Saturday, 10 October 2015

Interview with Chef Mashad Pino, Livello Uno Italian Restaurant, TTDI

livello uno
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.


  1. Very nice review, and I like his responses, too! I was wondering if you all have been on a dining car in a train, and if not, would you ever? If so, I would love to see your photos of it! Love your posts! :)

  2. Very impressive credentials. I love tosai too, not so easily available here - not so many Indians around.

    1. Thank you ... i sooo love tosai ... try out the one in damansara ... paper tosai always paper thin !!

  3. Replies
    1. Very true , i recommend all young chefs to go around the world, Explore and embrace .

  4. Very interesting interview - I doubt it Michelin trained chefs would be found on trains except the Orient Express brand. And they are the only the best of the best, but the Orient Express trains are not in North America.
    They tried it here in Australia - a train running from Brisbane to Cairns - old 1900 carriages - sleeping cars, dinning cars, clubs cars - but the cost was astronomical - stopovers at stations near Barrier Reef resorts. It lasted 12 months!!! Someone didn't do their homework. These magnificently restored carriages
    are now rotting in an Ipswich Railway yard - probably "homes" of druggies and that type!
    The greatest rail gamble that went wrong! My view: Disgustingly disgraceful.
    We needed your advice and expertise, Monica - why didn't you apply as CEO???

    With the training of Mashad Pino in cruisine capitals of the World - Wien, St.Moritz, Copenhagen and Berlin and then the Iberian influence of Portugal, I reckon Masta Pino has the world at his feet.

    Now back to TV and racing coverage before I hit Terrigal / Bateau Bay for glorious sea food.
    You and Junior will have to come and review the Crowne Plaza at Terrigal and the resorts of the
    Hunter Valley.
    El Colin Cordobes - he who is looking for a win - only bet these days on the Melbourne Cup of the first 4 placings. I was in 2005 (I think) beaten for 4th place by a horse who stuck out a longer bloody tongue.
    I jumped around in delight like a Banshee with ants in my underpants in delight and then cried.
    $177,770 disappeared by a bloody rude horse's tongue.

    1. $177,770 was the win value - I didn't out that amount on - God in wherever would a sensible person have that amount of money to put horses to run 1.2.3 and 4.. For a 1st 4 bet it costs with combinations $24.00.
      El Colin Cordobes - who isn't these days a Better on horses. I leave that to the Asians - they are bet lovers.

    2. Well very true regarding the orient express , my cousin has been working with orient express here in malaysia for the last 10 years now, He has not come accross any michilin train chefs yet. I actually almost took a job at the crowne plaza terrigal but felt it was too early at that time for me. anyways cheers and have a great day !

    3. Mashad
      Now might be a good time to apply.
      The place is booming and the surf as Monica will agree/ascertain - is right in front and it is great.
      Lucky cousin working on the Asian Orient express from KL to BKK and then I think sometimes right up to Chiang Mai. I have seen the luxury train pass through at Hua Hin,
      Colin "Cordobes" Huggins