This week’s Chef in the Spotlight, Sergio Sigala Executive Chef at Miami Beach’s Soho House, Cecconi’s graduated at the top of his class from the culinary school, Istituto Professionale Di Stato Per I Servizi Alberghieri E Della Ristorazione in Italy. With a name like that it’s no wonder Sigala spent numerous years training in a variety of prominent restaurants and hotels throughout Europe including Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy; Hotel Steffani in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Michelin-starred restaurants Al Bersagliere in Goito, Italy, and Ristorante Villa Fiordaliso in Lake Garda, Italy. Once done paying his dues Sigala was hired as Chef of Italian Cuisine at the Sheraton Bahrain Hotel where he catered private parties and royal weddings at 16 different palaces for dignitaries such as the Sultan of Bahrain, Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela. Sigala’s level of culinary talent and respected status made him the definitive choice in 2000 to open Casa Tua Miami Beach ultimately making Casa Tua a dining destination worthy of much critical acclaim. In 2010 Sigala was tapped to open Cecconi’s where he oversees the daily workings of the restaurant as well as creating menus that reflect his true belief and years of admired experience that simple is best, and this is celebrated with fresh, high-quality ingredients in each dish on his menus. Let’s find out a bit more about Sergio Sigala Executive Chef at Miami Beach’s Soho House, Cecconi’s.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Sergio Sigala: I get inspired mostly by seasonal produce. Sometimes inspiration comes from a cookbook, or looking at previous dishes I made in other restaurants, every day I find something that inspired me to create new dish.
South Florida Food and Wine: When did you realize that cooking was your passion?
Sergio Sigala: Unlike most chefs, I was not driven into the culinary arts by a passion for food, rather, it was a passion for a Vespa! One summer when I was fourteen, I was desperate to earn money to buy a Vespa. I started off washing dishes in my cousin’s restaurant but soon fell into cooking which came naturally to me. At the end of summer I had the money for my Vespa but I had also begun to realize that this could be my future. I began to pay more attention to my mother and grandmother’s cooking (both amazing cooks) and found so much inspiration in their kitchens as well.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item on your menu?
Sergio Sigala: Veal Chop with Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and morels sauce
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite dish to make at home?
Sergio Sigala: Fish soup
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Sergio Sigala: The casoncelli, ravioli stuffed with prosciutto crudo and parmesan, seasoned with butter and sage, are typical from my town in Italy, and of course my mamma’s tiramisu
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would love to cook with and why?
Sergio Sigala: My mamma, I don’t have many occasions to see her, since she lives in Italy, but when she comes to visit me in Miami, we always get together in the kitchen and we cook always a great meal for my dad, family and friends.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Sergio Sigala: Chocolate
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at?
Sergio Sigala: I had great dinner at Barcelloneta, last week, and also I have been invited to a tasting for a new restaurant that will open in midtown, Salumeria 104, lots of simple, homey, comfortable food and few traditional Italian trattoria dishes
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Sergio Sigala: Is not just one person, it is a group of friends who live in Italy that I grew up with. Once a year, when I go back to Italy for vacation, we always get together and I cook for them, is always ends up to be funny night.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Sergio Sigala: Normally I run, bike, play golf, and spend time with my family.
Cecconi’s at the Soho Beach House Miami 4385 Collins Avenue Miami Beach 786.507.7902
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