Sustainability on the menu with Enrico Bartolini, Italy’s most Michelin-starred chef

Sustainability on the menu with Enrico Bartolini, Italy’s most Michelin-starred chef

Chef Enrico Bartolini’s five restaurants have a total of nine Michelin stars, making him Italy’s most Michelin-starred chef. In this exclusive interview, the accomplished chef tells us how he managed to open his first restaurant in Lombardy at the tender age of 25 and how he is currently managing thirty fine-dining and casual restaurants.

What can you tell us about your experience in the culinary world?
From the young age of 14, I started traveling to perfect my cooking skills. It was during this time that I discovered fine dining in Paris and fell in love with it. This inspired me to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
I opened my first restaurant at the age of 25 and worked hard to gain the trust of my staff. It took me a decade to achieve this, and I learned a lot along the way. This experience gave me the confidence to start thinking about a new model of work based on people’s talent and the biodiversity of the local area.
I believe that people are the driving force behind any successful venture, and this is especially true in the culinary world. By focusing on the unique talents of each team member and leveraging the resources of the local area, we can create truly exceptional dining experiences.

How have your views on sustainability impacted your cuisine?
As someone with extensive experience in the culinary world, I believe that sustainability is an important issue, particularly in metropolitan cities where the impact of our actions can be significant. I am committed to taking a range of sustainable actions to reduce my impact on the environment.
In my kitchen, I have implemented a range of sustainable practices, such as waste sorting, energy optimization with modern equipment and batteries that recover dispersed energy and the recovery of organic waste to produce compost and fertilizers. Additionally, we have implemented a practice of using leftover ingredients in the staff canteen. Furthermore, we clean using steam instead of polluting detergents.
Staff training is also an essential part of my approach to sustainability. We train our staff to minimize waste, recycle and adopt sustainable practices in the kitchen. We also prioritize the use of recycled fabrics and eco-sustainable materials for tablecloths, linens and uniforms.
Overall, I believe that sustainability is an ongoing process, and I am always looking for ways to reduce my impact on the environment. By incorporating sustainable practices into my cuisine and making it a priority in my business, I hope to contribute positively to the culinary world and set an example for others to follow.

What are the latest culinary trends and how are you incorporating them in your offering?
The industry is constantly evolving and adapting to new trends and tastes. One of the most significant trends in recent years is the move toward quality. Rather than offering many dishes, many restaurants are focusing on creating a smaller number of dishes with higher quality ingredient.
As a result of this trend, I have been incorporating this philosophy into my own cuisine. Instead of offering a large menu with a variety of dishes, I focus on a smaller number of options, each with its own unique personality. I carefully source high-quality ingredients to ensure that each dish is of the highest quality.
Another popular trend is sustainability and environmental consciousness, which I have also been adhering to by sourcing locally grown ingredients and reducing waste in the kitchen.

Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
I have several new projects in the pipeline, the first being Furore on the coast of Italy. The second will be in Noceto near Parma, Italy. We believe that our new projects will bring fresh and exciting culinary experiences to our customers.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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