'MasterChef' finalist opens Italian resto in Davao

Subscribe Now April 17, 2013 at 08:24pm

As one of the top 10 finalists of Season 2 of “MasterChef,” a reality show in the US, Chef Giuseppe Morisco could have chosen to do the celebrity chef route: serve celebrities and start his own cooking show.

He has, after all, a restaurant in Chicago patronized by Hollywood actors, singers, and models.

But Chef Giuseppe, like many other foreigners, has fallen in love with Davao City's seafood. “They are so fresh,” he said. “You can’t go wrong with fish here.”

As a result, Chef Giuseppe has decided to stay in Davao City and give Pinoys a taste of his own cooking at the newly-opened Morisco Ristorante Italiano at SM Premier in Lanang.

“I hope the people of the Philippines will also enjoy my food,” he said.

At Morisco, Chef Giuseppe serves real Italian food that's healthy too.

“We see to it that the foods we are serving are good for everyone’s health,” said Chef Giuseppe, who came to open the restaurant early this month.

“We are using fresh vegetables and the finest cuts of meats. We get all these from trusted and reliable sources. As for other ingredients like pasta, cheeses, salami, Parma prosciutto, and even wine, (these) are imported from Italy. We want people to eat real Italian foods,” he said.

Chef Giuseppe came to the country late last year to visit his father, Gaitano Morisco, who now lives in the country’s largest city. Like him, his father is also a well-known chef who had opened restaurants in Hong Kong and Chicago.

“(My father) is one of the reasons,” Chef Guiseppe said on why he opened his first restaurant in Asia in Davao City and not in Metro Manila or Cebu. He also has an Italian restaurant in Santa Teresa in Costa Rica.

“I only manage the new restaurant here in Davao but it’s my son’s recipes that make up the menu,” the elder Morisco pointed out.

Chef Giuseppe said his menu at Morisco includes some of the most popular dishes all over the world but with an Italian twist added to them.

“We adjust a little bit to suit the taste of Filipinos, who are used to sweet and salty foods. But we are confident that the authentic traditional Italian foods will please Filipinos’ gustatory perception,” he said.

Among the antipasti the restaurant serves are Bruschetta (grilled bread rubbed with garlic topped with tomato and basil drizzled with olive oil), Insalata Caprese (layers of fresh sliced tomatoes, grilled zucchini and fresh mozzarella cheese finished with reduction of balsamic vinegar), Involtini di Zucchine (Zucchini roll ups with smoked cheese and ham), Parmiggiana alla Pugliese (sliced eggplant breaded and baked to perfection with fresh tomato sauce and imported Parmiggiano Reggiano), Insalata di Mare (seafood salad with shrimp, octopus, cuttlefish and calamari marinated with olive oil, celery, and parsley), Gamberetti alla Mediterranea (sauteed shrimp with wine served in Mediterranean style), and Tartare di Tonno (tuna tartare with avocado and tomatoes served over a cucumber crown).

The pasta dishes go beyond the usual Spaghetti Bolognese served in many restaurants. Morisco has Penne alla Crudaiola con ricotta salata (tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic and topped with Ricotta cheese), Rigatoni alla Norma (sauteed eggplant with fresh tomato sauce topped with ricotta cheese), Spaghetti alla Carbonara (sauteed with onion, pancetta, tossed in beaten egg yolks and Parmigiano Reggiano), Orecchiette al Ragu con Barolo (meat sauce cooked with barolo wine), Linguine all Sicilians (fresh tuna with capers and green olives), and Linguine di Mare (sauteed with shrimp, calamari, white wine, garlic and fresh tomato sauce).

There are also risotto dishes, pizza, and desserts, like the popular Affogato (vanilla ice cream served with a shot of espresso and shaved chocolate) and Panna Cotta (vanilla custard served with a caramel sauce), among others.

When asked if there is a signature dish in the menu, Chef Giuseppe replied, “All my dishes are like babies. You can’t choose favorites. You care about every dish.”

Chef Giuseppe is hoping that his restaurant will become one of the best in Davao City – if not the best.

“I believe in good food. I believe in our culture and tradition,” he explained. “I want people to feel that when they come to Morisco, (it is) as if they (have) come to Italy, too.” – Henrylito D. Tacio/KG, GMA News

Source: gmanetwork.com

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