Marco Caverni: Venetian Cuisine Graces The Mandarin Grill

Chef Marco Caverni | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Chef de Cuisine Marco Caverni joins the Mandarin Grill at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, bringing with him the cuisine of his Venetian-Tuscan heritage, with training from Venice, Milan and across Asia. We speak to Marco Caverni to find out more about the cuisine he makes.

Mandarin-Grill | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Marco Caverni: Chef de Cuisine of Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur

The Mandarin Grill is returning to its Italian grill roots with Marco Caverni, whose years training in the traditions of Venetian cuisine sees the creation of dishes indigenous to Venice such as the use of seafood, pasta and the use of the josper grill from his years working with meats.

Chef's Specialty | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I come from a small town near Venice, Italy. I started to cook looking at my parents, observing the two different styles of cuisine, because my mother is from Venice but my father is from Tuscany. It started as a “game” but then when I had the chance to work for a famous Chef in Venice, the “game” became passion and I never stopped since!

Carpaccio Di Manzo | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

What type of cuisine does Mandarin Grill serve?

Mandarin Grill serves Traditional Italian food with a modern twist and Mediterranean inspired Josper grilled premium steaks.

Tagliolini Al Nero Con Astice | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Please shed some light about your philosophy to cuisine?

My cuisine philosophy follow the Italian mantra: Use premium and fresh ingredients and enhance their quality with calibrated cooking techniques.

Cod | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

How would you describe your cuisine?

I would define my cuisine as modern Italian, I usually stick to the traditional dishes that made Italian food famous, especially from around Venice but I take a modern approach and I do not mind to pair them with more local flavours – my pandan leaf panna cotta with Sarawak pepper sauce is an example!

Ravioli Di Gamberi & Tagliolini Al Nero Con Astice | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Can you describe what Venetian cuisine is like?

Venetian cuisine is very rustic in a way and have a lot of influences from Asia thanks to the spices trade that Venice was famous to bring in in the past.  Geographically, Venice is on the sea but close to the beautiful Dolomiti mountains too, so this give me the opportunity to take a wide approach and propose dishes that goes from the mountains to the country side and from the sea of course. During the Venice carnival, the city becomes very colourful and this gave me the inspiration to make my dishes colourful too!

Steak | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

Tell us something unique about the Mandarin Grill that many might not know.

Mandarin Grill despite the name have a very Italian soul, there are many Italian dishes that complements our premium steaks selection, as well as premium Italian wines, some even served by the glass with Coravin. Despite our elegant setting we like to welcome our guest with the warmth that made Italian restaurants so famous in the world. And I do enjoy when guest inquires with me for something special, this gives me the chance to make full use of my knowledge and of the seasonal ingredients Mandarin Grill has.

Tiramisu | Marco Caverni | Mandarin Grill | Food For Thought

What are three of your signature dishes?

It’s difficult to name just three! Ha-ha, here’s six of my signature dishes here at the Mandarin Grill – the rosemary smoked dry aged steaks, the antipasto misto, the wagyu carpaccio, the tiramisu, and the Tagliolini lobster, and the tiger prawn ravioli with saffron.

Nicholas Ng

Nicholas Ng is a restaurant critic and drinks writer and is the editor of independent publication Food For Thought. He has been a freelance journalist for the 15 years and has previously worked as a lawyer and in digital marketing. He currently is the Principal Consultant of A Thought Full Consultancy, a food and beverage marketing consultancy.

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