Wonderful news out of Latvia, as the Park Inn by Radisson Riga Valdemara has recently added a new Executive Chef to the roster at its Bocca Buona Restaurant.
A man with a passion for Italian cuisine, and the skills to make it utterly delectable, Fabrizio Righetti is bringing the authentic flavor of homecooked Italian food to Riga. We caught up with him to find out more about what excites him most about Italian cuisine, and the challenges he faces on the job.
What really inspired you to become a chef and what obstacles did you overcome to make your dreams come true?
What really inspired me to be a Chef was the satisfaction of my friends, relatives and, later, the guests, when they were eating my food. If they’re happy, I’m happy too – simple!
However, becoming an Executive Chef has not been a piece of cake. All of my summer holidays in school, I worked in kitchen. My friends were enjoying their life but, at 18, I already started working while studying. But this wasn’t a problem for me because I loved what I was doing and I chose to experience the world in this way.
I really believe in hard work and dedication. So, if you have both, and are enthusiastic, then you can be successful at whatever you want to do.
What do you think it is about Italian food that has such an enduring appeal?
Italian food is everybody food – it’s simple. It’s home-style. It’s comfort. It’s whatever memory you can recall from your childhood. It’s easy to cook and, moreover, it’s super tasty!
How would you describe your philosophy to Italian food?
Simple, tasty and unforgettable.
How do you enjoy your new assignment at the Bocca Buona Restaurant?
I love it! Park Inn by Radisson is a new brand for me and it’s very different from Radisson Blu. Bocca Buona is a great brand and I think it has a great potential to become a top-player restaurant throughout Riga. My focus now is to make the Italian basics great, which is pizza and pasta.
For anyone who has not eaten in Bocca Buona before, how would you sum up the dining experience?
Cozy atmosphere, fantastic food experience – the place to be.
For most of your life, you have always cooked for other people, but can you tell our community what the real Fabrizio Righetti loves to eat?
I’m a simple Italian man, so any pasta (done in a proper way) will make me happy. If I have to pick one, I would say Cacio e Pepe – a typical dish from Rome that has become my signature.
Does being an expat chef brings any challenges in your life?
Of course – it’s not easy to be an expat in general. In the kitchen, I think it’s a bit more complicated because you need to fight, not only the language barrier, but also the “cooking knowledge barrier”. Each country has its own way of cooking something and, when you are trying to create a new dish, as a chef, you want your ideas to be taken on board by your team. But it’s easier to say then do, because often the line staff don’t understand why you’re asking them to change their way of cooking, or sometimes they simply don’t accept your taste or your “rules”. One of my biggest challenges is to reduce the quantity of garlic and onion that my staff use to cook something.