Chef Paolo Masciopinto shares his love of food and travel in this week’s Come Fly With Me.
What is your favourite Destination?
I love to travel, but if there was a place I had to choose as my favourite, it is definitely Tuscany. I have worked and visited there, many times. Tuscany is so versatile; amazing mountains, hot springs, the beach. You can take a little walk in the mountains and then go to the beach the same day, everything is close. Plus, they have beautiful produce – seafood and meat. Some of the best in the world.
What is your top tip for holidaying?
Go without a phone! Then you can completely relax and fully immerse in where you are going. Plus, I like travelling alone – you put yourself fin the position to talk to people and meet them. I have met some great friends while travelling.
What is something that you always pack when you travel?
My packing is always done at the last minute! When I get home I throw a few things in a bag and go, so there is no strategy with my packing. So all I can is, I always pack my passport. My feeling is that wherever I go, I will find what I need.
What is the ultimate destination on your bucket list?
Fiji – my ultimate goal would be to relax on the beach! From a historical point of view, I really want to go to Angkor Wat – the first capital of the world.
What is a travel disaster – or near miss – that sticks in your mind?
I don’t know if I can tell you some of them! This one is funny though – I wanted to travel from London to Amsterdam and they announced there was no more tickets. I had to go… so when the driver went around to open up the luggage compartments, I jumped in on the front of the bus.
Where is your favourite food destination?
Japan is a favourite destination of mine as I love Japanese cooking. It is very traditional, which I like. In Japanese cooking the traditions are as old as the Italian food traditions, like the way to make miso, or cooking eggs in hot springs. I find it fascinating.
Why are food and travel inseparable you?
The thing is, food is such as part of my life and I always want to experience the food where I travel. I make sure I hunt for the markets and best place to travel to experience the food.
What can you tell about a culture from their food?
You can tell from their food where culture started: is it an outdoor culture, or indoor culture? Do they do their cooking on the stove, or in an oven? You can understand the character of a nation by how they cook the food – they way they want create their dishes.
About Paolo Masciopinto
Paolo Masciopinto is a master of his craft, having honed his skills and food philosophy over the years with dedication, fuelled by passion for high quality produce and Italian food traditions, interpreted with technical flair and innovation.
Paolo’s love of the art of creating incredible dishes has origins in his teen years in Italy, then taking him on a global journey, working in renowned restaurants in Italy, London and LA.
He built his local reputation working at some of the most recognised and respected restaurants at the forefront of the food scene in Melbourne. First at the hatted institution Grossi Florentino, then the award-winning Sarti and Il Bacaro in Melbourne’s CBD and Bar Carolina in South Yarra.
Paolo has now opened his own restaurant – Aromi in Brighton, Melbourne. Aromi reflects his food and hospitality philosophy on every level. The name itself shows a deep connection to Italy’s famous food culture, one based on aromatics (herbs), with each region emphasising different herbs to enrich their local dishes.