February’s – ‘The Love Issue’ – Download Now

Il Borro’s Head Chef Fulvio Opalio spoke to us about his love for Italian cuisine and why working for the brand has changed his life.

Can you talk us through your career history?

​I’ve been always curious about cooking and food so I decided to go to the culinary school. After a few experiences in Italy, I decided to leave and I went to the Bahamas at the age of 18 to work for one of the most luxurious hotels in the Caribbean. I moved back to Europe one year later and went to Spain and Greece before moving to Dubai in 2011 joining BiceMare. I then decided to try a new hotel experience in Palazzo Versace during the opening period right before moving to Roberto’s for an amazing two years. Finally, I reached Il Borro and I can definitely say that it changed my life. 

Where does your love for food originate?

​To be honest, there is not a particular time or event happened, I’ve just always dreamt of becoming a chef since I was a child. I always thought it would give me the chance to travel the world. Then at school, I understood that it really was my calling.

What eventually brought you to Dubai?

​At the time I was in Greece and I found an announcement of recruiting chefs to work in Dubai and I applied for it. After a few weeks of interviews and e-food tasting, I moved to Dubai. A few years after moving here I found an interesting post on my Facebook memories from 2008. The post said, “I don’t know when, but one day I will work in Dubai.” It’s funny because that’s what happened exactly three years later.

What do you love about what you do?

I love the chance to work with an amazing team, to be always under pressure to make things better every day. I love the challenges.

How does the food and beverage industry in Dubai differ from other places around the world?

​The biggest difference about Dubai is the attention to the details and the variety of influences from around the world.

What are the hero dishes, in your opinion, at Il Borro?

​We have to have a very varied menu as we try to accommodate everyone’s taste, but we also must not forget our “traditions”. If I had to pick particular dishes I would choose carpaccio di Barbabietola, our marinated beetroot carpaccio with figs and goat cheese; polpo alla Griglia, the crispy and tender octopus with potatoes salad; tortelli alla zucca e tartufo nero, our signature homemade tortelli filled with pumpkin and a generous shave of black truffle; pici all’aglione, the traditional Tuscan homemade thick spaghetti with organic cherry tomato sauce and garlic; bistecca alla fiorentina, the queen on our menu, 1.3kg of chianina beef grilled in the charcoaled oven; and last but not the least our famous cheesecake – to die for! Here’s a complete set menu for you!

Who would you say your chef inspiration is?

All the chefs I have worked with in previous years have been really important for me and all of them inspired me.

What are the hurdles you’ve experienced during your career?

I really consider myself a very lucky person, husband and dad. We all face challenges in our lives, it’s just a matter of how we react to them. For sure, I can say that 2020 was the toughest year ever, full of unexpected events.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, what are the milestones?

​I’m only 30 years old and no milestones yet achieved, but I have laid the foundations of my career and Il Borro gave me this beautiful chance. I have many more years ahead and many dreams and aspirations to make them a reality. Only when I retire will I look back and say, “Yes, I did it!”

What do you see next for Il Borro Dubai?

​​The brightest future ­– we have just begun this journey and year by year we are becoming stronger and stronger.

This is ‘The Love Issue’ – what does love mean to you and how do you plan to instil love into your life throughout 2021?

Love is many things. Love is loyalty. Love is unselfishness. Love is family. Love is everything we want love to be. My plan is only to give more time to my family throughout 2021.

February’s – ‘The Love Issue’ – Download Now

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