Cucina, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel’s authentic Italian restaurant, celebrates the return of two-time Pizza Acrobatics world champion, Chef Pasqualino Barbasso, from 21 to 26 March. Chef Pasqualino will wow diners with a fun-filled gourmet experience that brings together dough-spinning acrobatics and month-watering Italian pizzas with vegan, meat and seafood toppings.
Chef Pasqualino started his pizzaiolo career at his family’s pizzeria in Sicily when he was 17. He was named the world champion for pizza acrobatics in 2001 and again in 2002. Chef Pasqualino has showcased his gravity-defying dough-spinning moves in France, the UK, Russia, China, Indonesia, India, Singapore and many other countries around the world. With more than 25 years of pizza-making experience, he now runs a pizza school with a mission to promote the art of Italian food culture.
Pizzaiuolo – the craft of Neapolitan pizza-making – requires a specific style of dough preparation and wood-fired baking. Spinning is the most important step, as it oxygenates the dough to create the crust’s famously light texture. The skill and dedication that go into this culinary practice have turned it into a time-honoured art that is now recognised around the world and even listed among UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list .
Following his showcases at Cucina in 2018 and 2019, Chef Pasqualino will return to Hong Kong and make an appearance at Cucina again from 21 to 26 March 2023. Diners can look forward to being entertained by his marvellous pizza manoeuvres during lunch and dinner periods.
Aside from the dough-spinning entertainment, Chef Pasqualino will also be serving his signature Neapolitan-style pizzas during his six-day guest residence at Cucina. The limited-time pizza menu will feature eight types of authentic Italian pies. Highlights include the Marinara (Lobster, Scallop, Prawn, Mussels, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella), which features bountiful flavours of the ocean, and the Della Locanda (Air-dried Beef, Burrata, Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, Cherry Tomato, Pine Nuts, Parmesan, Lemon Zest, which celebrates simple yet original Italian flavours. Another chef-recommended pie is the rich and delicious Golosona (Mortadella, Mozzarella, Burrata, Pistachio Pesto, Black Truffle), which has a pesto made with pistachios from Southern Italy.
Those who want a healthier indulgence can choose the vegetarian Rainbow (Vegan Cheese, Yellow Peppers, Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, Artichoke Purée) or the light yet satisfying Norvegese (Smoked Salmon, Ricotta Cheese, Mozzarella, Asparagus Purée, Parsley) Meat lovers, meanwhile, will delight in the rich and flavourful Winter (Pork Sausage, Spicy Salami, Mushrooms, Mozzarella, Smoked Cheese, Pumpkin Purée).
Chef Pasqualino will be in residence at Cucina from 21 to 26 March 2023. During the promotional period, Chef Pasqualino will perform pizza acrobatics at Cucina during lunch at 1:30pm and dinner at 7pm and 8:30pm. His authentic pizza menu will also be offered during lunch and dinner periods and will be served against a spectacular backdrop of Victoria Harbour.