Summit hill of flavors
ICONIC GOURMAND | Chiara Melani
His cuisine combines genius and creativity; Heinz Beck, originally from colder lands farther north, is a Michelin three-star chef who has been established for over twenty years among the renowned elite leaders in the Capital’s cuisine. And of course, he’s been the undisputed King of “La Pergola” Restaurant in Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts ever since 1994.
His dishes are genuine works of art, a score on which sonorous single elements are harmoniously arranged creating heavenly melodies. Under his direction in 2001, the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars, then in 2004 it became the best restaurant of the year in the BMW Guide.
In 2005, it was awarded the third star and five Michelin forks, 19/20 in the guide of L’espresso, 93/100 in Gambero Rosso, and received three stars from Veronelli. It has been confirmed yet again that it is “Italy’s Restaurant 2018” from Gambero Rosso, among the best with 95/100. Below, enjoy a rush of flavors from the experimental cuisine by the demiurge of divine dishes.
GSM: When did you realize that your destiny was in the world of gastronomy?
HB: Well, you could say that it came about along the way…As I often tell, my desire was to be a painter, but given the opposition from my family, I had to choose an alternative way to express my creativity and my love for art.
GSM: You are a chef with distinguished international prestige. How much dedication and study is needed to achieve this?
HB: A lot. You mustn’t ever stop learning. Curiosity, dedication, and research are the cornerstones of our profession.
GSM: What has your relationship been like with Rome since arriving at La Pergola? What is the characteristic that most fascinates you about Italian culinary art?
HB: I love Rome. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. It is the city that welcomed me, the city where I have chosen to live, and where I fell in love. Italian culinary art fascinates me with its variety, its age-old tradition, and the extent of recipes that are characteristic to each region spreading from the North to the South, staying true to their identity.
GSM: Where do you get the inspiration for your dishes?
HB: From all that surrounds me. Reality is one of my sources of inspiration, as well as art, music, landscapes…The further away the inspiration comes from, the more diverse the result will be. My philosophy is “less is more”. Subtract, rather than add, in order to maximize the excellence of raw ingredients, for which Italy is the champion of the world in its own right.
GSM: What is the definition of essential cuisine?
HB: Excellent raw ingredients.
GSM: What was the most significant turning point in your career?
HB: When I came to La Pergola.
GSM: What would you say to a young person taking their first steps?
HB: I would tell them to be humble, as well as to have passion, precision, and a desire to learn.