Celebrated for classic interpretation of French cuisine, Restaurant Petrus at the Island Shangri-La is turning a new chapter. The restaurant is welcoming Ricardo Chaneton on board as its new chef de cuisine. The 28-year-old native of Venezuela has worked at some of the most esteemed restaurants around the world. Hong Kong Tatler had the privilege of sitting down with chef Chaneton as he described his incredible journey leading up to Hong Kong.
Born into a multicultural family with an Italian mother and Venezuelan father, the mixture of European and South American cooking filled chef Chaneton’s childhood. Chef Chaneton enrolled in medical school at 18, only to realize later that between a scalpel and a chef’s knife, it is the latter that was his true calling. After cooking school and a stint at Le Gourmet in Caracas in Venezuela, he found himself in Spain for an internship at the celebrated Quique Dacosta. What was initially a three-month internship turned into a full year’s stay.
The experience at Quique Dacosta exposed Chaneton to the world of fine dining opened the doors to his next career move to France. The seven years working under the visionary Mauro Colagreco at Mirazur shaped the kind of chef he is today. He learned to meticulously manage the entire restaurant kitchen, growing a team of seven chefs to fifteen and beyond. The chef was heavily involved in planning menus and promotions — even handling Colagreco’s opening in Shanghai in 2012. After his top billing at 2015’s Shangri-La International Festival of Gastronomy, Chaneton knew Hong Kong will be the next stop in his journey.
With his penchant for colour and unconventional texture combos, chef Chaneton has more than a few tricks up his sleeves when it comes to revamping the Petrus menu. Guests will revel in his fine execution and a contemporary presentation, as seen in new dishes such as the Hokkaido scallops with sherry vinegar and black sesame, pigeon with beetroots and white miso, and Greek yoghurt with chickpea ice cream and mint.
Here are five things you should know about Petrus’ new chef de cuisine — in his very own words:
1. Cooking is a life to live, not just a job you can just take up. When you take this path, your passion will lead you through your journey.
2. I speak five languages: Spanish, Italian, English and Portuguese to start, and I learned French when I started working there. My next mission is to tackle Cantonese with a moderate background of Mandarin while working in Shanghai.
3. “Who doesn’t risk, doesn’t win” is my motto. If there is one thing to describe about my style, it’s freestyling, delivering surprises with solid foundation.
4. Molecular cuisine opened doors for all to understand the science of the components in fine dining, but moving forward, it will be all about honest and comfort cooking that goes back to our roots.
5. Never forget the temperature of the food you eat. It helps you enjoy the optimum state of your food. Temperature is just as important as textures and flavours.
Chef Ricardo Chaneton’s new lunch and dinner set menus are now available at Petrus, with a revamp of the a la carte menu launching soon.