Tell us more about you. How long have you been with the Pellicano Hotels and how is your experience so far?
Michelino Gioia - Il Pellicano: I have been part of the beautiful Pellicano Hotels for a long time. I initially joined to expand my professional training, having worked with stellar chefs, such as Bruno Barbieri, Alain Ducasse, Mauro Uliassi and others. After 13 years at the helm of The Cesar’s kitchen at La Posta Vecchia, I moved to Paris to further grow my experience, and came back to Italy and Il Pellicano - and a Michelin Star! I love my work and my team: we are all very passionate and committed and embrace the challenges we face head-on!
Antonio Magliulo - La Posta Vecchia: I have been with the Pellicano Hotels for quite a while! I have grown a lot as did my career. I initially joined as Chef de Partie and made my way to my current position as Chef of the renowned The Cesar, in a fabulous location. It is a very enriching job, we all have a maniac attention to detail, and we are continuously studying and learning. It’s a lot of effort, but the desire to do, to learn and to train my wonderful team is a great motivator.
Giuseppe D’Abundo - Mezzatorre: I started my career years ago at Mezzatorre, a hotel that has grown a lot over time, a bit like me, until it became part of the Pellicano group in 2019. My journey included access to Michelin starred Chefs, courses, training, a lot of practice and a lot of passion! I now manage both restaurants in this fantastic location in Ischia, and have also found my own idea of cuisine.
What’s new for 2022?
Michelino, Antonio, Giuseppe: Our menus are very typical of the region that hosts them and this year we wanted to transport our guests to all the locations where Pellicano Hotels are. For example, while at Il Pellicano, you will be able to taste a traditional "Rigatoni alla Carbonara", which is typically Roman, and an aubergines "Parmigiana" from Ischia. Each restaurant will have a dedicated dish that represents the other regions, because we love our country and want to give our guests the opportunity to discover different tastes and different parts of Italy – from a dish! It’s our "culinary grand tour"!
What makes the experience of eating in your restaurants unique?
Michelino: Our guests love the amazing experience. They can feel our passion and love for our work and, as gastronomy journalist Allan Bay once said ‘the booking, the welcoming, the smiles, the colours and perfumes, the ambiance, the music.’ And our attention to the tiniest detail. That’s the overall experience they come back for year after year.
Antonio: After two years of pandemic and restrictions, we are so happy to reopen fully and tell our guests, with gestures, heart and words, what we really love to do.
Giuseppe: We pamper our guests with our service, our carefully chosen tastes, our stunning views over the sea, and offer them the opportunity to discover new tastes that are typical of Ischia, a magical and abundant island.
What is the most popular dish at your restaurant?
Michelino: Our guests love the lobster with traditional "panzanella" and caprino cheese because of the balance between the carefully selected ingredients. I personally love the scallops with crunchy pork, apple and local potatoes: it’s harmonious and beautiful.
Antonio: One of our guests’ (and my) favorite dishes is the bio egg from Lazio with parmesan foam, topinambur and crunched filo pastry. It’s a very popular dish because of its simple ingredients: an egg, hidden behind crunched filo pastry with parmesan ganache. A unique, delicious surprise.
Giuseppe: Our guests and myself have in common the love for tradition and local products. Our restaurant favorites are traditional dishes I have reinterpreted in a simple gourmet style, respecting, of course, the traditional flavors: they are the "Scialatielli" with datterini tomatoes, the raw and cooked white fish with citrus marmalade and raw Pezzogna with cold "acqua pazza".
Chef Antonio, The Cesar is the only restaurant at La Posta Vecchia, and it’s able to host events with up to 150 people. Tell us more about it.
We offer different selections at The Cesar, starting from gourmet menus to typical Roman or Italian recipes. During our frequents buy-outs, our fantastic team is ready to serve up to 150 people, while maintaining a very high level of cuisine to satisfy the most diverse and discerning palates.
Chef Michelino and Chef Giuseppe: what are the differences between the two restaurants of your hotels?
Michelino: The Michelin starred Restaurant Il Pellicano, open for dinner, has a contemporary, direct and "non-extreme" cuisine; whilst the Restaurant Pelligrill is more traditional and casual, with a special regional menu in addition to the classic menus.
Giuseppe: The main difference between the two restaurants is at dinner time: La Baia presents a more direct and traditional cuisine with is catch of the day fish, while Restaurant La Torre offers dishes dedicated to the island in a gourmet style.
Finally, Pellicano Hotels continue to progress the sustainability commitments they made with Il Dolce Far Bene. What actions have you introduced and how did guests react?
Michelino, Antonio, Giuseppe: Last year, we worked exclusively with local producers to support the local communities. We also introduced new processes to help reduce our plastic, water and energy consumption and added a Meat Free Monday to the menus of the three hotels - our guests loved this option! This year, we continue to strengthen our collaborations with local producers to provide authentic, fresh tastes and excellent quality to our guests. We are also very particular about the right cooking methods and ensuring the ingredients retain their natural and original taste.