The Italian Chef has managed to bring his childhood memories back to the restaurant in los Cabos. Choosing local ingredients that create the perfect dish for any Italian cuisine lover, in one of the must beautiful beaches in Mexico.
Name: Christian Ricci
Title: Executive Chef / F&B Manager – IV Hotel & Culinary School I.P.S.S.A.R. “Amerigo Vespucci”
City you live in: Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S.
Most recent city visited… Ensenada/Tijuana, B.C. – Valle de Guadalupe Winery Tour
A typical day in my life includes… A fast breakfast, shore fishing at THE Pacific Ocean, checking my inbox and buying from local food dealers, having a look at the garden at Pícaro, getting ready to receive customers in the restaurant and trying new combination with food.
I was born in… Rome, Italy.
When I was younger, I wanted to be… a professional Sport Fisherman, Chef and Architect.
My first job was… As a dishwasher and helper in a Roman Trattoria when I was 14.
What where you inspired by when creating the menu for Pícaro? The flavor and dishes I had on my travels and childhood, the honest back-in-time of traditional dishes with personal touch to re-create this feeling about eating at home with my grandma; discovering local products and using all the sustainable resources from the ocean and land, and sometimes it is just new ideas that come in the least expected moment but that I am ready to catch and try!
What is your favorite dish from the menu and what’s the story behind it? Every time they ask me this I say that: “there are no favorites to me, I’m in love with all of them”… but there is probably one of them in this actual menu, I could possibly eat every day: our version of the classic Panzanella. It’s an historical Italian dish from Florence, but I guess you can find it in most Italian houses, just the simple combination of dry bread getting wet by a glorious and simple ingredient like a tomato. We re-elaborated the original recipe with the combination of local tomatillos and different organic tomatoes (like a tomato festival!) and cucumber. Adding just some fresh mint and extra virgin olive oil makes it very refreshing, a little sweet-sour and addictive.
How would you describe Pícaro in one word? I would probably need more than one. To me it was a dream project that came true, the feeling and sensation I still have from the customers and all the people that work with us, makes me feel alive every day, maybe AMAZING could work?
How is Picaro social and environmentally responsible? We are 100% committed to every single person that works with us, we care about their personal growth and goals, we promote an internal campaign about less food and plastic waste and re-using, specially in the agriculture (compost, germination process, etc), by using local products, having a responsible use of ocean resources (protection of the sport fishing and reef species, just line caught), and using only bio disposable product for take away. At the moment of the construction we saved 98% of local and endemical flora and it also became part of the garden project, protecting fauna (we have hiding feed and water spots for deer, desert squirrel and iguanas) and by use of only natural pest control (cinnamon, rosemary, etc.).