Last Bite: Salvatore Ferragamo
Why did you decide to launch the Il Borro concept in Dubai?
Because it made sense. Essentially, Dubai and this part of the world is advanced and developed, but business also comes down to timing and luck. I was very fortunate to find my partners here and there were a series of coincidences that made launching in Dubai possible. The real success of the restaurant lies in its fantastic location.
In addition to location, why do you think the restaurant has found success?
The restaurant has an element of authenticity which is very important. We really wanted to focus on the experience of farm-to-table dining, connected to a real living concept of organically farmed grapes and olive oil, which we believe is a winning formula. We also have an unbelievable team and this has helped the restaurant to be very successful.
On the back of this success, can you share if there’s anything new coming up with the brand?
We are looking to expand globally! We are exploring possible expansion into Hong Kong, as well as looking at doing something in London. I currently have an eye out for something in the United States too, so we do have a more global vision in mind for Il Borro Tuscan Bistro restaurants. For the moment, we are still very young; the Dubai restaurant is only a year old, so before we dilute the concept with more ideas, I would like to consolidate the concept here. Who knows, in five years we might do something completely different! I also wouldn’t mind doing something in more of a bar setting, but maybe that is further down the road.
Is there a city or country that you love to eat in?
I like Japan, because it is similar to Italy in many ways. There’s a lot of attention paid to the quality and the diversity of Japanese food, as well as preparing dishes according to the seasonality of local ingredients. Japanese food is sometimes misperceived in the world, as people think it’s just about sushi and tempura, but there is actually so much variety with many different regional adaptations of dishes, similar to Italy.
If you weren’t in the F&B world, what else would you be doing?
I wanted to be a soccer player, but those days are gone. I also have a passion for my family heritage, so that’s always something I could focus on.