Chef-director of the Michelin one-star Tosca di Angelo at The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, Chef Angelo Agliano is embarking on an exciting partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong to unveil his latest gastronomic endeavor, Scena di Angelo.
It is at Scena di Angelo where he will showcase his brand of Mediterranean cuisine, featuring seafood and dishes from a Sicilian chef’s expertise of cooking with Italian coastal flavors.
About Scena di Angelo & Chef Angelo Aglianó
Introducing Chef Angelo Agliano, a culinary virtuoso whose journey from humble beginnings in Sicily has led him to great heights around the world.
The son of a fisherman found himself enthralled by the frenetic energy of a restaurant at the tender age of 14. That spark propelled him forward, leading him to pursue a professional career as a chef. Through years of dedication, culinary education, professional experience, and a superstar mentor (Joël Robuchon), Chef Angelo’s meteoric rise was inevitable.
“In middle school I worked at a restaurant in Milan. I made coffee and pizza, went into the kitchen, went wherever I was needed. Instead of coming home for dinner, I went to the restaurant. It drove my mother crazy. I was 14. My passion for restaurants was so strong, I could not resist,” said Chef Angelo.
It was during his transformative stage at the Four Seasons in Milan that Chef Angelo’s palate truly came alive as he immersed himself in the world of haute cuisine. Then, it was at the esteemed Il Carpaccio at the Le Royal Monceau hotel in Paris, where Chef Angelo achieved his first Michelin star at the age of 27.
A pivotal moment came when he had the honor of preparing a meal for the legendary Joël Robuchon on his 60th birthday in 2006 at Il Carpaccio. With a standing ovation from Mr. Robuchon himself for his exquisite risotto, Chef Angelo received the ultimate seal of approval. Chef Angelo later sought out Mr. Robuchon as a mentor and worked for Joël Robuchon restaurants for eight years.
“We kept in contact until he passed away. He was so kind. He was a master, a father—he gave me a lot,” said Chef Angelo about Joël Robuchon.
Today, Chef Angelo reigns supreme at Michelin one-star Tosca di Angelo. But his aspirations go beyond the confines of a single restaurant. With Scena di Angelo, his partnership with Ritz Carlton hotels, Chef Angelo is ready to embark on a global journey. Through Scena di Angelo, he seeks to bring the rich flavors of Mediterranean cuisine to a wider audience.
Chef Angelo carving the Seabass Baked in Salt Crust.
Interview with Chef Angelo Agliano
Tell me about your origin story and culinary journey.
After I finished school, I had the chance to work at the Four Seasons in Milan, doing my stage. Then it was Paris, a big cooking school, and many countries after that. When I was 26 or 27, I got my first Michelin star at Il Carpaccio, Le Royal Monceau.
I organized the 60th birthday of Joël Robuchon at my restaurant in Paris (Il Carpaccio). He invited all his chef friends, each chef with 2 to 3 stars each, a dinner for a total of maybe 30 stars… it was a challenge! It went smoothly, and Mr. Robuchon was very happy about my risotto. Just so happens I was looking for a master to learn from, and it was Mr. Robuchon. (Editor’s Note: Angelo worked at Lenôtre before joining Joël Robuchon restaurants in 2007.) I joined Robuchon in Monaco, then Hong Kong and Taipei. I left at 36 with his blessing to start on my own path.
Then I had the opportunity to work with The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong to open Tosca di Angelo. The idea developed into extending this concept into other Ritz Carltons around the world. The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong is the first extension of “di Angelo”. Chef Gary Hong is the Resident Chef (of Scena di Angelo) here in Shanghai; he has worked with me since the beginning in Hong Kong.
How different will Scena di Angelo be compared to Tosca in Hong Kong?
The concept in Hong Kong is fine dining. It’s elevated, there’s a lot of caviar, et cetera, and (the food) requires heavy research and development on finding rare ingredients.
If I wanted to do something from home (at Tosca), like more Sicilian, I would not be able to. At Scena di Angelo I have more freedom. What I do here (Scena di Angelo) is to bring the soul of my food to the table.
Freshness is very important when it comes to Mediterranean cuisine. We have to adapt in terms of sourcing these fresh products, especially seafood, the heart of Mediterranean cuisine. There is some amazing local grouper for example. Even in Sicily or in Europe, I’ve never used this type of (local) grouper before, it’s really sweet and tender, instead of what I’m used to, which is tight or fibrous. There is such a wide variety of vegetables (in China), too.
What’s on the menu at Scena di Angelo? Which dishes are you excited about?
Norwegian salmon with Mediterranean flavors, paired with fennel salad and citrus juice, flavors that you would find during summer in Italy. We do a water brine to marinade the salmon so it keeps in all the flavors and doesn’t dry out.
There’s a pasta with scampi from New Zealand. For the fish, there’s the branzino crosta di sale, a whole fish crusted in salt and baked. It’s made the same way as we would in our beautiful island of Sicily.
There are several dishes that are representative of Italian food culture. The next season will feature pumpkin, chestnuts, and other seasonal ingredients.
Anything else you’d like to add?
My soul, no matter where I go, is Sicilian. Scena di Angelo is Mediterranean food, mostly Italian, but sometimes I just want to make a terrine, so it (Mediterranean) is just a designation.
The main goal for me is to cook a meal (for guests) that they will remember—to create a memory. It’s the food, the hospitality, the ambiance—where you stop everything else to enjoy the moment.
The Food at Scena di Angelo
Scena di Angelo also has a five-course degustation menu for ¥1,288 net.
The menu includes five signature dishes, featuring the Angus Beef Carpaccio, Spaghetti Chittara with Scampi, Mediterranean Grouper Soup, New Zealand Lamb Chops or Australian Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, and Tiramisu.
Nomfluence Readers Deals
Nomfluence readers can book via the link below to receive a complimentary tiramisu with dinner. Deal is valid until December 30, 2023.
- Complimentary tiramisu (worth ¥88) when dining in for dinner; limited to one per booking.
Scena di Angelo
Address: 52/F, The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong, 8 Shiji Dadao 陆家嘴世纪大道8号国金中心上海浦东丽思卡尔顿酒店52楼
Hours: Mon-Fri, 12pm-2pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm; Sat-Sun, 12:30pm-3pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm