The Big climb: Domenico Santagada

Domenico Santagada is the new head chef at Antonio Marras in City Walk
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Domenico Santagada has been appointed as head chef at Antonio Marras.
Domenico Santagada has been appointed as head chef at Antonio Marras.

What attracted you to working at Antonio Marras?

The main reason for working at Antonio Marras was the fact that I was given the opportunity to express myself from a culinary point of view with no interference.

What knowledge do you bring to the position?

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I am bringing my years of experience that I have accumulated so far and I use it in all the aspects of managing the restaurant.

What have been your career highlights so far?

I will have to say that having the opportunity to work in places like L’Anima London where I worked with chef Francesco Mazzei, Marco Pierre White Dubai and of course opening Antonio Marras Ristorante.

Describe your daily routine?

A normal day starts usually at 7am with a mocha coffee. I reach work at around 8:30am when we usually receive the products, making sure that all of them are to my liking and as soon as my team arrives we start with our mise en place cleaning and portioning fish, vegetables etc.

At 11.30am we reset the kitchen and we are ready for lunch service and before 12pm, Octavian (restaurant manager) and I conduct a quick briefing to share information. At 12.00pm we start with our lunch service which goes on until 3:30pm when we have our staff meal where we all sit and enjoy a well-deserved break.

At around 4pm we receive the second batch of deliveries and then get ready for dinner service with all the preparations required (mise en place briefing etc).

Dinner starts at 6:30pm and finishes at 11:pm when I take 10 minutes to recap with my team about the day — share comments and plan ahead for the next day and place the orders for the next deliveries.

At around midnight we are done with the deep cleaning of the kitchen and the day is over and we switch off the lights.

How will you make the F&B operations more profitable?

I believe that wastage is an important factor in controlling the cost. It is a known fact that a third of the food produced in the world goes to waste (US $680 billion) and as chefs we should be able to create a culture in the kitchen environment where we use the ingredients to their maximum potential. This can reduce the cost, bring up the profit and create a more sustainable environment.

What are you looking forward to in your role?

To continue improving my knowledge and keep developing to achieve future goals.

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