Love is in the air and there will be a special spring in the step of food lovers thrilled by the arrival of an Italian celebrity chef … back in the kitchen in time for St Valentine’s Day at his signature restaurant at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention Centre & Spa.
Chef Giancarlo ‘Xbe’ Perbellini and his team will be serving special dishes for sweethearts and unveiling a new menu for the season featuring a fascinating fusion of Mediterranean and Arabic fare at La Pergola by Perbellini.
Having just flown in from Europe, he said: “I’m very excited to be back in Bahrain for a special dinner on St Valentine’s Day. Don’t miss it!”
Chef Xbe (pronounced Perbe) will be working in the kitchen and meeting diners tomorrow and on Friday too and he promises some colourful creations. “In Italy green is the colour of spring, for this reason we have chosen it as the main colour of our new menu,” he revealed to GulfWeekly.
The latest dishes have been developed as a result of conversations with his team of chefs in Bahrain and from useful feedback gathered from regular customers. “Bahrain is a new market for us, for we are trying to combine our traditional Italian cuisine with Arabian elements,” he said.
One new example is the Chickpea Cream with Lobster, tangerine réduction and Burrata foam. “It’s a simple dish that contains both Italian and Bahraini traditions,” Chef Xbe added. “We want people to discover real Italian cuisine but at the same time we want to respect and understand the desires of local people.
“Dishes are being made with fresh seasonal and very popular ingredients such as peas and asparagus. The creamy texture of the peas, for example, combined with thyme and lemon, will be the base for barbecue cuttlefish and local shellfish.
“There will be a touch of ‘hot and cold’ which represents Italy – served with local fish and a spicy touch that Arabian countries strongly appreciate.
“We propose using asparagus in different textures too – raw, boiled and fried – and with Eggs gratiné au Parmigiano Reggiano and All-Spice Red Rice Chips, a match that Italians will appreciate very much. This dish reminds me of Italy, of its colours and perfumes, and of the ancient taste of our traditional cuisine.
“Another not-to-be-missed dish will be a Risotto with Peas and Smoked Caprino Cheese Cream … simple but with intense flavour. I don’t want to reveal much more than that, but simply invite food-lovers to visit La Pergola by Perbellini, meet up with each other and discover the secrets of Italian cuisine.
“Look for the best in every dish you taste, appreciate every product and its uniqueness. Each one is going to leave you with a pleasant memory. Taste has no limits!”
With romance on the minds of most diners tomorrow, a passion for food and a love of family will be closer to Chef Perbe’s heart as he will be so far from home.
“My act of love happens every Sunday when I cook for my family at home,” he said. “I love staying with my three sons, spending time with them and sharing these moments together. I take care of them by cooking up some amazing food. Last week I cooked Risotto with Shrimps and we had so much fun together!”
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Stanley Louis Szecowka
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