Chef Raffaele relives Ibn Battuta’s journey through Mediterranean Europe with Italian sundried fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs and succulent seafood
The Sicilia Italian restaurant in the Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai, has just received a double whammy bonus, with the arrival of new Chef de Cuisine Raffaele Andreozzi.
The 43-year-old Italian national, who hails from the Genoa region of Italy, joins Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai, following a two-year assignment at the Anantara Desert Island Resort on Sir Bani Yas, in Abu Dhabi.
He marked his recent arrival in spectacular fashion by creating two brand new menus – one aimed at busy executives who have limited time for a wholesome lunch and a more extensive and relaxed dinner menu for families and couples enjoying an evening out.
At just AED80, the new business lunch menu is proving to be extremely popular, especially with in-house guests and executives working in the local Ibn Battuta Gate offices and Jebal 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, from the freshest ingredients all within one hour such which changes on a daily basis.”
However, when it comes to dinner, Italian culture simply refuses to be rushed, dinner is an important social and family event, not merely an evening meal.
“The menu remains authentic, with 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 selectively & 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 & sweet potato, garganelli Sicilian style which is a penne pasta from gragnano with Palamita tuna, pine nuts and raisins & the Sicilian baccala which consists of cod, fresh tomatoes, black olives, capers, 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 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 for Sabatini’s Kitchen, Crown Grill Kitchen and the main Galley Kitchen.
“The theme of our hotel is based on Ibn Battuta’s maritime adventures and Sicilia celebrates his time in the Mediterranean. Chef Raffaele has been 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,” said Maurice De Rooij, General Manager, Mövenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, Dubai.
During his career which spans 28 years, Chef Raffaele also has extensive experience of working for five-star restaurants in St. Moritz, Paris and Portofino.