Italian flair in Dubai with Giuseppe Pezzella, group executive chef of Chic Nonna

Italian flair in Dubai with Giuseppe Pezzella, group executive chef of Chic Nonna

Giuseppe Pezzella, Group Executive Chef of Chic Nonna restaurant Dubai

Giuseppe Pezzella is a culinary innovator. Here, the talented chef discusses his plans to bring a touch of Michelin-starred experience to Chic Nonna.


What attracted you to Chic Nonna? 

Chic Nonna is a true Italian experience where you feel like you’ve been transported to Italy.

The interior of the restaurant is one of the best in the world. Additionally, it has so many unique elements. I haven’t come across anything else so beautifully designed, so I’m delighted to be a part of this stunning restaurant. Furthermore, I believe the look and feel of the space reflects the dishes that we create in the kitchen. They are elegant, traditional and truly Italian.

My journey to Chic Nonna began months ago through a great friendship with Piero Giglio, the managing director of Mine and Yours Group. He has a great mind and personality. Furthermore, I believe we share very similar passions and ideas when it comes to delivering exceptional hospitality.

Growing up in Naples and beginning your culinary journey in your family’s restaurant, how did your early experiences shape your approach to cooking?

From an early age, I would be cooking alongside my family at home. This is where I grasped the significance of coming together to enjoy time around the table. Furthermore, at the age of 14, I worked in a small restaurant in Naples. From the age of 19, I decided to move to bigger brands in the restaurant world. Notably, chef Emilio Desiderio, Antonio Mellino and Antonino Cannavacciuolo helped shape my career. They refined my skills, and taught me so much about the culinary world.

Transitioning from Italy to France, the UK and presently the UAE, what notable differences have you observed in each culinary landscape, particularly in comparison to the UAE?

I think Italian cuisine is more about sharing. It’s about tradition and authenticity. Whereas French cuisine is more about the individual plates. Presentation of dishes and wine pairing also play an important role in the food as well. In the UK, they focus on presentation a great deal alongside this sharing element that I’m very familiar with. I’ve honed these European cooking techniques and mixed them with some of the Middle Eastern influences for Chic Nonna. Bringing all of these influences to the UAE helps create its new culinary landscape.

How do you envision leaving a mark on Chic Nonna and the culinary scene in DIFC?

I want to add a contemporary twist to Chic Nonna’s traditional dishes in terms of presentation, quality and adaptability to the market for everyone to be able to enjoy.

Here in Dubai, it’s important to always listen to your guest’s feedback. Therefore, never take anything for granted in the fast-moving food and beverage scene.


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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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