Domenico Nicolini, Italian Chef

Chef Domenico Nicolino, Nero Nero, DC Mall

The Yum List chats with chef Domenico Nicolino and discovers what he thinks of Malaysia in the short time that he’s been here.

What do you do and how did you get in the industry
I m a 33 years old Italian chef with 12 years of culinary experience worldwide. I started my career in Italy then moved abroad. I got into the industry almost by chance as my first job was in a restaurant in Italy located 2000 meters above the sea level in the Alps serving traditional Italian food. It was love at first sight.

What’s the best/worst part of your job?
I honestly love my job and all I’ve done in the past years. Being a chef is something that you should have in your DNA. I simply love cooking, preparing the food, making my guests happy. I love the heat, the pressure but the best part is that my job is challenging so I always have something new coming up. There is only one worst part, and that is that it’s a really demanding job will long working hours. You don’t have a lot of free time for everything else.

What do you do for fun?
I have a lot of interests but I can say that I’m completely dedicated to my job. I m a foodie, I’m a traveller and I love to ski. I have been skiing since I was six years old.

What’s your favourite meal and drink at Nero Nero?
I do not have a single favourite meal as I enjoy eating almost everything. A glass of good red Italian wine, however, with a charcuterie board can make my day.

Your perfect day off would be…
lying on the beach just relaxing.

A day in the life of a chef is….
Wherever I have the time I always go to open markets sourcing for the best ingredients. I only use fresh items that I receive daily from my suppliers. My mind is open and I always look around and experiment. I do really like to cook local ingredients a lot and only import really special items.

What’s your view on the food scene in Kuala Lumpur?
I have been here for a short time only but I certainly can say that I love it here. Malaysia is a very multicultural country where multiple kinds of cuisines are available. I think there’s a lot of potential here as well as possibilities: the food industry is changing and guests are getting more demanding. It will soon reach the next step and I would like to see here more “modern cuisine.”

What’s in store for you for the upcoming months?
I really would like to bring to KL a modern Italian cuisine. I think tradition is very important and I will start from that, to create an authentic and modern Italian food, starting from tradition but using modern and different cooking techniques as well as presentation.

Check out some of chef Domenico’s dishes here at Nero Nero restaurant in DC Mall.

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3 Comments

  1. I guess when one has the love and passion, one would not mind the long hours.

  2. The F&B business is not an easy one to manage. Although it may sound like it is a profitable business, the time that the chef has to spend behind the scenes to source for the freshest ingredients is immeasurable too.

    I agree with Chef Domenico on this point and I guess the diner’s satisfaction with the food helps to balance the sacrifice and long hours.

  3. Not sure I could cope with such long hours even if I had such a passion for cooking. Cheers Diane

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