Ziqù Terrace Restaurant. Interview with Chef Cattaruzza
Chef Manuele Cattaruzza, Ziqù Terrace Restaurant’s soul, who devised an elegant, yet simple cuisine made of original, authentic and local-grown ingredients. All this to be savoured on a terrace overlooking the stunning Gulf of Naples.
So, Chef, where do you take your inspiration from when conceiving your creations?
I like to think of my cuisine as a traditional cuisine, made of everything our land can offer. Everything I do comes from the local tradition. So, what I try to do is to combine tradition and innovation, so to appeal to the most refined taste of an even more international audience.
What do you think is the identity of the Ziqù Terrace Restaurant?
That’s quite an easy question to answer. The Ziqù Terrace Restaurant is a sea view terrace disclosing the magic of the Gulf of Naples. The restaurant is a place whose key concept is quality, rather than quantity. Ingredients are crucial. Local, seasonal and authentic ingredients. I believe that ingredients have some sort of evocative power. They tell us stories. Stories of places, traditions and people. By respecting the real nature of ingredients we let them speak and tell these stories.
Tell us more about this.
Sure. As I was saying, the quality of ingredients is a necessary condition. We are lucky enough to live in a place that gives us every day incredibly good ingredients. Everything you need you can find it here: from fish to the meat of Campania’s mounts and valleys, from fruits to vegetables – which both come from our garden. In fact, we ourselves produce courgettes,
lemons, apricots, basil, peppers, thymus, parsley and much more.
How would you describe your relationship with Capri?
As a very deep and intimate relationship. Here I found the love of my life and a fulfilling professional career. After all, I am in love with the sea, as I was born in Jesolo, not so far from Venice.
Nowadays, the TV is flooded with cooking programs and talent shows. What do you thing of this?
I think this is a positive thing. Because of these programs people get to know the beautiful world of gastronomy and learn more about the importance of the quality of food – along with its relevance to people’s health. Also, people have the chance to understand how hard and demanding a career in cooking can be.
Do you have any wish as a chef?
The guest satisfaction as he/she leaves the restaurant. I was born and raised in the family restaurant’s kitchen. This means that I know what it takes to prepare a good dish. Thus, my happiness does not only come from cooking, but also from guests happiness.