La Terrazza del Boff is the restaurant of the Hotel Boffenigo where taste and harmony are combined with the love for beauty and good food. The meeting of innovation and tradition is an everlasting duet. Here our guests can taste the typical cuisine of Lake Garda with fresh and genuine ingredients while admiring the splendid view of the largest lake in Italy.
This is Franesco’s kingdom, a Chef driven by a passion for cooking, commitment and a strong spirit of self-sacrifice.
The life of a Chef is hectic and extremely demanding: you need to be awake, dynamic, ready for anything, respect the food and the raw materials that are used. We met Francesco between courses and asked him a few questions about his job, how he conceives a kitchen and his favourite ingredients (including a recipe!).
Where did your passion for cooking begin?
I’ve have a passion for cooking since I was a child, watching my grandmother while she was cooking and I was playing with her pots. Around the age of twelve I started to appreciate certain dishes that were made at home, especially on holidays or the bread that my mother baked on Sundays - something always special. Then I began to get more and more passionate until I decided to attend a catering school.
Which ingredient should always be in a kitchen?
It is difficult to find a single ingredient since I have many favourites. I can list three which are certainly always in my kitchen: tomatoes, butter and beef.
Can you give us a recipe with some of these ingredients?
A famous traditional recipe is the Chateaubriand with Béarnaise sauce. The beef fillet must be cleaned and degreased and you must use its core part. Cooking beef must be done extremely carefully. It should be caramelized on the outside and remain soft and rare inside. First you cook it in a pan by searing the meat to close and seal the pores and form a crust, then it is cooked in butter. This dish is usually accompanied by a Béarnaise sauce and a side dish such as roast potatoes.
Béarnaise sauce is a sauce made with clarified butter, egg yolk, shallots, vinegar and tarragon. Put the yolks together in a bowl with a reduction of vinegar and shallots: you have to work it by hand whisking over a steaming device (a kettle or a pot of boiling water), then while whisking, slowly add the clarified butter and, if necessary, another reduction of vinegar. When it is whisked and cooked, add the chopped tarragon. The sauce should be frothy and there should be no lumps (do not cook the egg too much!). Then plate it, you can cut the meat and serve it with the sauce and the vegetables next to it.
We often underestimate the work of a Chef, would you describe what your day on the kitchen is like?
My day starts the evening before, when I organize work at the end of the day and make a list of all the things to be done the next morning. So, as soon as I arrive in the kitchen I already know what I have to do and immediately ask my colleagues if they need anything and if they can prepare everything in the morning.
After preparing the bread dough for the evening, I usually talk with the managers and check the tasks to be carried out and the updates for the day. At 11.30 am I eat with the staff, and after an hour or so when we start preparing things beforehand and organizing the kitchen, we start preparing lunch for our customers until 3.00pm. In the afternoon I usually have a few hours break to go home or to the pool to rest a little, but on full days I do some shopping or fix details.
At 6.00 pm I return to the kitchen to prepare dinner for the staff and organize the last things for the evening meal. Once that is over, I forward orders to our suppliers and organize the next day.
Many thanks to our Chef Francesco for letting us know more about his world full of genuine flavours.
The stories, news and experiences of the B-Family do not end here. Don’t miss the next news on our blog!