Name: Marco Leggitimo
Job title: Chef de Cuisine, Bussola
How long have you lived in Dubai?
Where do you like to hang out in Dubai when you’re not at work?
Kite Beach with my family and in different bars around Dubai with friends.
What’s your top tip for visitors to Dubai?
There are different kinds of “cities” in Dubai. Don’t stop only at the surface by visiting malls, beaches and futuristic constructions - go deeper where the soul of this city is laying: the Old Souk, Khor Dubai, the Heritage Village etc.
What one thing would you like to do in Dubai that you haven’t done before?
I’d love to go skydiving. And buy a small sailboat.
What career journey did you take before joining your restaurant?
I had been working in my family business in Italy from when I was studying hospitality. We were producing fresh pasta, pastry, deli and catering. Then I felt I wasn’t happy anymore and needed a change and so decided to follow what was my original plan since the younger age: To travel and see the world. I took on some opportunities around Italy, Sardinia, Milan and Rome. I got the chance to meet exceptional chefs and learn as much as I could from each of them.I arrived here in the Emirates thanks to my previous executive chef who asked me to follow him to Abu Dhabi in 2006. Back then I was in the pre-opening team of different concepts for Tatweer in 2009, then I was in charge of two restaurants at the Intercontinental Hotel Festival City: Mezzaluna and Zaytoun. In 2011 I moved to Bussola, the restaurant that I fell in love with! …and that is how “I got stuck” here in Dubai, instead of travelling, because here is where all the world passes by…
Why should Time Out readers try your restaurant?
Bussola is a place with soul. Here you can really feel at home, relax with family and friends or you can come and escape from your office for a lunch break while you enjoy fantastic views and clean your mind from all your worries. At Bussola, the ingredients do the talking. Freshness and taste are the key words.
What’s the best thing about dining at your restaurant in 2016?
We are implementing our a la carte menu with seasonal ingredients and every month we celebrate one in our “Sagra”.
Every second Saturday of the month we have La Notte Bianca – a truly Italian Aperitivoto be enjoyed with friends. We have the Chef’s Table, which is my Baby! If you really want to try truly our Bussola Cuisine this is an experience not to be missed, with a tasting menu of different dishes conceived and prepared by myself. No menus, no drama, no diet - you tell me what you like and I will tailor make a menu for you.
What’s your dish recommendation at your restaurant?
One recommendation is not enough! We make all our Pasta home-made, so that’s a definite must-try!
Aside from where you work, where else do you like to dine in Dubai and why?
I have a few favourite places: I visit Cucina Mia in JBR often - I also like El Sur and Spice Emporium at The Westin. But my favourite is Wox, a tiny corner in Grand Hyatt where the chefs cook in the middle of the restaurant so you can see all the action. You must try the Vietnamese Soup.
What is the best dish you’ve ever tasted in your life and who made it?
The Seafood soup that my Mum makes is awesome!