Introducing Luca Cappellato, the new Italian Sous Chef of Park Hyatt Jakarta’s Dining Room restaurant
An industry professional that has honed his trade in many major gastronomic cities, Luca Cappellato recently arrived in Jakarta, eager to recreate classic Italian flavours that shaped his childhood using fresh, local ingredients to delight guests visiting his restaurant.
Luca started his culinary journey in Asia in 2014 in various respectable establishments, including at Michelin-starred restaurant 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Macau. In a conversation with Prestige Indonesia, Luca confessed he is ready to express himself in the kitchen and make his mark in the metropolitan’s constantly growing culinary scene.
Welcome to Jakarta! How do you find the city so far?
I find the city, so far, really nice. I come from a big city like Milan and have also been to London, Hong Kong, Macao and Shanghai. Jakarta, in some aspects, reminds me of these big cities. It is developing very fast, and it is fascinating how you can see these amazing skyscrapers next to little houses. Nice vibe and mood.
What was your first impression of the city’s dining scene?
The dining scene is growing fast. The market is vast, and more and more people are looking for the best food they can find around Jakarta. A lot of influences from other countries and different cuisines give it a unique dining scene, similar to big global cities around the world.
Describe your culinary approach in your current role.
My culinary approach to this role is simple. I want to bring to the table unique Italian cuisine. Keeping, of course, the tradition of my country but in a modern way to help people understand and discover the flavours and foods that I grew up with. I emphasize using fresh and local ingredients to create excellent Italian food.
Tell us about one of your signature dishes in the Dining Room.
My favourite dish so far is the Roasted Chicken Diavola Style. It is a very traditional Italian recipe from the south region where my grandparents come from. Diavola is used to describe the hotness of the dish, something they are quite used to in the south. After marinated in a mixture of chili, cayenne pepper, paprika and butter, the chicken is slow cooked at 62 degrees for 2 hours and then roasted at 185 degrees for 20 minutes.
Who is your most significant culinary influence?
Of course, my grandparents. But in my career, I am lucky to have worked with two of the best chefs in Asia. Antimo Merone and Riccardo la Perna, executive chefs at 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana. I worked with them for the past six years, and they taught me everything I know. These two chefs are my most significant influence. Thanks to them, I’m here at Park Hyatt Jakarta today.
What do you like most about your current workplace?
Park Hyatt Jakarta is one of the best luxury brand hotels at the moment. It is an amazing company to work with. They allow me to express myself in the kitchen and let me grow with them. They’re pushing me a lot to be the best version of myself. It is a company that cares about the staff. And I’m lucky to work with many experienced people and learn from them.