tomato sauce and shredded short ribs.
Chef Francesco says “Lasagne is one of our most traditional dishes, especially through the cooking methods utilised in the making of the sauce. A good lasagne takes us back to our childhood. Personally, the dish resinates as a Sunday ritual in my family home. I would wake up to the smells of my mother slow-cooking the Napolitan ragout, with the warmth of the marinated meat, rich tomato sauce and aromatic spices wafting through the house. Tradition says this sauce needs time to cook to reach its full flavour.”
Vegetarians might enjoy orecchietta all’ortolana, made with orecchiette pasta, seasonal vegetables and Castelmagno cheese, but this menu is firmly aimned at meat and fish lovers.
A seafood twist sees the risotto cacio e pepe, gamberi rossi is made with risotto Sarawak pepper, pecorino romano, and red Sicilian prawns, while another Chef’s specialty is the tagliatelle al nero, calamari al limone, clorofilla di basilica, a homemade black ink tagliatelle pasta with fresh lemon squid and basil chlorophyll.
A signature main course dish, the pollo ripieno, mozzarella e pomodori secchi is a much-loved Italian take on traditionally cooked chicken. Stuffed with mozzarella cheese and sundried tomatoes, Chef serves it with grilled asparagus, adding a Mediterranean twist and light option to the summer menu, boasting bright, colourful ingredients and a creamy texture.
Fish lovers will enjoy the filetto di spigola, crosta di zucchini, a line-caught seabass fillet with zucchini crust and crushed potato. Those wishing to share can indulge in the 500g bistecca Fiorentina, a succulent Italian T-bone steak cooked to your preference and served with roast potato and rocket salad.
A dedicated and passionate chef, Francesco boasts a wealth of European culinary experience.
Following a decade building his career across four-star properties in Italy, he spent a year at the Emporio Armani Café, Paris, before eight years in London. There, he headed up the kitchens across 4- and 5-star restaurants, including Allegro Restaurant, St James Park, Brunello Lounge and Restaurant, Hyde Park, Vineria Restaurant, St John’s Wood and Olives Restaurant, Kensington.
Joining Jumeirah Group in 2015 as Chef de Cuisine at Alta Badia, Emirates Towers, Chef Francesco boasts a wealth of international culinary experience, specialising in traditional Italian fine dining and the creative development of recipe’s and menus. His expertise and creativity saw a tremendous impact in the quality and reputation prevailed by Alta Badia, with much to be expected with his move to Segreto.
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