First couple of days in Maldives, and we are acclimatising to the heat. I mean, Kuala Lumpur is hot and everything, but you ain’t felt nothing yet. The scorching heat on your skin as early as 6am.. no wonder everyone goes around in flip-flops , string bikinis, speedos or shorts. The white linen shirt and shorts that are uniform on these islands, give a nice, laid back feel to this remote resort with all its 5-star amenities.
sunrise.. 5.30am from our ocean villa
no reprieve from the heat.. not that I mind!
The first thing on our agenda today is meeting the Executive Chef of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, Chef Sven Cepon. Born in Oberhausen of Germany, Chef Sven talks about his early years in the kitchen – where mum pretty much left him to cook for the entire household. Who would have thought that his career would then eventually take off, and with such speed as well. We will hear about Chef Sven working in a number of 5 star hotels in Cyprus and Switzerland for over 5 years, after which he would move to the Maldives in 2008 as Executive Sous Chef for the W Retreat & Spa Maldives. After having served W Maldives for nearly 2 years, Chef Sven joins the Sheraton Maldives in 2010.
Chef Sven has now comfortably stepped into the shoes of former Executive Chef Garth Welsh, and here is our interview with him, at the resort restaurant Sea Salt, split up into two different instalments. In Part 1, Chef Sven talks about the uniqueness of Maldivian cuisine and his challenges in the kitchen. Part 2 & 3, Chef Sven talks about life on the Island, and why all Chefs have a bit of “diva” in them!
It’s hard for me to pick.. I like all the F&B outlets at the Sheraton Maldives, and later you will get to hear about our dining and cocktail making experiences at,
best “lardo” canapes in the world!
Pork is a staple food of the mountain regions of northern Italy. Thrifty locals had to come up with a way to use and preserve this fat, and the result is Lardo. Lardo di Colonnata, to give it its full name, is a delicacy produced from pork fat in and around the Tuscan mountain town of Colonnata. Lardo is a way of preserving fat over the winter. It’s made in large vats known as conche, fashioned from marble quarried at the nearby ‘white mountain’ of Cararra, which are first liberally rubbed with garlic. Next, layers of pork fat, salt, and a special mix of herbs and spices are added until the vats are full.
The conche are then sealed with a wooden lid and left in cool mountain caves for 6 months or longer to mature in the clean air. After the maturation time is over, the conche are opened to reveal a silky-smooth, meltingly tender ‘meat’ which can be eaten in much the same way as Parma Ham or other prosciutto. While Lardo is often used to keep roasted meats moist by placing a thin layer over the skin, it is also delicious simply sliced thinly and eaten with bread, olives, and a good extra virgin olive oil as part of an antipasto course.
Lardo di Colonnata : Source
No monkey business.. just great food with Chef Sven Cepon!
Stay tuned for the concluding episodes Part 2 & 3, when Chef Sven talks about life on the Island, and why all Chefs have a bit of“diva” in them!