Tastemaker: Antonio Morichini, A sweet chef with a fierce commitment to his cuisine

 

Executive Chef Antonio Morichini

Executive Chef Antonio Morichini

Heading up into Brooklyn Heights, I must have passed Bevacco restaurant three dozen times. Like a wolf, I circled, sniffed, and inspected this new “piece of meat.”  Then I took the plunge. I headed in one afternoon, struck up a conversation with the owner, and sucked down two Smiles, their version of a straight up margarita and the Zuppa di Razza con Maltagliati,  Skate broth, saffron, ginger, broccoli, filet of skate, squid ink pasta (heaven).

After a few delicious dining experiences at Bevacco wedged into the next few weeks, I headed directly to the source—a sit down with the Executive chef, Antonio Morichini.

AB: Where did you get your inspiration? Perhaps your grandmother or mother?

AM: (Giggling), Chefs always say that. My mother and grandmother inspired me in many ways and were both great cooks but my true inspiration began when working at Convivio Troiani in Rome. That is when I learned everything about food and the techniques…the depth of flavor. I formed a deeper relationship with the dishes, and with cooking Italian cuisine.

AB: How would you describe your style of Italian cuisine?

AM: Simple, traditional, what Italian food should be. We have a respect for every ingredient in our kitchen. The best way to describe Bevacco and my style is…A step ahead of conservative….A step behind innovation.

AB: How would you say your restaurant stands out from your competition?

AM: We make mostly everything in-house, from the pasta, to the focaccia, to the pastries. All from scratch.

I have made a pledge to my patrons. I serve the customers what I would serve my family. It is a healthy marriage between ingredients, portions, and flavor.  Most of my ingredients are organic. Organic eggs and milk, grass fed meats, free range poultry…

And, I cook my food with love.

AB: Do you have a piece of advice for chefs entering the business?

AM: This life is hard. Before you jump in, make sure food is your soul and your passion because your kitchen and the people in it become your home and your family.

And my other piece of advice is, once you do decide it is the right path, don’t give up. It is challenging , like learning another language but once you overcome the difficulties it is a special occupation. It is a good life.

AB: What are some of the must haves at Bevacco?  I know my favorite—the bucatini!

AM: Well, yes our pastas are all special as they are homemade daily. For the lobster ravioli we use live whole lobsters for the filling. Our meat dishes are popular. The bombolone is a huge hit with our customers. Who doesn’t like a fresh warm donut filled with creamy custard.

I am always testing new dishes in the kitchen, playing with the balance of texture, color, and richness. Amanda, there is a lot more to come, this “family” is always creating.

 

For more information about Bevacco restaurant and executive chef Antonio Morichini, please visit http://www.bevacco.com. Bon Appetit!

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