The Palazzo Medici Riccardi was the beautiful location for an encounter with Entiana Osmenzeza, executive chef of the prestigious Se.sto On Arno restaurant located in the Weston Exelsior in Florence. The interview was conducted by organizer Nicoletta Arbusti (Associazione Consonanze) and Prof. Silvia Guetta (University of Florence).
The Albanian born top chef spoke enthusiastically about the origins of her passion for cooking and her experiences working with great culinary masters like Alain Ducasse, Lidia Alciati and especially Fulvio Pierangelini.
In 2011 Osmenzeza started working as executive chef of the roof top restaurant known for its breathtaking 360° panoramic view over Florence. The menu of Se.sto On Arno reflects her culinary philosophy, with stylish and colorful dishes, using only biologically grown products of the highest quality. Osmenzeza believes in respecting product and nature by optimising purchases and throwing away as less as possible. She does not shy away either from experimenting with different styles and trends and has a particular interest in the vegetarian, vegan and raw food kitchen.
It’s hard work for a woman getting to the top of a line of work still dominated by men, and Entiana admits that she is always busy with her work, even on her days off. A culinary career requires great personal sacrifice. Partly because of the working hours it is therefore not easy maintaining a relationship with someone who doesn’t work in the culinary world.
A recent adventure took her to Copenhagen for an internship at Noma, the two Michelin star restaurant that for several years in a row has topped the list of the best restaurants in the world.
Entiana Osmenzeza can now be seen on Sky television as mentor of the ladies team in the first season of Carlo Cracco’s Hell’s Kitchen.
Click on the photos for a larger view.