Tripveel sat down with Chef de Cuisine Antonio Mermolia of Le Sirenuse at Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club, Miami.
Where did you grow up and/or where have you traveled to that has helped inspire and shape your cooking philosophy?
I was born in Gioia Tauro, in Calabria south of Italy, the food was part of my family from generations and that probably was the most influential part of my career. I did travel a lot and I did live in so many cities in the world, but the more I traveled, the more my desire to be simple and to cook from my childhood memory is a need that grows more everyday.
Tell our readers an interesting fact or two about yourself.
Well, two important parts of my life are my wife Yajaira and our daughter Vittoria.
Tell us about your absolute favorite food and why readers should try it if they haven’t already.
It’s not easy to explain what we do at Le Sirenuse, I believe we are mastering simplicity and trying very hard to cook from the heart and make people feel as if they are in Italy, on the Amalfi Coast.
What are three ingredients that you simply couldn’t live without?
For sure will it would be impossible for me to live without bread, tomatoes and olive oil. I would say my memory as well, as that is what makes me cook the way; the memory of my childhood.
We love the art behind plating. What do you love about designing the perfect dish?
For me plating is a very important part of expressing what a dish is all about. I do take a lot of time to think to make it my own, but always after I get the deliciousness of the dish, that is always first, then I do work on the plating.
Tell us about one of the most creative dishes you’ve created?
The most has not yet created yet… that probably is the next one! But, I am very proud of La Caprese Calda “Warm Caprese.” It may look very simple, but there is a lot of thought behind this dish. Changing the temperature allowed me to still present an incredible traditional dish which is Caprese, but with a warm temperature it takes the flavor to another level. With this simplicity, it is a very creative dish.
Share your most recent awards and accreditations with us!
We have had a lot of recognition and are proud to have hosted a James Beard Foundation Dinner recently, the first done in Miami. We also won a Virtuoso Award for “Best Bar in the World” and “Best Hotel Restaurant of the World 2018” from American Express.
What are some of the latest trends you’re seeing in top restaurants across the globe?
Well, what I can say is that the food is getting better and better and people are more interested in eating both healthy and local. It’s important as well to follow the seasons and to buy sustainable in order to reduce waste. I feel this is happening now, it’s the right thing to do and I hope it is not a trend!
What’s your favorite cocktail or liquor?
Negroni hands down, made by Valentino Longo at our Champagne Bar!
What do you love about being the Chef de Cuisine at Four Seasons at The Surf Club’s Le Sirenuse?
Being the Chef de Cuisine at Le Sirenuse Miami inside the Four Seasons Surf Club is an honor to me because the people I work with are so talented. Our guests are very special and the resort is a mix of history and glamour.