While in Phuket staying at some of its top five star hotels, Michael Taylor does more than feast on hotel breakfast buffets, take Thai kick boxing lessons, try to stand up – and stay standing! – on a wind surfboard, and do laps in infinity swimming pools.
He also dines at some of the Southern Thai island's top restaurants.
Tonight Michael samples nouvelle Italian cuisine at the award winning eatery, Da Maurizio Bar Ristorante, which is located at the north end of Patong Beach, affording a spectacular view of the ocean.
While savouring tasty dishes from the restaurant's innovative menu and imbibing fine wines from Da Maurizio's extensive wine list, Michael has the pleasure of meeting Italian Celebrity Chef Paolo Fadda, who was recently hired by Maurizio Laurer, the restaurant's owner, to serve as executive chef of Da Maurizio, following an award-winning stint in Dubai.
All Paolo Fadda wanted to do after graduating from school was travel the world. So, as with all young Italian boys, he approached mama asking for money.
But mama had other ideas. She told Paolo that since he was now a young man, he should start earning his own keep. And that meant finding himself a job.
Mama suggested that Paolo get in touch with a family friend that was working as a chef in Rome.
As it turned out, Paolo impressed the chef so much that he gave him a piece of paper with the name and contact details of another chef. What Paolo didn't know was that the person he was going to meet was a renowned 3-star Michelin chef named Heinz Beck.
Paolo arrived in Chef Heinz’s kitchen in street clothes. The unassuming young Italian was immediately questioned by the award-winning chef.
“Why aren’t you in your uniform?” Chef Heinz demanded.
Paolo realized that he was never going to rise in the kitchen hierarchy if he didn’t have the proper training. So he went ahead and trained to obtain the necessary qualifications. But this didn’t stop him from continuing his globe-trotting ways.
“I just wanted to travel in the beginning and true enough I was able to do it, but I did it hopping from one kitchen to another”
Before moving to Phuket, Paolo was in Dubai at the Qamardeen Hotel, where he was responsible for the kitchen operations of Esca, an Italian restaurant whose menu he recently revamped to make more genuinely Italian.
“People do notice the difference, so we decided to change the menu and offer authentic Italian cuisine,” Paolo says.
With a dozen other Italian restaurants in Dubai and many more in the broader hotel circuit, Chef Paolo admits that the competition was a bit fierce. Was he up to the challenge?
“We made our menu as genuinely Italian as possible, but what spelt the difference was the customer’s overall experience,” Paolo says.
At Esca, our customers feel they are walking into an Italian family’s dining room and eating with them in the same passionate atmosphere that celebrates good food with your family and friends!”
Dubai Culinary Award 2010
Paolo recently received the “Dubai Culinary Award 2010, Chef of the Year”. Then his itchy feet brought him to the Southern Thai island of Phuket, where he was appointed executive chef at Da Maurizio, one of the island's top eateries.
Paulo accepted Maurizio’s offer to join Da Maurizio Bar Ristorante because he was convinced that he had the passion, the experience, and the enthusiasm for food which would continue to improve and grow this award winning restaurant on the Southern Thai island of Phuket.
Pictured: Paolo Fadda : Photo Credit: Baan Rim Pa Group