Chef Spotlight – FABRIZIO SCHENARDI – Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
In a rare break from his hectic day Fabrizio Schenardi, the Executive Chef at the AAA Five Diamond Award Four Seasons Resort Orlando, very kindly took time to sit down and talk with us this week. The first thing you notice about Fabrizio is his calm and gentle manner not evident in most chefs of his caliber, instead you get the undoubted impression that this Chef is master of his game but does not feel the need to prove it in any other way than on the plate and to his guests. Born in Italy, his passion for the true Italian culinary art is plain to see and put to good effect in Ravello, just one of the amazing restaurants in the Four Seasons Resort, forming part of the six catering operations and banqueting that are under his control along with a brigade of over 100 talented chefs and support staff.
Fabrizio has traveled the world learning his craft but never straying far form his love of Italian cooking but taking influences from Franco Saletti, Azmin Ghahreman and Christian De Louvrier of La Mangeoire NYC in other words the “Who’s Who” of Chefs Chefs. Fabrizio attended cooking school in Torino Italy after being inspired at an early age by his mother and grandmother. He created his first dish, and what else but a ‘Pizza” as his first meal cooked completely by himself and Pizza still features on the Ravello menu today but is joined by creative interpretations of regional Italian and Mediterranean recipes that let the quality of the ingredients be the hero of the dish rather than masking the true flavors with over complication. Two stand out menu items that Fabrizio has honed from his Grandmothers recipes and have stayed with him wherever he has taken his talents are :
Veal Ravioli: Ravioli parcels stuffed with veal, spinach and ricotta, served with wild mushrooms and truffle essence.
Manzo: A 16oz Prime dry Aged Ribeye, Fabrizio’s special rub, grilled Asparagus, Roasted Potatoes, and Chianti sauce.
Fabrizio comments that the Four Seasons import the majority of Italian produce they use for Ravello, especially the authentic small batch Olive Oil, the one ingredient he could not live or operate without and rely on premium suppliers such as Creekstone Prime Black Angus and A-5 Miyazaki Wagyu the highest grade of Wagyu beef available for the prestigious CAPA restaurant situated on the 17th floor of the Four Seasons Resort. Provenance of everything they purchase rates highly on Fabrizio’s score chart.
At home he likes to cook simple pastas and BQQ Korean style and loves cooking and baking with the family but has to admit a guilty pleasure of snacking on potato chips whenever he can. Eating out will see him at places as diverse as Normans at The Ritz Carlton (closing at the end of the month and will reopen in Dr Phillips) Morimoto in Disney Springs, Thai Blossom and Bosphorous.
Fabrizio is always willing to share his vast knowledge with others and sound advice he would give to someone wishing to start a culinary career would be.
“ First I would suggest that they go and experience work in a kitchen, the long and unsociable hours, working weekends and holidays, and realize what they have to sacrifice to get to the top. Reality in a kitchen is not like a TV program and to succeed requires dedication, skill and passion. Only when you are sure you can dedicate yourself to this discipline should you enroll in a catering or college program”.
In conjunction with Stephen Wancha, Fabrizio was influential in setting up the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando and has truly been a major force in creating what is today one of the best hotels and dining options in the world. You could say he was a “Man for all Seasons”!
The Four Seasons AAA Five Diamond Resort hosts a number of excellent dining options:
Capa – Ravello – Plancha – Lickety Split and PB+G, more information can be found at www.fourseasons.com/orlando Tel: 407 313 7777
10100 Dream Tree Boulevard Golden Oak Orlando.
Want to try Ravello? Look out for their offer in Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining later this month, an opportunity not to be missed.