What do you do and how did you get into this industry?
My name is Giuseppe Lioce, and I’m the executive chef of Nero Nero Italian Restaurant in Damansara City Mall. I was born into this industry as our family has a restaurant in my town of Bari, Italy. When I was five years old, I used to help my grandmother with her cooking, and she was the main reason I am in the industry today.
Share with us an interesting chef story.
When I used to work in Switzerland, I had the pleasure of meeting the world famous singer Tina Turner. I got to speak to her, and she asked me for a traditional Italian Pasta which I made for her. Happy to say she loved the pasta. In my travels around the world, I’ve been lucky to cook for prominent persons, and each experience has been enthralling.
What’s the best/worst part of your job?
I don’t take my job as a ‘job,’ it’s more of a passion for me. I love what I do, every aspect of the ‘job.’ There is nothing bad about being a cook. You’re an artist in the kitchen and able to make your creations which you can present to guests. I love the team that I’m working with at Nero Nero as they help me bring about the vision of the dish. I also love the people in Malaysia as I get to interact with them and explain each plate and tell the story of Italian cuisine.
What’s your favorite dish at Nero Nero?
Cavatelli Alla Marinara. Cavatelli is the first dish I introduced to the menu, and it has a sentimental value to me. It was the first dish that my grandmother taught me when I was young. Cavatelli is a southern Italian dish, and you can’t find cavatelli in a lot of Italian restaurants as it’s complicated to make. Each Cavatelli shell has to be made by hand. I’m happy to say it has become the top seller at Nero Nero.
What’s one of the wildest things you have seen behind the scene?
When I used to work in India, I had to cook for a wedding of more than 4000 people. It was a grand ceremony, and it was the first time I have seen such a huge wedding as in Italy it’s a very small ceremony.
The perfect day off…
… would be to explore the city. I’m falling in love with Kuala Lumpur and the range of food that’s on offer. The people, the places, the culture; it’s all wonderful, and I hope to explore Malaysia more.
What do you do for fun?
Football!!! I used to play a lot when I was younger, and it helps bring everyone together as well. We’re organizing our first match with the Nero Nero team this coming month!
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Nero Nero?
The team at Nero Nero believe in bringing our guests an authentic Italian experience with homemade and healthy food. We believe in an enjoyable atmosphere for guests to relax with fantastic homemade food and service. We believe that Nero Nero is unique compared to other Italian Restaurants in KL.
What’s your favorite food and wine pairing?
My favorite would be a good Italian wine, preferably pinot grigio paired with seafood; preferably salmon (Salmone alle erbe).
What’s your view on the food scene in Kuala Lumpur?
I still couldn’t explore a lot of eateries but I’m enjoying what I have tried so far. The curry puff is my favorite of the local food. In my short time, I did find that Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cultures and this brings about a lot of flavors and cuisines. I’m excited to know what’s in store as I get to explore more of the city and the country.
What’s in store for Nero Nero in the coming months?
We have some exciting plans for Nero Nero. We will be holding our second Grandmother’s Table Sunday brunch on March 4th. This is a new concept in KL where everyone will be seated at the same table, and you enjoy an array of rustic Italian cuisine with wine and beer. We hope to hold this on the first Sunday of every month. March we will also hold a wine dinner with homemade food from my town of Bari paired with wonderful wine. March we are finalizing a few events for the International Women’s Day as well. I’m also looking at holding an event for children where they learn to make simple Italian food like pizza and pasta to help create the next generations of chefs.