Coronavirus Diaries: Head chef at Dubai's Luigia

We discuss negronis and cooking for those in need with Alfredo Albergatore

Alfredo Albergatore is head chef at Luigia at Rixos Premium Dubai
Alfredo Albergatore is head chef at Luigia at Rixos Premium Dubai

We catch up with Luigia's Alfredo Albergatore about his daily routine.

5:00am - My day always starts with a fresh orange juice made from the best Sicilian oranges, which sets me up for the day.

6:30am – For my daily exercise I either ride a bike for 50km or I play padel tennis with friends

9:30am - I arrive home, I get showered, and I’m ready for the day ahead. I start my working day with a fresh espresso on my terrace, which has a great view of the Marina. During this time is when I catch up on current news, which has been very close to me through the Covid-19 Pandemic. I’m originally from Florence, Italy, so I have been keeping up-to-date with everything happening in my native country during this difficult time. One of our regular customers at Luigia, Michele often sends me updates on WhatsApp from the newspaper of Florence, La Nazione.

11:30am - I start work and it’s time for our team zoom meetings. My meetings usually consist of catching up with the Luigia Team, it’s been very important to stay in contact and plan ahead during these times, we have had to support each other morally and keep positivity high throughout the team. We also speak to our suppliers in Italy, which is an important part of planning, especially now in the reopening phase. We are all working as a team to ensure we maintain the best products and how we cook them in the kitchen to when they are served on our customer's plate.

1:00pm – This is my favourite part of the day when I get to cook. This has been very important to me during this time. Cooking is my passion and my skill and I want to stay active by creating new ideas and dishes, some of these dishes I will propose for the next menu at Luigia. Twice a week I like to collaborate with the Chef Middle East suppliers and have been cooking for those in need during this pandemic.

4:00pm – I take some time out to ensure I have my daily read. Reading is something I love and make time for, lately, I’ve been focusing on leadership books as a way of upskilling myself.

5:00pm – It’s aperitif time on my magnificent terrace whilst watching the sunset and enjoying the Luigia negroni (with the secret recipe that the bartender Riccardo taught me) and enjoying some appetisers.

8:30pm – This time is dedicated to spending time with my wife, taking the positive of the lockdown situation and being grateful for this time, as usually in the evening I would always be working in the restaurant. I have used this time to cook her favourite dishes and spend time together, usually, we will then watch the latest Netflix series together.

11:00pm – It’s time for bed for a good night’s sleep and to be ready and fresh from the next day

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