06/08/12 - 0 Comments
A Taste of Frankie Dettori’s Italy with Brand New London Restaurant, Sette
Renowned jockey Frankie Dettori has deep roots in his Italian culture, and now he wants to share it with the city of London. His new cucina Italiana restaurant, called Sette, opened May 15 on Sydney Street in Chelsea. The name refers to Dettori’s outstanding achievement of riding seven (Italian: sette) consecutive winning runs, all in one day in 1996 at the Ascot races.
Sette’s head chef Stefano Stecca shares a similar fascination with Italian food, and he shows it in his eclectic menu. However, Stecca does admit that he spoils and favors cuisines from his homeland of Rimini. He said recently that his menu is “based on my region with its abundant fish and seafood heritage, but I have a great love of pasta.”
This is not Stecca’s first experience in the culinary arts. He has previously been involved with helping Arkady Novikov pre-launch his own Italian restaurant in Mayfair, while more recently serving as consultant chef for the launch of Blummyz, another Chelsea-area venue.
The Sette menu can include any Italian classic, from cuttlefish to vitello tonnato, from linguine with lobster to Stecca’s own fish soup cooked Rimini-style (complete with cuttlefish, scampi, clams, scrab, mussels and tripe).
If you love Italian food, we highly suggest checking out this spot. We had a quick word with chef Stecca about his thoughts on the launch and his future plans.
Is Italian food your specialty? What is your favorite food to prepare and why?
I am from Rimini on the east coast of Italy so that is my cuisine and spirit. We eat a lot of fish and pasta there, so that is probably at the heart and soul of my cooking. My love of cooking meat came later in life.
How did you and Frankie Dettori meet and plan to work together? What are you looking forward to most about the experience of working on Sette?
We met through the manager, Umberto Scomparin, who had heard that I was looking for a new challenge, so I met with Frankie and Umberto and took it from there. We are all from areas close to the sea, so that probably formed the bond between us, apart from the fact that we are true Italians. The challenge that I rose to was to establish an Italian restaurant in the heart of Chelsea where there is plenty of competition built up over 40 years. Hopefully we can climb the food mountain, and so far we are getting a lot of return business.
Any kitchen disaster stories?
Of course not! When I was younger I soon learned that the kitchen offered no second chances, so I have always built a very strong team around me.
What is the most indispensable item in your kitchen?
Everything is essential, from the fridge to the range, but for me I also need a decent fryer that does not use a lot of fat, and a good bain-marie to boil the pasta just the way I want it. Preparation is also an essential item!
Have you always wanted to cook?
I always wanted to do it, so I am very happy in my job and my life.
What is one ingredient every home should have in their cupboard or refrigerator?
Decent olive oil. And remember to keep the ingredients as fresh as possible.
Are you affected by food reviews? What is your opinion on food writers?
We all have a job to do and I have been quite lucky, as they have been fairly good to me. If I get a negative comment, I try to examine it in a positive way and park the anger.
Of which dish are you most proud?
Probably my Riminese fish soup and my other seafood dishes.
What do you see for the future with Sette and your business relations with Mr. Dettori?
I hope that we can make a success of the brand and have a restaurant full of happy customers – then he is happy with me and we can move forward together. Frankie is a champion in his professional life, so I want him to feel the same about Sette as the rest of his career.
In addition to the delightful ambiance Detorri has created and the delicious food designed by Stecca, guests can also enjoy their small array of 50 all-Italian wines, comprised by wine expert and restaurant manager Umberto Scomparin. If you love good food, great wine and a fun time, you won’t want to miss out on the experience of Frankie Detorri’s Sette.
Image Credits: Sette