Sophie Ritchie talks pizza cravings, career moves and the importance of a strong work ethic with Alessandro Scala, Executive Chef of Sumosan Twiga in Knightsbridge
What inspired you to become a chef?
I have always been passionate about the role and love the atmosphere you find in a kitchen. My first interaction with a working kitchen was via my older brother used to work as a pizza chef where I grew up. This helped to ignite my love for the industry!
Where did you train? Tell us more about your culinary background…
My first job ever was at fourteen when, while still at school, I worked as chef for a local restaurant. Before moving to London, I built my career up by working as chef in a variety of different 5 stars hotels in both Sardinia and North of Italy. I then moved to London where I joined the Michelin star restaurant Zafferano and later in my career joined the award-winning Coya.
What’s your favourite summer dish?
Something that I particularly enjoy, perhaps because it is related to my childhood, is seafood pasta. My friends father used to be a fisherman so from a young age I was lucky enough to be able to sample fish fresh from the sea! For me it’s a dish that is delicious and comforting in equal measure.
What can guests expect from a meal at Sumosan Twiga?
An exciting multicultural experience positioned between Italian and Japanese food.
What does hospitality mean to you?
The hospitality industry is my entire life. I have been in this industry for the majority of my life where I have had the pleasure of being able to explore different places and new cultures. Hospitality is a way to meet new and incredible people and gives you the opportunity to travel to exciting destinations.
Name your three favourite restaurants.
1 Locanda Locatelli
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs, especially during these difficult times?
When you first start in the industry you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. It certainly isn’t easy and requires a lot of work. My advice is that you need to work hard and keep going, as you will find some amazing opportunities along your journey which will make it all worthwhile. Keep following your dreams!
What do you think will be 2021’s biggest food trend?
I think 2021 has seen a shift from South American to Lebanese food. Middle East cuisine will probably be a focus alongside vegan and vegetarian cuisine. People have had the chance to think about their health during lockdown and healthy choices will definitely be a big trend moving forward.
Finally, what’s your favourite midnight snack?
Pizza! I could base my entire diet on eating pizza!
Find out more about Sumosan Twiga and make a booking here