5 minutes with Chef Riccardo

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, housed in a gorgeous heritage building on Shanghai’s Yuanmingyuan Road, is a dining establishment that is no stranger to the celebrity chef dining scene. Started by 3-Michelin Starred Chef Bombana in Hong Kong, the Shanghai flagship is helmed by Chef Riccardo from Sicily, Italy and has been awarded 2-Michelin Stars in 2017.

With his high culinary standards and strong passion for Italian cuisine, Chef Riccardo shares Bombana’s creative vision and strives to deliver excellent delicacies to the Shanghai connoisseurs. Here he shares some of these thoughts on dining and his vision for the New Year:

Aspire Lifestyles: Chef Riccardo, can you tell us what does dining really mean to you?

Chef Riccardo: To me, dining is a time of reunion with family and friends. It is a great time of joy and when paired with good food and wine, it can enhance the quality of time spent together with one another. The Chinese value reunion a lot and I take this very seriously when preparing my dishes as I understand the true meaning of this time spent with family and friends.

Aspire Lifestyles: Great! So where does your inspiration come from and how are your dishes unique?

Chef Riccardo: My inspiration really comes from the different seasons. In different weather and seasons, there are various fresh produce and having worked for so many years, I’ve gained the experience to be versatile and work with different ingredients. For the best dishes will only come from the freshest ingredients, such as black truffle for this season and therefore we have specially imported them from Italy and designed a special menu around it.

Aspire Lifestyles: Could you share with us what you look forward to creating in 2017?

Chef Riccardo: In 2017, I really wish to have more time to interact with our guests at the restaurant, to create more exciting dishes in line with what the diner wants. I think there are many new themes that we can explore. For the dining room, there are opportunities to create more entertainment for the general public and for private events.

Aspire Lifestyles: Last but not least, what profession do you see yourself in if you were not a chef?

Chef Riccardo: I probably would have become an opera singer (laughs). To me, music is the second to food in terms of bringing happiness and joy to people.