Domenico Cicchetti, 41 years old, hometown — Trello, Italy, Mökki restaurant's chef
I began to be interested in different ways of cooking since childhood. My brother is engaged in the production of wine, my mother in the production of olive oil. I have always been active in the food and beverage industry. We can say this is a way of thinking with an emphasis on food.
I started cooking at an early age because I always watched how my mother cooks. I was ten years old when I made my own tomato sauce. In Italy, it is a normal thing. We can say, it was my first dish.
Four years I studied at the Italian cooking school. I studied Italian cuisine there. I was 19-20 years old when I started working. In the summer season I worked on the coasts, and in winter I went to mountain resorts. I was 25 when I went to work abroad. I have been to Spain, UK, South America and Asia.
Last years I worked in private companies, in restaurants. However, the last place I worked was a huge hotel in Macau, the Venetian Hotel and Casino — a complex that includes a casino, 3,000 rooms, 11 restaurants.
I prefer working in restaurants. I have less experience in hotels.
For the first time, I came to Kazakhstan in January 2018 to get acquainted with the restaurant and conduct testing. I remember there was minus 25 degrees in Astana and plus 15 degrees in Macau. But I was unsurprised because I heard about Kazakhstan: about the football team «Astana», which plays in the Europa League, about the team of cyclists, about Vinokourov. For us, cycling is an interesting sport because in Italy there is Giro d'italia, in France — Tour de France, in Spain — Vuelta, and my brother and I follow it with interest.
Kazakhstan is a huge country in its territory. Astana is a new city, and it is only 20 years old. And everything changes quickly. Especially because there are many people with money. Everything around is quickly built up with new buildings, and Astana is actively growing.
The Ritz-Carlton, Astana is the best hotel not only in Kazakhstan but also in Asia.
I am happy to be in Astana, and not only because my home is only seven time zones away.
I believe we should use the chances that life gives us. Even if you're 41, you can't be afraid of risks. I moved, and now everything is fine.
The first thing I met in the city was the Ritz — Carlton hotel, Astana. I arrived at the restaurant Mökki to find out what eat the people of Kazakhstan. I realized we had a lot in common. For example, the attitude towards meat. Local manty is similar to Italian ravioli.
Probably, it is also important I came to Kazakhstan from China. Chinese food is very different from my usual food. Even the range in the shops is different.
In Astana, if I go to Keruen, to Galmart, I know I will find there the usual Barilla paste — the simple thing that I could not find in China. Supermarkets have many kinds of cheese, bread, which I like. I can also find here the whole shelf with a salad.
I think I gained some weight after I had come to Kazakhstan — there is too much delicious food here.
I like visiting MEGA Silk Way. I go there because it's still cold outside. I have a daughter, and she is 4.5 years old. There are plenty of places for kids to play. I leave her there, and I spend time with my wife. I was also at the Khan Shatyr. There's a big playground with dinosaurs.
I live in Highvill, and there's a Park near my house. I'm waiting for it to get warmer to walk with my family. I like the apartment I live in. If you compare with China, the apartment is more spacious. There are small apartments, no ovens, no dishwashers. When my wife saw the dishwasher in the kitchen, she was glad.
My daughter goes to the local school QSI International School of Astana. There she learns Russian. We can say my daughter is a cosmopolitan because she learned Chinese, now learns Russian, and my wife is Brazilian, I am Italian. I speak Italian at home, but in response, I can hear phrases in Portuguese or English. For us, this is normal, but people who can hear us, for example, in a restaurant, will not understand exactly what language we speak.
In Kazakhstan, the European influence is felt more than the Asian one.
I'm comfortable here. Even if we talk about people. We have clients who know what they want. They are sociable and like to talk. In China, I faced a wall of misunderstanding. The Chinese have a very different culture, which did not allow us to understand each other. But I learned something new every day. It was interesting, but I didn't feel at home there. For me it was unusual. I don't want to go back to work, just for the rest.
Because of the fact that Kazakhstan is a new country, people are different. But I can say I open up to them, they open up to me, and it's pretty simple.
I plan to stay in Astana because my wife is pregnant. Next month we are waiting for the addition to the family. I think everything is gonna be okay.