A storytelling series that shares the voice, perspective and narrative of an industry professional. The warming and inspiring tales told from the standpoint of the protagonist invite you in to live through their personal experience. We hope that by sharing these anecdotes, together, we can inspire, connect and converge with a united purpose to build a community of hoteliers.
FILIPPO ABISSO, EXECUTIVE CHEF – FAIRMONT SANUR BEACH BALI
Isn’t heaven on Earth really just the pure bliss of waking up to the divine aroma of freshly-baked bread?
I certainly believe so.
“Tesoro, smettila di giocare!” Child, quit playing around! Grandma’s commanding voice would travel in lightning speed, bouncing off the walls of our family’s Patisserie and reach my vibrating eardrums. Covered in fresh flour from head to toe, I would timidly emerge.
“Nonna, stavo solo facendo ricerche!” Grandma, I was just doing my research! In my defence, how could I be blamed for utterly adoring anything and everything about making and tasting food?
The inviting glisten of an olive oil-drenched Focaccia to the firm yet flavour-bursting bites of homemade Cacio e Pepe. I simply could not resist. After a night of experimenting with culinary techniques, I would use the flour sacks as make-shift beds.
Then at the break of dawn, I would be back at the testing ground and working on something different. The allure of discovering a new flavour and the excitement of creating a new dish was simply irresistible. I often thought that being a chef is very much like being an artist, my palette is my paint brush and I blend all these ingredients, herbs and spices on a canvas to create a vibrant painting with unspoken depth that ultimately pleases the soul.
After my seventeenth birthday, I bid my loving family, Patisserie, hometown and Sicily farewell and journeyed to Switzerland to explore the culinary world abroad.
Cold, crisp air, the kind that condenses your breath upon exhale, I had arrived at Saint Moritz. Nestled in Switzerland’s Engadin valley, the breath-taking landscape is home to the Winter Olympics, luxury hotels and Michelin restaurants. At the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, I held an apprenticeship with the famed Chef Pierre Gilgen. In his arena, perfection was the only tolerance. Like a soldier in training, we carried out his directions, delivering each dish with flawless consistency. Living by the values of mise en place and watching the dignified chefs complete their prep work with care and love for the process, my ignited passion for cooking soar through the sky. I knew then, this was my place in the world.
During his career, Filippo Abisso worked with world-class chefs and served Heads of States, celebrities, athletes, elites and more, while exploring the world to expand his palette and culinary skills. Issues dear to his heart are food sustainability and food waste. Together with his property’s CSR team, they freeze left-overs and deliver them to the “Bali Animal Welfare Associaition (BAWA)”, where the food is repurposed and fed to rescued animals. In another initiative, Abisso planted a chef garden with local farmers, where various herbs, fruits and vegetables are grown organically and used in the cuisine. Currently, Abisso is the Executive Chef at the Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali and a Chef Hotelier finalist for Stelliers Asia & South Asia 2019.