Ask the Chef

Courtesy Of Politica
Bennardo Gianluca of Sicily is Politica restaurant's new head chef.

Best or most popular dish
"In my restaurant, one of the most popular dishes is lamb chop with olive crumble, caponata, and mint and balsamic reduction."

Favorite food
"I have so many favorite dishes, but I really like to work with fish, because I come from a sea place. Some of my favorites are: lobster salad with melon carpaccio and passion fruit dressing; raviolone with scallops and broccoli, in fish consomme and chives; and seared tuna, cherry tomato, baby fennel, orange and red pepper sauce."

Favorite [other] restaurant in Moscow?
"I'm new to Moscow, so I cannot answer your question."

Favorite [other] restaurant worldwide?
"Charlie Trotter's restaurant in Chicago, L'atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris, and Louis XV (Alain Ducasse) in Monaco."

Is your cuisine authentic or adapted to local tastes?
"I really like preparing dishes from my island, Sicily. I follow traditions of my grandmother and my mother. When I was young, I watched the ways to prepare typical dishes, with long cooking, and I always tried to make them in a different way, with short cooking, modern presentation. After working with a good chef, I acquired more sensibility of taste and presentation. And I make my cocktail. In Moscow's restaurant business I propose creative Italian, with fusion influence, and classic Italian cuisine."

Most important or surprising thing you've learned as a chef
"There are some things that I was born with, like patience and love for this job, and some things that I learned from other chefs: Alberigo Penati taught me a lot about presentation of dishes; Sergio Mei transmitted more inspiration and more self control with people in the restaurant; and Pascal Feraud, consultant with Alain Ducasse and now chef at Jules Verne on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, taught me so many French techniques that are very interesting and that I use a lot, like vacuum cooking."

Contacts

Charlie Trotter's, 816 West Armitage, Chicago, Illinois (+1 ?773) 248-6228, www.charlietrotters.com.

Le Jules Verne, Eiffel Tower, Avenue Gustave Eiffel, Paris, France,(+33 1) 4555-6144, www.lejulesverne-paris.com.

L'atelier de Joel Robuchon, 7 Rue de Montalembert, Paris, France, (+33 1) 4222-5656, www.robuchon.com.

Le Louis XV -- Alain Ducasse, Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino, Monaco, (377) 9806-8864, www.alain-ducasse.com.

Politica, 8th kilometer of Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Shosse, Usovo settlement, 741-9797, noon-last guest.