Arrived at ‘8th floor of the famous hotel Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, it seems almost an ascent to heaven.
As soon as the elevator opens and along with my co-workers I cross the entrance hall, a unique view of Rome really surprises me, leaving me breathless. Straight in front of me I see the opulent Dome of St. Peter, left Altare della Patria and then the Pantheon, Piazza Navona …. From this amazing hotel, site of one of the high points of Rome, Monte Mario, you can aim all Rome … What a magnificent urbe!
“He’s coming!”, I hear these words at the entrance … and I feel some emotion that rises in my body , making me full of adrenaline … “I’m going to meet a legend” I think to myself … And in fact I am already well aware I’m going to meet one of the greatest artists of the taste of all time.
Heinz Beck, born in 1963, German-born but Italian by adoption. He get the first Michelin star ever since 1996, the second in 2000 and third in 2006. At the head of one of the most popular restaurants world famous, his is a real signature haute cuisine, internationally recognized.
He immediately appears polite, soft-spoken but firm. He invites us on the terrace to take a drink with him and talk together.
The excitement of meeting a person of his caliber pushes me to be cautious with the first questions. I want to know everything about him; how did his passion , who inspires him, what is the ingredient that can never be lacking in his refrigerator …. With great calm puts us at ease immediately, starting to tell and tell himself, as a man who simply followed a passion that today has become a work of excellence.
It doesn’t seem to care about its notoriety neither seems fully realizing it, perhaps because unlike other, doesn’t need frills and unnecessary pomposity. Heinz Beck loves his job and does not have time to care of the rest.
Speaking with us, he tells the story of some of his famous dishes, “S- Campo” for example, riot of flavors, where the escape is refined by aromas of dehydrated vegetables bathed in a broth of herbs. A dish without seasoning, of delicate flavor and impeccable presentation. He doesn’t want to anticipate more…. In a few hours I’ll be to him to enjoy a dinner of Lucullian memory … And moreover dishes should be eaten to be told.
As we speak, comes one of his assistants chef who gives him a tray with at least six samples; in less than a minute they had enjoyed all noticing what is missing or what still needs improvement in each of them. Meticulous care, precision, love …. these are the three ingredients that I see in him immediately. He explains that it is crucial that the kitchen make you well even the day after the dinner, and so he always keeps to calibrate carefully caloric intake and the properties of the individual dishes. Important research in nutrition and bio-food industry are among its main interests in recent years, so he relies on partnerships with various university centers and brightest Italian minds with whom he collaborates constantly in creating a healthier cooking, more “alive “, more harmonic.
After this brilliant meeting, we say goodbye for a few hours before returning to him at dinner. To welcome us on our return to “ La Pergola”, it’s a table in the magnificent view of the Dome of St. Peter’s lit in front of us. We don’t dare even ask for the menu because they communicate immediately that the chef is already preparing for us. Even the wines are brilliantly matched by the first sommelier of Italy, where he might be if not in this oasis of taste and beauty? A menu of eight course ends with another of his amazing dishes, the “Sphere of Pomegranate on Gianduia ice cream”.
Around us, people elegant and satisfied watch the show that follows, which is not only to see around Rome, but every single dish that is presented. At the end of the evening Heinz Beck, comes out of her room so loved (the kitchen) and crosses the dining room, stopping at each table and talking to each of his guests.
As a High Couturier designs with meticulousness of artist his last dress for the parade, Heinz Beck designs its gourmet meals thrilling experience for those who have cultural sensitivity to be able to appreciate them.
I invite you to journey … Enjoy your stay in Paradise!
Photocredits : Heinz Beck – ” La Pergola” press office