Sunday, December 29, 2013

District 10 Bar & Restaurant at UE Square - The Chef Owner Luca Pezzera

Luca Pezzera 
Executive Chef/ Co-Owner of The Bontá Group of Restaurants 

The Culinary Enlightenment 
At the tender age of 14, Luca Pezzera - a native of Bergamo in North Italy, already decided that he wanted to be a chef the day that his neighbour treated him and his family home-made pizza for dinner. 




Bergamo, Northern Italy







His Culinary Education 
Luca Pezzera studied  to be a chef in the prestigious culinary school, I.P.A.S.(Istituto Professionale Alberghiero Statale translated as Institute of Hospitality State) San Pellegrino Terme, in the province of Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy. (Note I.P.A.S. is currently known as  I.P.S.S.A.R. San Pellegrino Terme). 

http://www.ipssarsanpellegrino.it/IPSSAR/

His Culinary Adventures 
Upon his graduation, Chef Luca Pezzera began his life long culinary journey that was to take him around the world – from Europe to Middle East and South-East Asia, where he practise, hone and refines his craft while on the job.    

At just 44 years of age, Chef Luca Pezzera has already accumulated an outstanding culinary expertise and experience, that spans more than 20 years' working at world renowned, award-winning restaurants, and had brought him to various ends of the globe, be it Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Scotland), or Middle East (Istanbul, Jordan, Dubai) and Asia (Jakarta, Singapore). 

The early phase of his culinary career in Europe centred on developing, refining his culinary skills, whilst the second phase of his career in Middle East saw him heading the famous Spasso Italian Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Istanbul in 1996.


He went on to launch the opening of L ‟Incontro Italian restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Amman in Jordan. 









In 2001 Chef Luca Pezzera was headhunted to oversee the operations of Italian restaurant Mosaico, as well as the terrace, lobby lounge and pool bar at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. 








In the year 2002, Chef Luca Pezzera realised his life long dream to work in Asia when he was headhunted to launch award winning Italian restaurant Scusa, which offers superb Italian cuisine in a trendy, yet casually elegant atmosphere. The open kitchen and wood burning oven rotisserie are among Scusa's main features. Scusa opens at the Jakarta MidPlaza, an InterContinental City Hotel in Jakarta.






As Executive Head Chef at Scusa, he spearheaded its operations and was instrumental in bringing Scusa to its current fame, earning him the title of Top 100 Most Influential People in Indonesia, conferred by the Indonesia Tatler. During his five-year working stint in Jakarta, Chef Luca Pezzera earned numerous awards and accolades, including :

  • Winner of the Black Box Competition 2005 (Jakarta Area), 
  • Winner of Indonesian Black Box Competition 2005, 
  • Winner of Regional Black Box Competition 2005 (Best Dessert Category) and 
  • Best Restaurant Award 2006 (Jakarta Kini). 

Famed for its excellent Italian fine-dining cuisine, Scusa was a favorite of many high profile individuals. At Scusa, Chef Luca Pezzera had the honor of cooking for head of states such as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  
and King Abdullah II Bin Hussein and his Queen, 
 

as well as celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and Catherine Deneuve. His amiable personality garnered him a fan base of Indonesian socialites and businessmen, who until today remain loyal customers.

In 2007, a customer from Singapore visited Scusa and proposed to Chef Luca Pezzera to operate an authentic Italian restaurant in Singapore with him as Head Executive Chef and Co-Owner. He took up the challenge and established Bontá Italian Restaurant & Bar in March 2007. 
Bontá meaning "the origin of goodness” in Italian, is located amidst the bustling wine and dine belt of the famed Mohammed Sultan Road. The restaurant specialises in Northern Italian cuisine with an assortment of dishes from other parts of Italy. 
“My cooking style focuses on the art of simplicity, using only top quality and fresh ingredients. I am largely influenced by the ingredients and cuisine of Northern Italy, preferring to retain the authenticity of the dishes, albeit with a modern touch,” says Chef Luca Pezzera, a native of Bergamo in North Italy. Also, realising the untapped potential of Bonta's alfresco space, Chef Luca launched B Bar by converting the space into an intimate 20-seater lounge serving Italian piccolo mangia, showcasing a casual yet stylish take on his famed cuisine. 

Under the Bontá Group, Chef Luca Pezzera also co-owns :
District 10 (in UE Square and The Star Vista), 

Trattoria Gallo D‟Oro, 

located at Central Mall with Chef Carlo Marengoni (below), a former executive chef of Ristorante Bologna at Marina Mandarin.


While running the daily operations of his restaurants take up most of Chef Luca Pezzera's time, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife and two children during his day off. For leisure, the outdoor fan travels to nearby countries to dive, ski, trek and is game for any outdoor adventure, and is ever ready to take a plunge – literally (bungee jumping). His biggest indulgence, fly fishing, 
has earned him bragging rights to a spot in My Paper where he shared his experience of fishing at Taahunaatara Bridge in New Zealand, with Miss Jill Alphonso, Lifestyle Editor, in May 2012. Since 2008, Chef Luca's classic Northern Italian creations have been featured in over 40 media such as The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, TODAY, Appetite, Epicure, Channel NewsAsia Singapore, and 938 Live.

River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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