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5 minutes with… Chef Giorgio Locatelli

The renowned, Michelin-starred Italian chef joins Centurion Magazine to discuss his culinary philosophies and his latest venture at Montenegro’s One&Only Portonovi

A titan in the global culinary scene, Giorgio Locatelli’s accolades are nearly limitless – Michelin stars, television appearances, he’s done it all. Now, the famous Italian chef is entering some new terrain, Montenegro. Helming the kitchen at the newly opened restaurant Sabia by Locatelli at One&Only Portonovi, Locatelli is bringing his panache to the five-star resort, where a symphony of Mediterranean flavours and sparkling views of the Adriatic await.


You’re originally from a culinary family in northern Italy, how does this heritage influence your culinary style and vision?


The most important thing I learnt from my family restaurant is my relationship with staff. I consider my team to be family. I try and transport this to every restaurant I am involved in. I also see conviviality as central to my philosophy around food and dining.


Where do you find inspiration to create new dishes?


My major inspiration is always the ingredients and how they can be combined in a simple and beautiful way. This has guided me through most of my cooking.


As a champion of Italy’s regional particularities and its influence in the various cuisines throughout the country, what would you say distinguishes what you cook from what many people “perceive” as “Italian cuisine?”


Italian food is continually changing and reshaping itself. Every chef puts their own experience into their food. What I do is a reflection of the cuisine I ate growing up, techniques from travelling around the world and my experiences working in different kitchens.


At Sabia by Locatelli, what appeals to you about this location?


The beauty of the coast is unmatched by anything. The mountains touching the sea is a magical sight. The openness to the Adriatic coast and the shared culinary history makes me feel we can do something very special at Sabia. The hotel has a wonderful Chenot Espace spa, and the creation of the health conscious ‘raw bar’ is also a really exciting part of the restaurant.


How will the menu at Sabia distinguish itself from some of your other ventures like Locanda Locatelli?


There will be great classics cooked throughout our restaurants. We are going to take the Balkan influence and inject it into the menu.


What would you say visitors to One&Only Portonovi need to experience before they head home?


The spa is stunning, the surrounding mountains and coastline take your breath away plus the architecture is very special.


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