Certo's Daniele Capobianoco

We meet 32-year-old Italian in our second Chef confidential


Describe your personality.
I’m a simple person, honest with people, and very friendly.

And your cooking style?
I like to see things made in a precise way, but I’m open to change. My cooking style is rustic, but at the same time it’s also well presented.

What are you like in the kitchen?
I’m usually calm, but can be very fierce if I need to be.

What items do you currently have in your fridge at home?
Mullet roe, eggs, parmesan, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, salad, yoghurt, salami, sherry fish, beef and chicken.

What was the last meal you cooked for yourself?
Spaghetti with mullet roe and tomato, and sherry fish with thyme, potatoes and cherry tomatoes.

What was the last meal you had cooked for you?
Chicken with rice, coconut milk, lemongrass and tomato salad with white cabbage – it was cooked by a friend of mine and was pretty tasty, though it had a little too much coconut milk for my liking.

Who would you like to cook your last meal on earth? My mother. What dish would you be happy never to eat again?
Fried grasshopper.

Chinese or Indian?

Describe Dubai’s dining scene in three words…
Fresh, authentic, modern.

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be…
A painter.
Certo is open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Radisson Blu Dubai Media City (04 366 9111).

Daniele’s recipe of the week, in 30 minutes or less

Red snapper with sautéed fennel, saffron sauce and crispy fried potatoes

‘This is a healthy dish that’s surprisingly easy to prepare at home. It also offers a great combination of flavours and textures.’

Ingredients (for two)
180g Red snapper fillet
100g Potatoes
100ml Extra virgin olive oil
30g Butter
100g Fresh fennel
10g Rosemary

1 Boil the potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes until soft in the middle (check by piercing with a fork).

2 Once ready, peel the potatoes and cut them into circular-shaped slices, approximately 0.5cm thick.

3 Steam or blanch the red snapper for six minutes. Tip: when buying red snapper, ask the fishmonger to debone it for you, then take the bones with you.

4 Boil 750ml water with the fish bones for 10 minutes to make a stock.

5 Filter the stock. Add a small amount of saffron and let it cook for a further 10 minutes. Then add the butter and the rest of the saffron.

6 Fry the potatoes with the oil and rosemary until crispy and golden.

7 Slice the fennel in ‘julienne’ style (thin strips similar to matchsticks), then sauté lightly.

8 To serve, place the potatoes on the plate, with the red snapper on top. Add the fennel, then pour on the stock (with fish and butter).

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