|Chef Massimo Larosa|
The years passed and I still haven't been able to get to the island off the coast of Spain, but I am definitely living the Ibiza life, virtually, through the chef’s social network. It was there that I learned about Larosa’s latest project moving Ibiza a few spaces higher on my bucket list. That project is Comely Club. And it looks fantasticaaa.
I contacted Larosa this week to learn more. Here’s a taste of what went down.
Before you tell me about the project, I'd like to know more about you. I usually write about chefs from Campania and, although you are from Genova, I know that you have ties to the Campania region. Does Campania have any influence on you as a chef in terms of traditions, ingredients and / or menus?
Yes, Campania is now a part of me. My wife Stefania is from Ischia, my daughters were born in Ibiza, but half of their blood is Campanian. And then, you asked me about the project, the influences, and the menus? Let's say that Comely Club is an idea born from a dream of mine and two other people - my partners. Where do you think they are from? Campania, obviously. The first is from Vico Equense, Costantino Russo, who has thirty years in the hotel, food & beverage world as well as one of Spain's leading experts in Italian wines is here with me on the island. The second partner, on the other hand, is Virgilio Panarese, a Neapolitan engineer, an expert in marketing and public relations- uniting the work, creativity, and numbers. So, we can say that we represent a good slice of Campania. The menus and traditions? I'll get there in a while.
The project is ambitious, but as Einstein said - If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it - and it is precisely from this assumption that Comely was born, a club able to offer all "top-notch" services ". We have exclusive villas, the possibility of flying on business jets, sailing on luxury yachts and many other services with an extremely high standard. All, however, have a common denominator: food and beverage. Yes, my cuisine interpreted in a new concept – a concept different from that of a private chef. It is a real restaurant in our guests’ homes. Comely Club is, in fact, a nomadic home restaurant, with ad hoc menus, staff, our dishes, our glasses, our sommelier and everything you could find in a restaurant. What's the benefit? That the location could be a villa, a beach, a yacht, or a jet. Keeping quality, mood, and experience intact. The typical week? I can summarize it in three words - frenetic, exciting, and compelling – everything is in flux. Everything is research, everything is new and therefore explorable.
After a year of pandemic life, do you think projects like this could be the new wave?
We hope that the idea can be the new wave, this would mean for us to have identified a path of success. But at the same time, it would be an honor for Costantino, Virgilio, and I to have been the forerunners of a new way of imagining catering. Why not? Perhaps one day it will be possible to receive an important recognition such as the Michelin star even with a home restaurant.
I suppose you have a kitchen brigade to help.
I have my people, the guys I trust but also new collaborations. The pace in a home restaurant is different and to maintain quality, experience, and uniqueness the work is quick/tight. A site inspection allows us to understand what, how, and why to act in a certain way in order not to find surprises.
We will have the opportunity, here in Ibiza, to propose and organize in synergy with Massimo a private experience, a real evening with the cuisine of the great Bottura at the home of one of our guests.
Wow! Is there anything else would you like to add?
Well, that sounds like an invitation that I can’t refuse!
A presto! And thanks for the pics, chef!