This Italian favourite offers Bahrain diners an authentic Michelin experience.
Born in Naples, Italy, in 1984, chef Alfonso Ferraioli started his journey at the city’s culinary school and was apprenticed in Italy in 2002 before heading overseas to develop his kitchen skills as a chef de cuisine in Corsica, France, Switzerland and England. Back in Italy, chef Alfonso headed to Rome where he joined the kitchen brigade of renowned chef Oliver Glowig, whose restaurant holds two coveted Michelin stars.
He came to the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain in 2015 when the hotel struck a partnership with chef Oliver to develop the menu for its Italian eatery, Primavera, his first foray into the Middle East. Since then, chef Alfonso has been busy developing the talented team and ensuring the island’s diners get the Michelin experience.
He says: “I started my culinary career at a very young age and I am proud that my early passion has brought me to become a ‘Gentleman of The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain’ and the leader of the talented Primavera kitchen. Through our company philosophy and through my career, we share the same enjoyment in valuing diversity in cultures and terroir. Being in this region provides a chance for me to showcase traditional hearty Italian cuisine, in all its simplicity.”
Here chef Alfonso shares one of Primavera’s most popular recipes.
LEMON RISOTTO WITH SEAFOOD
– 40ml filtered lemon juice
– 100g diced white onion
– ½ clove garlic
– 40g salted butter
– 2 bay leaves
– 30 grains black pepper
– 2 bags saffron
– 1 sprig lemon thyme
– 2 lemons with rind grated
Sauté onions, garlic, bay leaf, pepper and thyme in 40g of salted butter. Add saffron, drizzle with lemon juice and rind and reduce by half before adding the rest of the butter. Mix well with a whisk and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside and refrigerate.
– 30g pine nuts
– 150g basil leaves
– 80g extra virgin olive oil
– 50g grated Parmesan cheese
– 30g grated pecorino cheese
– ¼ clove garlic
– salt as required
Mix all ingredients together in a blender and set aside.
– 70g carnaroli rice
– Knob of butter
– White grape to taste
– Boiling stock (chicken or vegetable)
– 50g Parmesan cheese
Toast the rice in a little butter, add the white grape and gradually add the stock until cooked through. Once cooked add grated lemon rind and stir in lemon butter with lemon and parmesan cheese.
– Cecinielli (whitebait)
Marinate cecinielli, oyster, shrimp and cuttlefish/squid and seabass with extra virgin oil, salt, garlic and lemon thyme then heat under a hot grill.
Put a teaspoon of pesto onto the plate, add the risotto and top with the seafood. Finish with false pepper.