Creative Conversations: Plum Guide Meets Edoardo Pellicano
We catch up with the Executive Chef of Michelin-starred restaurant, Mãos to talk art, travelling and, you guessed it, cooking
Edoardo Pellicano – Executive Chef of Michelin-starred restaurant, Mãos – tells us about how his upbringing shaped a passion for food, why the kitchen is the heart of a home and what Edoardo considers to be the fundamentals for a perfect stay.
We’d love to hear about Mãos and the concept behind the restaurant and its menu
The concept of Mãos was to create a completely unique and immersive dining experience. We wanted to break the barrier between the guests and the kitchen. To allow the guests to have more of an insight into our processes and be amongst the action as it's happening. The flavours running through our menu are influenced by Asia whilst using the most seasonal and local produce possible. We draw inspiration mostly from ancient Chinese, Korean and Japanese techniques and find a way to make it our own.
Mãos has recently undergone a transition away from its original approach of communal dining. How did that change come about?
The transition from a communal dining format to an individual table layout happened after the first lockdown but it’s something we had been thinking about for some time as we felt that the food was suffering due to the nature of the communal table. The restaurant closure due to COVID gave us the time to make the renovations and we re-opened with our new format.
Lockdown gave the Mãos team time to transition the restaurant into its new dining format
Where did your passion for cooking first start?
My passion for cooking first started when I was about 8 years old. My dad is an amazing cook and I would spend hours with him in our home kitchen, mostly watching, every now and then I'd stir the tomato sauce. Food has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up with an Italian father and a Chinese mother, I was very fortunate to be exposed to great food from an early age. We spent a lot of time travelling through south east Asia and the food we discovered became such a staple in our daily meals at home. This has definitely influenced my style of cooking in our menu for Mãos.
The dishes at Mãos are inspired by Edoardo's childhood
What has been your most memorable culinary experience to date?
I think my most memorable culinary experience to date would be my meal at Mugaritz in 2015. It was challenging, educational and delicious.
Do you have a favourite meal to cook in your own kitchen?
A favourite meal to cook at home would be something quick and delicious like carbonara. A simple dish but, when done properly, one of my favourite things to eat.
Carbonara is one of Edoardo's favourite meals to cook in his own kitchen
Tell us the story behind a favourite item in your home
My favourite item at home has to be my shower. It's a rainfall shower which is the only thing that wakes me up in the morning before I go to Mãos and the perfect way to end a long day in the kitchen.
What makes a house a home, to you?
A home to me is somewhere that revolves around the kitchen, so I can host my family or friends for dinners.
Where is your home away from home?
My home away from home is Singapore. It’s where my mum is from and where most of my family live. There’s tropical weather with some of the best food in the world.
Who or what do you consider to be an arbiter of style?
Tyler Hays. I think his work is incredible. He is a painter and sculptor and has made some beautiful pieces specifically for Mãos. He has a space within the Blue Mountain School, where Mãos is also situated, and it’s great to work in an environment filled with so many beautiful pieces.
Artwork by Tyler Hays at The Chef's Table at Mãos
For the Plum Guide ‘Perfect Stay’ home test, we collaborate with experts from different fields — from psychologists and hospitality experts to architects and interior designers — to identify the ingredients a holiday home needs in order to deliver a perfect stay. If you were designing a test or set of criteria for the perfect holiday home, what ingredient(s) would you specify as essential for the perfect stay?
For me it would have to be a beach house. I’d love a modern design that’s big enough to host my family with enough space for tennis courts and outdoor activities. An open plan kitchen is a must so we can all be in the kitchen together and also a large BBQ pit where we can cook all of the amazing seafood the local fishermen have caught that day! Throw in a spectacular view to watch the sunset and a couple of coconut and mango trees and that's my perfect stay.