Hotel / Travel

“Food brings people together”

He believes that only with humility, love and passion, one can cook well and provide the best on the table for the customers. Simone Loisi, Head Chef at Waterfall Ristorante Italiano, Shangri-La Singapore in conversation with Nikita Agarwal talks about how different Singapore is from Europe when it comes to food and also his journey as a chef around the world.

Can you tell us about your early years in Puglia, Italy and how it shaped your passion for cooking?

I was born in Modugno, a town near the Puglian capital. In Puglia, food plays a big part in our lifestyle. Food brings people together every weekend and on special occasions of celebration. Growing up, I have always liked being in the kitchen and seeing my mother or my grandmothers at work while they were cooking. I learned their recipes and techniques because even their simple dishes are delicious and everyone in the family who eats their food feels happy. That inspired me to start cooking because I realized how important food is to bring people together and create happiness when people gather.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the culinary industry?

Apart from my mother who was my biggest inspiration for me to start cooking, I also owe a lot to my brother who provided me with my first hands-on experience in the culinary industry. I worked with him at various kitchens to gain experience and learn about different food cultures beyond the Puglian region where I grew up. I believe in always being open to tastes and experiencing different flavours and learning about different food cultures; and this hunger to always want to learn about new cooking techniques and flavours are among the things that kept me going as a chef all these years.

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