FAB L’Style

FAB L’Style is the global voice of established & emerging luxury. An international, fashion, art, beauty and lifestyle magazine in English based in Vienna, Austria. Ever mindful of equality, we embrace the diversity of inclusive beauty, and having a sustainable mindset.

In Italy, Sundays are like holidays – Chef Michelangelo Sparapano

In Italy, Sundays are like holidays - Chef Michelangelo Sparapano

Chef Michelangelo Sparapano, also known as ‘Chef Miki,’ is an Italian culinary genius from Puglia. His path began when he was young and led him to careers in hotel management and luxury banquets. Chef Miki’s expertise soared while honing his art at London’s famed Le Gavroche. He received acclaim in global culinary venues as a renowned member of the Italian National Chefs (NIC). Chef Miky Consulting, his company, has a varied portfolio ranging from food marketing to guiding aspiring culinary companies. Chef Miki represents culinary creativity and inventiveness, having appeared on national television, notably ‘LA PROVA DEL CUOCO’ on Rai2.

FAB: What are the versatile and impressive Italian dishes that our readers might consider for their festive gatherings this year?

Michelangelo Sparapano: I think Panettone and Pandoro. They are the same. Pandoro is just plain; it’s shaped like a star, and Panettone has chocolate, candy, and fruits. They are a really typical Italian dish.

FAB: Are there any special Christmas recipes or cooking traditions from your own family that you incorporate into your culinary creations?

Michelangelo Sparapano: I remember the extra-virgin olive oil flavour. In South Italy, all families have either the olive tree or the lemon tree planted. In November, my father, my brothers, and I would go to harvest some, and then after, we would make extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is very important to start every recipe. You need to cook a very simple fish, but this particular recipe is called Ragu. For the ragu, you need to cook the meat for a long time. After making the tomato sauce and meat, you make the pasta. Then you make a second sauce, which is the main course; that’s just meat. It can be eaten on Saturdays or Sundays because, in Italy, Sundays are like holidays. This dish is a holiday dish.

FAB: When it comes to creating a Christmas menu, what are your key tips for incorporating Italian flavours and techniques that resonate with global tastes and references?

Michelangelo Sparapano: There is a half-and-half solution. There is a very expensive option with lobster, fillets, beef, and all that, but I mix this one with traditional souls. The flavour is a Christmas recipe with Mediterranean herbs, or like the Ragu without the pan-frying, just steaming and fusion. The people like it. When you come into a restaurant, you need to try the different recipes. It’s not like your home. You don’t eat the way you would eat at home.

Michelangelo Sparapano: There are two of them. And each has its own recipe. There’s almonds. During Christmas time, almonds are really important, as are flowers. There’s a lot of cake and biscuit recipes with almonds. The first one is like a candy almond. You leave the almonds in the pan with lots of sugar covering them. The second one is Cartellate. You know the lasagna piece that’s really thin? But this recipe has flour, wine, a little bit of salt, and sugar. You need to make thin rolls of pasta like lasagna, sift it like rose flour, and fry in fig syrup. In Italy, there are a lot of fig trees, and this particular syrup is like malas.

FAB: As you bring your culinary expertise to Nigeria, are there any special touches or adaptations that you’ve made to your cooking to resonate with the local Nigerian audience?

Michelangelo Sparapano: It’s not very easy because Nigerians love chilli food, while in Italy, just the Calabrians love chilling. The rest don’t use chilli. We are used to the Mediterranean herbs, to marinate. For example, with the meat, we marinate with rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. For the fish: salt, pepper, oil, and lemon; marinate for about twenty hours before cooking. This is the secret. Except for yesterday night, the Nigerian people asked me where the fish was from. It’s a Nigerian fish, but I prepared it in the Italian style.

FAB: What’s your favourite aspect of the festive season, especially concerning food? Do you have any cooking advice or words of inspiration for our readers to make their festive holiday feel more memorable?

Michelangelo Sparapano: I don’t have a special recipe, but I think the special lifestyle starts with the small pieces, the cheese, the drinks, and the aperol spritz. This is to be in the middle of a lot of food. In Italian, the name is carrellata di antipasti. I think this is a lifestyle; it’s not just a recipe.

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