ITALIAN FOOD RULES – IL PONTE, HILTON COLOMBO
BY VIDYA B
August 26, 2016
Italian Chef, Il Ponte- Chef Massimo Zampar
With several years of experience in Italian restaurant kitchens around the world, Chef Massimo Zampar is a passionate exponent of authentic Italian cooking. Since he took over the reins at Il Ponte nearly a year ago, the menu has acquired a decidedly sharper focus, with ample representation for Italian ingredients such as Parma ham and other cold cuts; cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano and Asiago; stubby Carnaroli rice for risotto and an array of homemade pastas. We had a brief chat with him about what to expect from the menu at Il Ponte:
What would you say are the must-try dishes at Il Ponte right now?
I would recommend trying the Italian veal chop, served with a pepper sauce. You can’t find that easily in other places in the city. The ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and ricotta in a cheese sauce is also one of our signature dishes, along with the risotto with prawns or chicken. Our thin-crust pizzas are also very popular.
How would you describe your culinary style?
I like to make healthy food that is good value for money. I dislike fast food, which just spoils the market with low prices and poor quality. I’d like our customers to enjoy good quality food and authentic flavours at a reasonable price
Where do you source your ingredients from?
We import the cold cuts, all the cheeses, olive oil, some of the pastas and meats, and also the tomatoes for our sauces. All the seafood, vegetables and staples such as basil and tomatoes are bought locally.
Without giving away too much, could you tell us the secret to a great tomato sauce?
You need good quality tomatoes to begin with, along with onions, garlic, basil, good olive oil and a little sugar, and you have to let it boil slowly for an hour or longer.