Month of fine Italian dining

Gusto Italiano, an epicurean event celebrating the best of Italian cuisine in Singapore, has returned with its largest line-up of chefs from restaurants in Italy and here.

The third edition features 16 chefs from more than 10 restaurants, who will showcase their culinary finesse in the event's anchor month, which runs until Oct 11.

It consists of gourmet dinners paired with Italian wine as well as cooking workshops. Last year, 14 chefs were involved.

Adding star power to the chef line-up are Michelin-starred chefs.

They include Anthony Genovese of the two-starred Ristorante Il Pagliaccio in Rome, Igor Macchia of one-starred Ristorante La Credenza in Piedmont and Matteo Temperini of Ristorante La Sponda in Positano.

Chef Genovese, 47, is looking forward to meeting diners here who have visited his restaurant in Rome.

He will "take diners on a sensorial experience that showcases a distinct cooking style" through signature dishes served in his restaurant.

On top of cooking at Dolce Vita at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore from Sept 29 to Oct 3, he will also headline a 10-hands dinner with chefs from four Italian restaurants here, including Senso and Burlamacco, on Sept 30.

Chef Macchia will showcase innovative modern Italian cuisine infused with Asian influences, and plans to use white truffles from Piedmont, which will be in season next month, in some of his dishes.

The 37-year-old will cook at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore's Italian restaurant, The Lighthouse, from Oct 6 to 11.

Gusto Italiano is organised by event management and exhibitions company Sphere Exhibits, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and food and beverage consultancy Poulose Associates.

It is presented by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and cardholders get a 20 per cent discount for the events.

Besides showcasing cutting- edge Italian fare, Gusto Italiano caters to diners with varying levels of familiarity with Italian cuisine, says Mr Ian Lim, senior manager, Gourmet & Festivals, of Sphere Exhibits.

For example, Celebrating The 'P' In Pete's, a casual buffet at Pete's Place at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, offers Italian classics such as pizzas and pasta, among other dishes which start with the letter P.

The food will be paired with Peroni beer.

Other event highlights include a six-course dinner that brings Italian dishes from the 16th- to 18th- century to Oso Ristorante in Bukit Pasoh Road; a four-course Italian "Surf & Turf" dinner in Italy Ristorante & Bar in Craig Road; and a beef-centric dinner featuring Australian beef bone marrow and oak smoked Kagoshima wagyu in Otto Ristorante in Maxwell Road.

Accompanying the food in the festival line-up are Italian wines such as those from La Spinetta, Tua Rita, Marchesi di Barolo and Ferrari Spumante.

Sphere Exhibits expects more than 900 people to attend the dining events this year.

Prices start at $25++ for a cooking workshop and run to $298++ for a dinner by chef Genovese.

The feasting continues after the event's anchor month as there will be monthly themed dinners in 11 Italian restaurants, starting from next month.

These include a Christmas- themed buffet at the Grand Hyatt Singapore in December.

About 50 restaurants will also participate in dining promotions, and HSBC cardholders get 15 per cent off a la carte dishes.

For more info, go to or call 6602-9900 (weekday, 9am to 6pm)

Gusto Italiano Highlights


What: Get cooking tips from eight Italian chefs. Chef Gabriele Piegaia of Burlamacco will share his recipes for tuna tartare and squid ink risotto, while chef Lino Sauro of Gattopardo will show participants how to whip up Sicilian caponata and parfait with toasted "noto" almond sauce.

Each session includes two recipe demonstrations.

Where: ToTT Cooking Studio, 896 Dunearn Road

When: Sept 26 and 27, 10am, noon, 2 and 4pm

Price: $25++


What: This six-course gala dinner features the dishes of Michelin-starred chef Anthony Genovese of Il Pagliaccio restaurant, and four chefs from Italian restaurants here. They include Burlamacco's chef Gabriele Piegaia and Dolce Vita's chef Omar Bernardi.

Dishes include Iberico pork collar with black summer truffles by chef Genovese.

Where: Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square

When: Sept 30, 7pm

Price: Starts from $206.40++ a person


What: Savour the exquisite dishes of this two Michelin- starred chef who helms the Ristorante Il Pagliaccio in Rome.

Menu highlights include sous vide duck served with mashed purple potato and red radish; pork with corn espuma and summer truffle and tomato risotto with smoked Scamorza cheese.

Where: Dolce Vita, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square

When: Oct 3, 7pm

Price: $298++


What: Chef Igor Macchia of one-Michelin-starred La Credenza in Piedmont showcases dishes such as pumpkin risotto with red prawn tartare and cauliflower soup with torched codfish and black truffle caviar.

Where: The Lighthouse, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, 1 Fullerton Square

When: Oct 8, 7pm

Price: $288++


What: Every dish in this fun and casual buffet dinner starts with the letter P. Pig out on pasta such as pappardelle with porcini mushrooms and penne with tomato sauce.

There are also pizzas, such as panzerotti (deep-fried pizza) and prosciutto, and mains such as eggplant parmigiana, four-cheese polenta and fish stew. End the menu with panna cotta and panettone.

Where: Pete's Place, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, Grand Wing, basement level

When: Oct 9 and 10, dinner time

Price: Starts at $58++

This article was first published on September 13, 2015.
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