People 2 minutes 19 December 2021

The First Day We Got Our Stars: Davide Garavaglia Of Côte By Mauro Colagreco

Freshly receiving a MICHELIN Star for Côte by Mauro Colagreco, Chef Davide Garavaglia shares his feelings and advice to up-and-coming chefs reaching for their stars.

People were excited for the 2022 Star Revelations from MICHELIN Guide Thailand. And, as many expected, when renowned three MICHELIN Star Mirazur from France opened Côte by Mauro Colagreco in the luxury hotel Capella Bangkok by the Chao Phraya River, a Star was born. One MICHELIN Star, that is.

Moments after hearing Côte by Mauro Colagreco received one MICHELIN Star, we caught up with Chef Davide Garavaglia, the 32 year-old Italian member of the award-winning team. We found out more about Garavaglia’s culinary journey, including that “starry” moment as well as his favourite tastes of Bangkok. He also shares a little advice for ambitious young chefs.

 The Day We Got Our Stars: Davide Garavaglia of Côte by Mauro Colagreco2.jpg

When did you realise that a MICHELIN Star was possible?
"I was actually pretty sure, even as we were planning to open the restaurant in Bangkok, that we would get a Star [laughing]. I say that because we were working to the strict standards of Chef Mauro Colagreco. He’s the first non-French chef to earn three MICHELIN Stars in France. Now, opening a restaurant during COVID was difficult, and Thailand’s situation itself was very different from Europe, which seemed more under control. Still, we opened in October 2020, and after a while, we believed that with our standards, we should get some recognition."

How are you feeling now?
"I feel significant, excited, and amazing. The direction we took reached the standards we wanted, and in return, we were recognised. Now, I feel very excited that this will be the beginning of many great things. It's wonderful for me and our hard-working team at Côte."

Could you share with us on your journey in becoming a chef?
"Some chefs may tell you they wanted to become a chef ever since they were a baby in the kitchen with their parents, but I grew up in a normal Italian family, it wasn’t that romantic. When I was 13, I didn't know what I wanted to be. I do remember a time when I wanted to be a pilot, but I didn't have enough money. So, my friend and I talked about learning hospitality instead. After a year, I fell in love with it. That’s where I bonded with food. Each opportunity to learn in the kitchen woke memories of when I was a child, remembering being in the kitchen with my grandpa. I remembered the smell. I spent a lot of time with him as a kid. Then I began working 12 hours a day, but each day inspired me more and more, focusing me. That's why I fell in love with this profession."

Davide Garavaglia at Mirazur with Chef Mauro Colagreco. (© Côte by Mauro Colagreco)
Davide Garavaglia at Mirazur with Chef Mauro Colagreco. (© Côte by Mauro Colagreco)

When did you first learn about the MICHELIN Guide?
"After my schooling, I worked at a two MICHELIN Star restaurant in Milan, Italy called D'O with Chef Davide Oldani. After that, I moved to London to work with Chef Pierre Gagnaire at Sketch, which has three Stars. Then, after working with Chef Mauro Colagreco at Mirazur since 2015, I was assigned to Côte by Mauro Colagreco in Bangkok. I have to say having worked at these restaurants helped me a lot, since they taught me to work at MICHELIN levels no matter what."

What does this MICHELIN Star mean for you? How will it impact your future plans?
"As I said on the stage, this award is not just for me. We wouldn't be successful with a Star without a good dedicated team. Now, we at Côte by Mauro Colagreco have one MICHELIN Star. It inspires us not only to maintain our standards but to work harder to achieve greater things, whether it’s another Star or whatever it may be."

How are you going to celebrate this?
"I don't know yet but I definitely will. I can't figure it out right now, but it will be with the team. That’s the best celebration."

The power behind the success of the newly-minted one MICHELIN Starred restaurant by the Chao Phraya River. (© Instagram / Côte by Mauro Colagreco)
The power behind the success of the newly-minted one MICHELIN Starred restaurant by the Chao Phraya River. (© Instagram / Côte by Mauro Colagreco)

Do you have any favourite restaurants in Bangkok?
“I like phad thai. It reminds me of Italian food, like pasta. I try to change things up and try new places. But I do especially like this one place in Chinatown and Baan Phad Thai that has a Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN Guide.”

What would you say to young chefs with dreams?

"I think we shouldn't think about goals too much but focus on the big picture, you know? I mean, it's nice to have a clear purpose for success, but don't forget work should give you happiness too. Be yourself in the kitchen and focus on making customers happy. And if you can show them who you are at the same time, then that's a plus."

CONTINUE READING: What MICHELIN Guide Inspectors Say About Best Restaurants In Thailand Of 2022

Hero image: © MICHELIN Guide Thailand


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