Whether he’s sourcing heirloom Cinta Senese pork cuts or eggs from Paolo Parisi’s famed Livornesi hens, Executive Chef Vito Mollica believes the secret to his Michelin Award-winning cuisine is “knowing the man behind the producer.”
“The main value of any dish is the quality of the ingredients,” is Chef’s humble philosophy, an approach to food that dates back to watching his mother prepare Southern Italian specialties as a young boy. To ensure everything in his kitchen fulfills this credo, Chef Vito personally scours regional markets and the Tuscan countryside for independent producers who share his passion for quality. “If ingredients have been produced with care, it comes through in the taste. Then the more simply you cook the ingredients, the more you will allow the flavour to come through,” he says.
A Four Seasons veteran, Mollica began his tenure in the kitchens of Four Seasons Hotel Milan in 1996 before moving to Prague. He returned to Italy in 2007 to join the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze pre-opening team and he’s found the city to be a formidable match for both his outlook on food and his own lifestyle.
“It’s a haven for quality – the art, the history, the cuisine,” says Mollica. “It’s a great location for the children, too; the city is relaxed and cosmopolitan, and we can easily travel to the sea and the mountains.”