So carrying on with the Italian food theme, I had the opportunity to interview Modo Mio Head Chef Andrea Tranchero earlier this month.
Andrea was looking for a new, exciting challenge and thought Crown Perth would be the perfect place to try. Having worked with former Modo Mio Chef de Cuisine Giampaolo Maffini in Tokyo 15 years ago, he jumped at the chance to join forces with him again. When Andrea received a phone call to open Modo Mio, he headed straight to Perth from Melbourne and immediately fell in love with our Perth weather and lifestyle!
Modo Mio which means ‘My Way’, opened in June 2011 and the menu is designed to be savoured over several courses in true Italian fashion. For burger boy and I’s wedding reception, we served half our guests an Italian banquet and the other half Chinese banquet. I remember my Italian mother-in-law wanting us to add pasta after the antipasto. She was worried that our guests wouldn’t be full after our 6 courses which included antipasto, a seafood platter, mains, dessert, biscotti & coffee and Italian liqueurs! So yes expect to be fed well at Modo Mio!
Andrea worked in some of the world’s best restaurants in Italy, Paris, USA, Japan, and China and brings to Perth his traditional Italian recipes and personal contemporary style to Modo Mio Italian restaurant.
Here’s my interview with Andrea – enjoy!
Who inspired you to start cooking?
I definitely credit my love and passion for cooking to my Grandmother who inspired me with her culinary creations throughout my childhood. Today at 93 years old, my Grandmother is still influencing my cooking, with some of her special recipes showcased on the Modo Mio menu.
I remember spending long summer vacations at my Grandparents’ house, where my Grandmother would pick fresh vegetables from her garden and buy seafood from the local fishmonger to use in her dishes. We always enjoyed her delicious, authentic Italian meals such as smoked salmon, beef Carpaccio, ravioli, beef stew, cheese platters and her delicious dessert creations.
I read your grandmother’s special recipes are featured on the Modo Mio menu – which one is your favourite?
My favourite dish that has been influenced by my Grandmother is the grilled Wagyu sirloin and Wagyu cheeks dome, braised red cabbage, porcini mushroom and veal jus. She always serves her incredible braised beef cheeks at Christmas dinner so I wanted to share this with our diners at Modo Mio.
She also influenced our Mother’s Day menu in Modo Mio this year as we included her ‘veggie salad with prawns’ as a classic Italian appetizer, which our patrons loved!
What was the very first Italian meal you cooked?
I was 12 years old when I started cooking for myself and of course I began with pasta! I would often invite my friends for sleepovers on the weekend and we would cook our favourite spaghetti with garlic, olive oil and chilli – buonissimo!
What’s your favourite meal to cook for your family?
My children always ask me to make pasta when I’m at home. I love to prepare homemade pasta from scratch and ask my children to help me – there is usually flour everywhere at the end, but I want to show them how to cook traditional Italian food like my Mother did with me and my two younger sisters!
I really enjoyed spending time in the kitchen as a child and quickly learned important techniques from my Mother. Growing up, I can remember my Mother’s delicious, hearty stews during the cold winters in Cuneo, which is part of the Piedmont region of Northern Italy.
What’s your advice to aspiring chefs looking to make their mark in the highly competitive restaurant world?
I think it’s important to have a strong work ethic and always be guided by what your guests want. Every day is different, so you have to be ready and flexible to deliver to your customers’ demands. It’s also vital to change the menu seasonally so you’re always using new, fresh ingredients of the highest quality and keeping the menu updated for returning diners.
What’s your favourite Perth restaurant (besides Modo Mio)?
I love Nobu Perth! I spent more than 10 years in Tokyo and fell in love with the incredible Japanese food over there. Nobu has created an innovative fusion of traditional Japanese cuisine with South American flavours. They always use fresh ingredients with a good balance of flavours and serve each dish with a modern twist, which I love.
Have you cooked for any famous people? What did they like most?
I have cooked for Giorgio Armani at the Armani Restaurant in Tokyo; President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano; Richard Branson and famous Japanese architect Kenko Kuma. They all wanted traditional Italian cuisine including fresh appetisers, Italian cold cuts and of course – pasta!
What was it like to cook for Richard Branson?
It was a fantastic experience and something I will always remember! Richard Branson and his mother organised a charity event at the Armani Restaurant in Tokyo where I was Executive Chef. We had an open kitchen in front of the guests at the event and Richard himself even got involved, helping us cook a saffron risotto all together which was fun!
burger boy and I are yet to try out Modo Mio but it’s on our massive Perth to eat list. Modo Mio is open everyday for lunch and dinner, see Crown Perth’s website to view the Modo Mio menu or for booking info.
This post was sponsored by Crown Perth. Refer to foodie cravings disclosure policy for more details.