Cover Photo: Matteo Carassale

The Italian-Argentinean chef is returning to the city next month to visit his first Italian restaurant and rediscover the island’s best eats

Mauro Colagreco is no stranger to Singapore. While he is permanently based in Menton, France (where his three-Michelin-starred Mediterranean restaurant Mirazur is located), he often travels the globe in search of culinary inspiration.

We are a food-obsessed nation, so it’s no surprise that Singapore has become one of his favourite destinations in Asia. So much so that Colagreco even opened his famed burger joint Carne (which unfortunately closed its doors last year) and hosted a three-month Mirazur pop-up at Mandala Club last year.

All these led to his grand return to the local F&B scene with the opening of Fiamma, his first Italian restaurant in collaboration with Capella Singapore. The concept was birthed during the pandemic and planning the restaurant was done mostly through Zoom calls, given that most of the borders were still shut. Hence, Colagreco has been missing the city after not being able to visit for more than a year.

Now that travel restrictions have eased, Colagreco will be making a return next month. It’s not only to see Fiamma come to fruition but to rediscover the island’s best eats.

Ahead of his July 11 trip, we chat with the world-renowned chef to find out how the island inspires him in his profession and the one local food he’s most excited about.

Read more: New Restaurant Alert: Mauro Colagreco’s Italian Restaurant, Fiamma, Opens at Capella Singapore

What do you love most about the city?

Mauro Colagreco (MC): Singapore is an incredible city with a great variety of quality food from fine dining restaurants to hawker food. Since visiting the island more than 10 years ago, I’ve witnessed Singaporeans’ passion for gastronomy as well as the diversity of their restaurants in one little city. I am in awe of the dynamism and mix of cultures it offers.

Locals also love to eat out, know how to enjoy life through food and are open-minded to trying different cuisines.

How does the city inspire you as a chef?

MC: The dynamism and the variety of food inspire me a lot. It gives me a lot of creativity with all the flavours, products and aromas you can find in the local culinary scene. I always go back (to France) with a lot of new ideas.

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What is a typical day like for you when you are in Singapore?

MC: There is no typical day for me, as I always want to discover new things. I like to check out the various products in a food market or a local farm and try some local street food you can’t find anywhere else.

I often finish the day with a meal at a fine dining restaurant, as the scene there is amazing. It’s wonderful because you can have as many memories and emotions with street food as you can with fine dining in Singapore.

What is the best way to explore the island’s vibrant dining scene?

MC: I must say that the best way to discover the island’s vibrant scene is to be very curious, as Singapore has interesting local and international foods offered at some of the best restaurants in town. Another way to discover these best places is with the help of locals.

Any other surprising thing you learned that you didn’t know about the place?

MC: During one of my trips to Singapore, I had one of my best food experiences with an amazing beetroot dumpling. The taste was like butter—it was incredible.

How has Singapore inspired your upcoming restaurant, Fiamma?

MC: People are so open-minded. They love the food and often eat out to discover various food and cultures. I feel at home in Singapore and the collaboration with Capella Singapore was a great opportunity for me. Capella Singapore has a special spirit of authenticity and hospitality.

What is one food item from Singapore that you must always take back with you to France?

MC: This incredible dumpling but it’s impossible to bring back to France. So, my greediness always gives me one more reason to return.

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