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Dubai chef: Luca Tresoldi at The Artisan in DIFC

Words by Rob Chilton

The importance of quality ingredients

Luca Tresoldi is working wonders at The Artisan at Waldorf Astoria Hotel DIFC. He spoke to EDGAR about the key dishes on the menu at this elegant Italian restaurant.

Let’s start with the calamari farciti. What’s the idea with this dish?

Calamari sourced from Patagonia are stuffed; it’s one of the latest additions to the Chef’s special menu. As with other dishes served at The Artisan, the philosophy remains the same: real Italian tradition mixed with a personal touch.

Stuffed calamari

What’s the filling?

Garlic, salt, Acquerello boiled rice, oven-baked Italian agria potato, sundried tomato, parsley and capers are mixed by hand. Once stuffed, the calamari are rolled in grated breadcrumbs and oven-baked. It melts in your mouth, leaving you with an explosion of taste. The result is a tender, crispy calamari with a tangy and sour salsa verde for the perfect balance and texture. This is the ultimate starter for a seafood lover.

Do you like to add new dishes every season?

I strongly believe in seasonality and always offering new and exciting dishes to our guests. We focus on having traditional dishes that customers always want, so the menu does not change much. But I do love to experiment with the chef’s specials – they give me the freedom to play with certain ingredients without any compromise. It truly represents an extension of our menu, which continues to evolve season after season.

Sophisticated art and interior design

The bruschette selection (tomato, chicken liver, beef and caviar, cheese) is a visual treat. Which one do you recommend?

My absolute favourite is the Fassona beef tartare with Kaluga Amur caviar – a beautiful union between land and sea. It’s two completely different tastes that work together perfectly. We make it with an extremely lean beef Fassona, which is hand-chopped and seasoned with salt, oil, garlic and horseradish. It’s spread on a crispy homemade baguette, topped with rare and particular Kaluga Amur caviar, plus we add some chives on top for the final touch. This is a simple example of how beautiful ingredients do not need much elaboration, but just a lot of respect.

Bruschette selection

Bruschetta is usually a snack, but these feel more like a dish, don’t they?

Often underestimated, bruschette is usually made with simple ingredients and paired with an aperitivo. My goal was to turn it into a dish by using premium ingredients, which are combined together, creating a magical moment. In Italy, the motto is ‘there is a bruschette for any palette.’

The agnolotti stuffed with pumpkin butter, sage, and 30-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano is a stalwart of the menu. What’s the story?

Our agnolotti is one of The Artisan’s oldest signature dishes, which will never disappear from our menu. In Italy, the tradition is to include three key ingredients: Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Therefore, given the importance of Parmigiano Reggiano, I pay very close attention on sourcing and selecting from our suppliers.

Agnolotti Del Plin Alla Zucca

Where is the Parmigiano cheese sourced?

We have our own producer, a small family farm that takes good care of their own cows and milk. They go through the entire process without any compromise. The result is an outstanding product, descending from generation to generation.

Chef Luca Tresoldi at work

What’s the secret to the dish?

The dish is a perfect combination between sweet and creamy notes from the pumpkin. While the Parmigiano is sour and rich, the crispy almond is nutty, added with a fragrant taste of sage. Each ingredient complements the other. This dish would simply not be complete without all of them.

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