Chef Douglas Santi originally hails from Bergamo in northern Italy where his passion for food was instilled at a young age.
Douglas began his career at the age of 13, working for Laurent Saudeau, the right hand man of acclaimed chef Paul Bocuse.
In 1999 Santi took on the role of sous chef, working with Alain Ducasse at the renowned Louis XV in Monaco.
Over the last decade Douglas’ experience has reached across the globe having worked and led kitchens in some of the world’s greatest culinary destinations including Monaco, Paris, New York, Sao Paulo and most recently in London.
Douglas is an accomplished executive chef having set up and run kitchens around the world.
The secret to developing a successful menu according to Douglas is ‘a healthy respect for the concept’.
This is to say – that the executive chef should have a key role in developing or evolving any new restaurant concept and making sure that the idea is genuinely unique and exciting.
The truly successful concepts are where there is true passion and knowledge built into the concept – and a healthy respect then followed in the food and the menu.
That is to say – if the concept is comfort food – cook comfort food. If it is gastronomique – cook gastronomique!
Douglas is a true believer in spontaneous cooking – where one cooks on the spot, in the moment.
It leads to some of the most amazing combinations and flavours – where inspiration is drawn from the people who are eating and the ingredients on the table.
Its about true artisinal food – “Where you use the best you can find in the moment. It is cooking without rules. Its true freedom.”
Often when cooking for guests at home – Douglas prefers to cook this way – No menus or plans just quality ingredients and spontaneity. It leads to the most exciting dishes and flavour combinations.
This is the type of cooking he enjoys the most.
This is a very special piece of art for Douglas – it was specially commissioned as part of his own restaurant in San Paolo. It was was painted by one of Brazil’s foremost artists Paolo Von Poser.
It depicts ‘the warrior’ – in Brazil the ‘Guerreiro’ is the hunter gatherer in ancient tribal society. He is the hunter in charge of bringing food to the family.
This is deeply symbolic to Douglas as the most the humble chef often needs to play this role in urban communities.