Chef at iL Posto 97
My name is Luca Marinelli. I’m a chef of the Italian restaurant Il Posto 97 in Hong-Kong.
I was born on the 30th of March 1985 in Varese, North-Western Lombardy, in northern Italy. As my parent separated since I was young, I was raised by my mother in Varese, and during weekends say every 2 weeks I would alternate and spend time with my father who lived in Milan.
I grew up playing sports, I was into basketball from 6 to 15 years old, then I switched to football when I was 16 until now. I was a quite a cheeky and mischievous kid at school, I could never sit still and didn’t quite fit into the academically based schooling system there, but my favourite class was geography and PE.
Being raised by my single full-time working mother, I often helped around the home, and weekends at home with mum in Varese, we bonded a lot in the kitchen. So incidentally in Italian culture «La cucina ‘e il cuore della casa» which means the kitchen is the heart of the home in English. I would observe, watch, help out my mum and learn in the process in whatever dish she is preparing. This was where I got inspired and sparked my interest and passion to cook. We would have home-cooked gatherings with friends and neighbors.
I would play matches every Saturday and bring my friends home afterwards to savour mum’s homemade crostata (typical Italian home baked fruit tart), piping hot and ready to eat when we arrived.
I remembered weekend visits to my dad’s; spending quality time with him and his friends on Sundays watching football on TV, playing the popular Italian card game known as Briscola (a deck of 40 cards played by 2 to 6 players), and checking out historical sights of Milan.
I started working since 15, the highlights of my most memorable moments was when I finally got accepted as a full-time team member become Chef de Partie in 2005 at a well reputed 2-Michelin Star acclaimed restaurant – Uliassi. After my apprenticeship period, of putting my blood, sweat and tears into proving myself, and finally achieving approval by the team it was an amazing feeling.
I respect the important of developing a relationship with co-workers with an open mind, understanding and respecting each other’s differences, we are individuals from different walks of life, and it takes patience, determination, trial and error to overcome obstacles.
I love seafood, and it’s quite hard to narrow it down, but definitely fish soup (almost any fish), and seafood casserole. My favourite flavours are bitter (similar to endives or lemon rind) and sour (akin to lemons’ acidity).
On my days off I enjoy spending time with my partner, enjoying a relaxing weekend breakfast making a great cup of coffee, or going to have really good quality gourmet dim sum in town. I also play football once a week, boat trips in the summer and hiking. Me and my father are die hard fans of Juventus; I’ve followed them since I was 5 years old.
My Dish calls “Banana Cake 2014”. I was inspired by my mother’s home-made banana cake, and reinterpreted as my own version, with a gourmet twist to it.
iL Posto 97
UG/F, 9 Lan Kwai Fong, Central District, Hong Kong
Tel: (65) 6444 9672
iL Posto 97 is an upbeat, unpretentious and modern restaurant, serving contemporary Italian cuisine. The stylish bar serves a selection of cocktails and wines, 90% of which originate from Italy. Adjoining the bar area is a comfortable private room suitable for up to 12 guests. Contemporary cooking style and presentation designed to impress. Light sauces and exotic flavours add an international twist to his dishes, which ensures that guests have the pleasure of enjoying sweet, bitter and sour elements in one bite.