Sicilia Italian restaurant recently welcomed new Chef de Cuisine Raffaele Andreozzi
Chef Raffaele relives Ibn Battuta’s journey through Mediterranean Europe with Italian sun-dried fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and succulent seafood.
The 43-year-old Italian national, from Genoa, joins the Mövenpick after two years at the Anantara Desert Island Resort on Sir Bani Yas, Abu Dhabi.
He marked his arrival by creating two new menus – a business lunch, and a more extensive and relaxed dinner menu for couples and families and enjoying an evening out.
At just AED80, the new business lunch menu is proving popular, especially with in-house guests and executives working in the local Ibn Battuta Gate offices and Jebel Ali offices.
Chef Raffaele said: “Italians know their food, they’re blessed with some of the world’s best produce and they know how to cook it with respect. My new two-course lunch menu comes packed with flavour, is cooked and served within an hour, and changes daily.”
However, when it comes to dinner, Italian culture simply refuses to be rushed.
“The menu remains authentic: simple home-style Italian cooking with a Sicilian edge. It is unpretentious embracing the “grotto” philosophy of “cook what is fresh today”.
“My cooking complements my roots, and I do not substitute any of our products. My produce is all carefully sourced and brought in directly from Italy to ensure my home country’s authentic flavours are maintained. Some of my favourite and most popular menu items are the marinated octopus which comes with salmoriglio and aromatic rosemary oil, baby spinach and sweet potato; Sicilian-style garganelli – an egg-based pasta from Gragnano with Palamita tuna, pine nuts and raisins. There’s also Sicilian baccala – cod, fresh tomatoes, black olives, capers, and chili with a dash of extra virgin olive oil. For those with a sweet tooth, you must try Sicilia’s tiramisu, an old Italian classic.”
Prior to with his time at Anantara, Chef Raffaele started with Princess Cruise Lines as a Demi Chef de Partie in 1998, based out of Los Angeles and quickly rose through the ranks, making Sous Chef by 2006 and Chef de Cuisine in 2012. The following year, he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef.
Maurice De Rooij, the property’s general manager, said: “The theme of our hotel is based on Ibn Battuta’s maritime adventures. Sicilia celebrates his time in the Mediterranean. Chef Raffaele was raised surrounded by hearty, nutritious home-cooked food and has spent 18 years at sea, working for Princess Cruise Lines. Given that synergy, it has to be a perfect match.”
During his 28-year career, Chef Raffaele also worked with five-star restaurants in St. Moritz, Paris and Portofino.
Click here to find out more about the Sicilia restaurant.