Social by Heinz Beck’s chef de cuisine, Francesco Acquaviva, recently held an evening of gastronomy at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management alongside the school’s students. The evening was attended by F&B industry peers, and consisted of a specially-curated six-course menu featuring a selection of Heinz Beck’s signature dishes, including the Fagottelli Carbonara and Raspberry 1.1.
Commenting on why such events are beneficial for developing F&B professionals, here’s what chef Francesco shared on the experience…
What brought about the collaboration with Emirates Academy for last month’s dinner?
The collaboration with the Emirates Academy sparked from a quick conversation between me and chef Michael Kitts. We immediately clicked and decided to plan an event together, which we figured would be a great experience for both myself and for the Academy students.
Why are events like these so important for the development of F&B and culinary students?
I believe they can create very good opportunities for young students, offering them the chance to learn various techniques, seeing different plating approaches and working with a combination of unusual flavours.
How did you find the standard of development chefs that you were working with for the dinner?
The Emirates Academy is an amazing location, equipped with the best kit you could desire to work with. I found the level of the students, although very young, very good an- with a real passion for the job, which is wonderful.
You included Heinz Beck’s signature dish – the fagottelli carbonara – on the menu last night. In your opinion, what makes this such a stand-out dish?
The Fagottelli Carbonara is a signature dish from Chef Heinz Beck and I replicate this every day at Social by Heinz Beck – the restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah. It’s an amazing dish where the classic sauce of the carbonara pasta is encased inside a thin layer of pasta, causing an explosion in the mouth with every bite. I’ll never forget the emotion I felt when I tried it for the first time, so I included it on the menu as I wanted to give the same opportunity to the students and the guests of the evening.
Tell us more about how you started out in the kitchen and developed as a professional chef…
My mother was involved in my first approach to the kitchen. Ever since I was a child, I have always been curious to try new ingredients and cook with them. Following my passion, I started school and picked up shifts in a few restaurants in Italy, to learn more and more. Travelling between Italy, Spain, France and the UK led me to an opportunity to work in Dubai. Since moving here, I have fallen in love with the city and the Social by Heinz Beck restaurant, where I have been working since December 2013.
For chefs moving up through the ranks, what advice would you give them?
The only advice I can give is to stay passionate and focused on the job at hand, and remember; this is the best job in the world.
What can we expect from Social by Heinz Beck in the coming months?
Social by Heinz Beck is a restaurant where we continuously work to improve the guest experience, and there are always creative ideas falling into place. Right now, you can find the seven-course white truffle menu from Alba, plus a blind menu – serving between seven and nine courses, where the guests are completely unaware of what they are going to eat until it arrives at the table. We change the a la carte menu monthly, and have some additional surprises up our sleeves for the coming weeks.