‘His creations are true gardens of colour: pretty in their presentation, impressive in their sculpture and imaginative in their design’
The Chef’s Palette
Driven by creativity, imagination and complexity, with a spoon in hand, Matteo Ferrantino creates true works of art. He defines his cuisine as contemporary, a contrast of colours and flavours that come together in a single harmony in which balance is key.
HE FRENCH impressionist Claude Monet famously used nature’s palette of flowers to create gardens of living colour in his paintings. Instead of a canvas, Matteo Ferrantino has a plate. Instead of a paintbrush, Ferrantino has a spoon. They are two different art forms, but there is no doubt that this Italian-born chef is an artist with a very unique vision.
His creations are true gardens of colour: pretty in their presentation, impressive in their sculpture and imaginative in their design. In fact, much like both a painter and a gardener, Ferrantino relies on his senses to create a medley of sensations and emotions that form the very foundations of the culinary arts.
And, like a painter, the chef’s creative process doesn’t have a final destination: ‘I’m impulsive. My brain creates something, and when I see it, I do it. It is simply something that pops into my head. If something is missing, it’s not finished until I think it is complete. And once I feel it is done, I don’t add anything else.’
Although Ferrantino’s work is colourful and visually enchanting, with just a touch of humour, the most fundamental point for this chef is the taste. By using the best-quality ingredients – the chef believes all products have the same gastronomic value, regardless of their price – and enhancing them using the technical knowledge he has gained over the years at the top of his field, in his dishes, it is the flavour that reins.
‘Cooking techniques, both classical and modern, should be used to their full advantage,’ explains Ferrantino. ‘But although the characteristics of the products can be modified, be it the temperature, texture, shape, etc., the aim is to preserve the purity of their original flavour.’
In essence, his goal is to create an unexpected contrast of flavours, temperatures and colours, to provoke, surprise and delight those sampling his stunning creations. Through this belief, and with an inherent culinary talent backed by innovation and know-how, Ferrantino’s cooking is, above all, balanced. ‘In my food, nothing is missing. It’s complete. And that’s the most important thing.’