Hailing from the Genoa based family of Italian restaurateurs with tradition, Riccardo Belloni has dedicated his whole life in excelling his restaurant management skills.
As the General Manager at Scalini, Belloni has held the position for the last two years to elevate the culinary experience with his unwavering hospitality and dedication to ensure each dish is crafted to perfection.
By putting the quality of ingredients at the forefront, Scalini has established itself as one of the most-loved Italian restaurants in the region and globally.
Located in The Four Seasons Resort on Jumeirah Beach Road, the restaurant brings its diverse heritage from London and Italy to the UAE.
To delve into his culinary journey and explore how Scalini has made a mark globally, Emirates Man spoke to Belloni to understand how it all began.
Talk us through your career?
I view my journey in the hospitality industry as a lifelong commitment that I made during the formative years of my life. My upbringing revolved around a family-owned restaurant in the charming city of Genova. As a young child, I eagerly began assisting my family in various capacities, and over time, my contribution evolved into a formal role, which eventually blossomed into a fulfilling and enduring career. This unique upbringing instilled in me a deep passion for hospitality and a genuine appreciation for the art of creating memorable experiences for others.
Explain to us about your role as General Manager at Scalini.
Scalini holds a special place in my heart, reminiscent of my family’s restaurant in Italy, and I manage it with the same level of dedication and care as if it were my own. Occasionally, I might become overly invested in the operation, a trait some might consider a flaw, but so far, it has proven to be a strength. I believe in fostering a vibrant and positive atmosphere within my team, infusing the workplace with my frequent smiles.
Your background hails for the Genoa based family of Italian restauranteurs – how has this impacted your love for restaurants?
Zeffirino, my family’s restaurant, was more than just a place—it was my home. It taught me that a restaurant is more than a business; it’s where you share precious moments with loved ones and create lifelong memories.At Scalini, we’ve embraced this ethos, forming a tight-knit family within our team. We prioritize taking care of each other, ensuring a positive and nurturing work environment.
Ingredients play a key role in the quality of food – tell us more about where they are sourced from at Scalini?
At Scalini, we understand that the quality of our ingredients is just as crucial as the expertise of the individuals who handle them. Our commitment is to source ingredients exclusively from Italy. Our profound knowledge and deep connection with our country enable us to consistently secure the best available products.
Tell us about the hero dishes at the restaurant?
Our cherished Tagliolini with truffle in a Parmesan wheel is a guest favorite, but at Scalini, we’re always evolving. While upholding our brand standards, we grant our chefs the creative freedom to craft new monthly dishes showcased on our Regioni del Gusto special menu. And if our guests truly adore a creation, we may even add it to our A la carte menu.
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What makes Scalini different from other Italian restaurants in Dubai?
Scalini is a well-established neighborhood restaurant since five years, and it stands out in Dubai’s growing Italian dining scene. Our strength lies in delivering consistent flavors, warm hospitality, and an exceptional dining experience that feels like home. I always tell my team; guests don’t just seek a meal, but memorable experiences. This commitment sets us apart, ensuring our guests leave with a unique and lasting memory.
How has the UAE’s F&B industry evolved over the years?
Having arrived in the UAE just two years ago, I’ve witnessed a remarkable surge in the opening of F&B outlets, including renowned Michelin-starred chefs setting up restaurants in prime locations. Dubai’s rapid ascent in the hospitality industry has exceeded my expectations. I believe that the country’s leadership is committed to maintaining its position at the forefront, and I anticipate that this influx of esteemed restaurant names to Dubai is just the starting point for even greater developments in the future.
Scalini is situated at the Restaurant Village in Four Seasons Jumeirah making it a hub for culinary havens. How has this positively impacted the restaurant.
The presence of the Four Seasons has had an exceptionally positive impact on Scalini. Being situated in this prestigious location brings both honor and a significant responsibility. The standards and guest expectations in this area are exceedingly high, demanding our unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch service at all times.
What lies ahead for the future of the restaurant?
Our restaurant will continue to prioritize consistency and extend a warm welcome to our guests, ensuring they always feel at home in the years ahead. Our ambition is to be the top choice in our category of family restaurants, where our ultimate goal is to see guests return and become cherished members of our extended family.