Igor Macchia, La Credenza, Piedmont, Italy
Igor Macchia’s passion for food began many years ago. After many years spent experimenting and creating his own personal style, both as a chef and pastry chef, he embarked upon a co-ownership of La Credenza in 2005, and was awarded his first Michelin Star the following year.
Igor also managed to find the time to nourish another great passion of his: the culture of the East. He travelled through China and Japan, India and Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Maldives, not only to promote his culinary art, but also to learn more about these Asian cultures. The result is his original blend of colours and tastes, textures and shapes that are evident in his most creative and ambitious recipes.
Igor took the time to tell us why he’s excited about being part of this year’s World Gourmet Festival, what he’ll be preparing, and what he never travels without.
What are you most excited about with regards to participating in this year’s World Gourmet Festival?
I’m really excited to come back to Thailand because last year I spent a month travelling around this beautiful country taking photographs for my restaurant’s cookbook. I had a really great time here experiencing the Thai food and hospitality. Now is my turn to pay back that hospitality and food to the Thai people.
What is the one dish you’ll be preparing that visitors to the festival shouldn’t miss?
The lamb marinated in coffee, sweet corn ragout and aromatic cress. It’s a real signature dish in my restaurant – the matching between the coffee and sweet corn is really unusual, but it’s just amazing. I’m Italian and, as you know, we love coffee, even for cooking!
Describe your cooking philosophy.
Simple, modern and fresh. I don’t like to put too many ingredients in one dish as it confuses people. If a guest orders lamb, I want them to taste what they ordered. At the same time, I don’t want them to feel too heavy after the meal. I think dinner is just the beginning of a good night out.
I also travel quite a lot around the world and I have the chance to discover new ingredients and methods that I like to combine with an Italian style, keeping in mind that I am still an Italian.
Are there any key ingredients you’ll be bringing with you from home?
I will bring some Pariani hazelnut oil with me. It’s an amazing oil made with hazelnuts from a small Italian producer. The taste is just so crazy and so nice! To get 1 litre of oil, the producer needs to use almost 5 kg of fresh hazelnuts. This is an ingredient that is really traditional in my own region in Italy, since Piedmont is a big hazelnut producer.
What do you never travel without?
My staff, my computer and my Italian roots! Without my staff, I could never have the chance to travel so much. When I’m not in my restaurant, they’re the ones working hard to give guests the best service, and when they travel with me, they assist me and support me a lot. My computer is becoming more and more important to keep me connected wherever I am in the world. I’m managing a restaurant in Taiwan and I couldn’t do it without my laptop. Any my Italian roots always travel with me, reminding me who I am and where I come from. I hope that guests who will join the World Gourmet Festival will experience this Italian feeling too.