|Chef Mashad Pino|
Interview with Chef Mashad Pino, Livello Uno Italian Restaurant, TTDI
What do you do ?
I am the Head Chef of Livello Uno, which is an Italian café setting with great Italian food in TTDI.
Where did you train to cook?
I started with my diploma in culinary arts in Singapore. After graduation I spent some months working in Singapore but that was not enough for me. I managed to secure a job with the cruise industry getting on board the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria. Finally after a good few years I missed working on land and had my heart set out into Europe. I worked in Vienna Austria for about a year then moved on to seasonal work in St.Moritz, Switzerland. During my time in Switzerland I had a close friend who gave me the inside on Michelin chefs and restaurants. The first post I got working in a Michelin restaurant was in Algarve Portugal and it all went Michelin then, from Copenhagen to Berlin and back to Portugal before I told myself that it was time to come home.
What's the best part of your job?
The best part is of course seeing the smiles of my customers and having empty plates coming back in.
What's your favourite meal of the day?
My favourite meal is breakfast; I am crazy about paper tosai and am fortunate enough to find it on the way to work. Raub curry house does a great job with their tosais.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
My style of cooking is so versatile it’s hard to lock down one, but when I am on my A game I bring a lot of flavour and texture pairings.
Which place of work impressed you the most?
I must say all those places mentioned were great and amazing beyond belief. I matured so much in my cooking following the path I took. I have to say however that Ralea in Copenhagen, and Villa Joya in Algarve are my top two favourites.
Knowing you from a fine dining background, why now Livello Uno?
Well there is a big difference here. I took on the job of Livello Uno because I believe there is something missing with Italian cuisine offered in the city. Often people associate Italian with fine dining and expensive prices. I want to prove this perception wrong. Livello Uno offers a relaxed café setting with rustic back to basics authentic dishes. There are challenges here and that’s what excites me - challenges. Maybe one day we will look at the option of a fine dining Italian restaurant that’s affordable too.
A day in the life of a chef is…
An early morning coming to work before all the other staff arrive. Do a routine check on produce and preparing the list of things to do for the chefs coming in. Receiving produce and checking if it’s the right weight, the right item and importantly the right price. I have a meal at 4pm with the rest of the staff and continue on to update the accounts. By that time dinner service is in and I cook along side my kitchen team. By 10 pm I do my last rounds of checking as well submit my orders for the next day.
What do you do for fun?
The latest thing I do for fun is flying my drone.
What's in store for you in the upcoming months?
In the upcoming months I am focused on touching up the back end of the business as well as continuing to research and develop new dishes for the future of Livello Uno. I’m hoping for another new menu by 2016.