Theo Randall an 'English chef with an Italian soul'

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd July 2015
He hasn't got an Italian bone in his body but well renowned chef Theo Randall's passion for Italy, its cuisine and produce made him one of the star attractions at this week's Bellavita, The Excellence of Italy. Image Bellavita MON (3) low resTheo, chef proprietor of Theo Randall, was the only English chef to be invited to demo at the show, which to him was 'a great privilege', especially as he was on the bill alongside top Italian chef Massimo Bottura.

>>> Read: An insight into the chaotic mind of Massimo Bottura

Theo said: "To be asked shows that people respect what I do. It's a cuisine I love, a country I love and I feel very passionate about it. It's very important for me to be associated with Italian food and products because it's all very well being an Englishman cooking Italian food but you've got to promote the produce. I wanted to promote  Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano as they are two products we use a lot in the restaurant." Bellavita Expo is the largest Made-in-Italy UK food and beverage trade show. As well as the big brands, Bellavita showcases some of the lesser known producers in Italy, for many it's the first time they have exhibited in the UK and for Theo this exposure is very important - he is so passionate about Italian produce that he even imports his eggs from there to make his pasta - English varieties just won't do! "We've always used them," explained Theo. "It makes such a difference to the flavour. I go to Italy five or six times a year and I always find something new. "Today I'm not in Italy but I have seen new products and I wish I could hang around longer! It's really good to see, the produce here is fantastic and it's all artisan - a lot of this stuff has not been seen in the UK before so it's new and it's new to me too." As part of Theo's masterclass he cooked two dishes one was guinea fowl and the other was a taglietelle with pesto.He is no stranger to being on stage and demonstrating his food and said: "I love to teach, it's a great way for people to interact and get to know you as a chef and what you are about. It's  a great way of explaining ingredients and I love telling stories about food.Image Bellavita TUE (10) low res "I did these to push Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano  but also I wanted to do something seasonal and it''s nice to do a demonstration where there is a bit of pasta made and some butchery involved." He added: "Italians know how to cook pasta, I've never ad a bad plate of pasta in Italy in my life, but it's nice to teach an audience in the UK how to cook pasta because so many people do it wrong, in Italy it's second nature."  

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd July 2015

Theo Randall an 'English chef with an Italian soul'