Four Seasons Hotel Beijing Appoints New Chef de Cuisine of Mio

Mio — The Italian Culinary Gem at Four Seasons Hotel Beijing

By That's Beijing, March 13, 2024

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Matteo Re Depaolini, the recently appointed Chef de Cuisine of Mio, the Italian dining establishment within the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing, redefines the heart of authentic Italian cuisine through a contemporary culinary perspective. Boasting over a decade of expertise in luxury global hotel service, Matteo epitomizes traditional Italian culinary artistry while breaking free from conventional boundaries. His imaginative concepts effortlessly traverse the realms of familiarity and surprise. Whether meticulously curating ingredients or passionately exploring their innate flavors, he showcases a craftsmanship deeply rooted in the opulent essence of Italian tradition. Whether summoning the vibrancy of Southern Italy or presenting the nuances of Northern flavors, Matteo's gastronomic creations promise to lead diners on an exquisite Italian culinary odyssey, transcending from the palate to the very soul.

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Hailing from Legnano, Milan, Italy, Matteo embodies a refined and romantic sensibility that serves as the driving force behind his culinary masterpieces. "If ingredients represent the living art, then cooking becomes the expressive technique that captivates the senses — a realm from which I derive inspiration." His culinary inspiration draws not only from the tapestry of everyday life and encounters with fresh ingredients during his travels but also from the realms of literature, cinema, and cherished life experiences. With an illustrious background in luxury global hotel service, Matteo's entrance into China and his association with the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing mark his sixth chapter with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Yet, it is his initial and immersive exploration of China's local culinary culture and interaction with discerning connoisseurs that ignite his passion for crafting unforgettable dining experiences.

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Matteo's distinctive culinary vision finds its roots in traditional Italian culinary principles, which he skillfully transforms into inventive and contemporary dishes that resonate harmoniously with local dining habits and preferences. Embarking on his culinary journey at the tender age of 15, Matteo honed his skills at the E. Maggia cooking school, cultivating a deep fascination for exploring the rich tapestry of traditional Italian flavors. His culinary passion was further nurtured under the guidance of Michelin-starred chef Davide Oldani in Milan. According to Matteo, culinary expertise matures over time, but the true catalyst for a chef's talent lies in intuition and sensation. Behind each meticulously crafted dish lies a plethora of careful experiments.

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Engaging in conversation with Matteo reveals that, for him, cooking transcends the realm of mere routine. He consistently astonishes by fashioning delightful dishes grounded in traditional flavors and commonplace ingredients. In every moment spent in the kitchen, he practices the art of communication, sensation, and understanding. Venturing beyond the culinary haven, his goal is to seamlessly integrate into the dynamic culinary landscape of Beijing. His mission extends beyond serving delectable meals; it involves fostering trust and emotional connections with diners, sparking contemplation, and inspiring continuous culinary creation.

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Throughout his illustrious two-decade career, Matteo has dedicated himself to the comprehensive study of dining culture. This extends beyond the mastery of crafting authentic Italian flavors to encompass meticulous control over ingredient selection, dish design, and presentation. With his extensive experience and exceptional understanding, he has fostered profound trust within the Mio culinary team. Under his expert guidance, each member of the kitchen team discovers their unique space. Matteo effectively imparts skills, establishes essential team collaboration strategies, facilitates skill enhancement, and brings out the best in everyone. Going beyond mere adherence to rules, his team members draw inspiration from the pursuit of harmonious creation, diligently putting it into practice under Matteo's leadership.

Matteo's culinary philosophy strikes a harmonious equilibrium between tradition and innovation, seamlessly marrying the comfort of familiarity with delightful surprises, all while remaining steadfast to traditional Italian culinary craftsmanship. Fueled by spontaneous imagination and a grounded creativity, he approaches his culinary creations with an exploration of philosophy that transcends geographical boundaries.

Spanning from the northern to the southern regions of Italy, Matteo skillfully crafts Italian delicacies, molding them with an elegance that embraces simplicity and devising unique cooking methods. Within the culinary realm of Mio, he unfolds a diverse array of palate experiences, allowing the vibrancy of each dish to bloom. With every meal, one can discern the unmistakable taste of the passion and dedication that infuse every flavor, texture, and presentation.

The amalgamation of timeless culinary creations evokes a harmonious marriage between Italian gastronomic heritage and contemporary cooking methodologies. Delicately seared yellow fin tuna, TONNO, harkens back to Matteo's earliest culinary recollections. Adorned with Italian balsamic vinegar, bespoke tuna sauce, pickled cucumber cubes, and crisped zucchini strips, it imbues a nuanced depth, rendering it a discerning choice for appetizers. Simple yet refined, the ethereal Italian eggplant, PARMIGIANA, and truffle-infused PLIN dumplings epitomize Matteo's interpretation of Italian culinary essence. The sublime French toothfish, MERLUZZO, tender and unadulterated, harmonizes with butter-bathed mussel meat and chickpeas, imbuing a maritime symphony with hints of salinity and tartness. The pièce de résistance, Italian veal, VITELLO, meticulously prepared from premium cuts, undergoes a 1.5-hour slow-cooking process, encased in herb-infused breadcrumbs and crisply pan-fried to a golden perfection. A final touch of smoking with rosemary and thyme elevates its allure, complemented by sun-dried cherry tomatoes, velvety mashed potatoes, sumptuous beef gravy, and a refreshing sesame salad dressing. Matteo's rendition of the classic TIRAMISU, with its distinctive presentation, may symbolize his yearning for liberation, while the traditional Italian family-style apple cake, MELE, embodies the timeless allure of bygone eras, evoking memories steeped in the passage of time.

For Matteo, every venture into the culinary realm is an opportunity for creation, artistry, poetry, philosophy, and self-expression—a tapestry woven from his diverse worldly experiences. The timeless excellence embodied by the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing seamlessly aligns with his culinary aspirations. In his role as the head chef at Mio, meaning "mine" in Italian, Matteo consistently nurtures a laid-back and opulent dining atmosphere for guests.

Beyond merely presenting Italian culinary classics, Mio serves as a curator of gastronomic treasures, guiding diners on a transcendent journey from palate to soul. Whether invoking the emotions of Southern Italy or embracing the nuanced flavors of the North, Matteo and his culinary team tirelessly explore local specialties and source high-quality imported ingredients. This commitment fosters a harmonious fusion, where Beijing's traditional Chinese flavors collide gracefully with Western cultural representations of Italian delicacies. The result is a delightful symphony that resonates through the taste buds, creating a truly memorable culinary experience.

A Symphony of Italian Delights. A Four Seasons Culinary Feast.

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