|Chef Giuseppe Pezzella|
Giuseppe…tell me a little about your background.
That is how my conversation began with Chef GiuseppePezzella, Head Chef at Cinque in FIVE Palm Jumeirah and Trattoria by Cinque in FIVE Jumeirah Village in Dubai.. Pezzella was back home in Naples for a few days and I jumped at the opportunity to take five, have a chit chat with the 32 year old Campanian native before he needed to head back to Dubai.
Pezzella shared with me that after several experiences in Campania his fine dining curriculum actually began when he was around 21 in the kitchen with Chef Emilio Desiderio at RADA in Positano. After four fantasticaaa seasons there, Pezzella spent the next 3 spring/summer seasons with Chef Antonino Mellino at Quattro Passi in Nerano and 2 fall/winter with Chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo at Villa Crespi in Piedmont – both restaurants with 2 Michelin stars. Not bad.
His experience with Quattro Passi continued in 2017 when Mellino opened up a restaurant in Dubai (which closed after the 2018 season) as well as Porto Cervo in Sardinia.
Pezzella had caught that Dubai bug and so it was impossible for him to say no when he was offered the opportunity to become part of a new project in 2019 by Five hotels and resorts in Jumeirah. A new restaurant – Cinque.
Pezzella hit the ground running – his mission was to put Cinque on the map as one of Dubai’s top Italian restaurants in a very competitive market. He is committed to using quality Italian products that he has been able to source from Italy, often making trips back home, as well as throughout the rest of te world.
Next topic – menu.
The hotel has 500 rooms, and the restaurant serves around 150 covers a day between lunch and dinner. Pezzella’s menu is quite extensive to ensure that the guests have a wide variety of options during their stay.
Let’s take a look at some of the dishes…
|Roasted octopus, sweet and sour Tropea onions, fried potato, and green bean puree.|
|Coffee-flavored pasta ravioli, Apulian prawns, fish consommé with hints of the Amalfi Coast.|
|Gnocchi stuffed with prawns and burrata, with a sauce featuring three tomato varieties.|
|Tagliatella pasta with legumes, clams, and a parsley reduction.|
Pezzella changes the menu every 3 months or so. I was curious, however, if at times the chef felt that he needed to adapt his style to the guests’ desires.
Yes, just a little. I have many Italian dishes on the menu. Basically, the first courses are all Italian; Linguine alla Nerano, Ravioli a Capres, Risotto with prawns orange and lemon, to name a few. but I had to modify the appetizers and the second courses a bit. In Italy, as you know, we do not have a lot of appetizers and second courses with strong flavors, Italian cuisine is light, delicate. So for dishes like octopus, I added ponzu sauce. I have a codfish from Australia known as glacier51 which is very expensive – I cook it at a low temperature in miso. So for some dishes I have been playing a bit with fusion- a little Japanese with Italian flavors. Since we have many guests in the hotel who dine often with us, they may not desire to eat pasta everyday.- Pezzella
I couldn’t help but notice Pezzella’s passion for pastries. The chef told me that his love for desserts actually began while he was in Dubai and he needed a pastry chef. Dubai, he told me, offers many opportunities for me to take courses and update me on the latest techniques.
Here's a glance:
Cheesecake mousse, with rhubarb and red fruit granita.
Mango E Cioccolato - white chocolate mousse, mango texture, and mango sorbet.