Fiamma Chef Antonio Corsaro
Photo: Capella Singapore

At Fiamma—Italian for ‘flame’—simplicity is luxury. Inspired by his grandmother’s cooking and his own burning passion for food, Capella’s new Italian restaurant by acclaimed Chef Mauro Colagreco promises hearty flavours and a “sincere, convivial and down-to-earth” space that captures the spirit of Italian family cuisine.

The menu offers a repertoire of authentic, traditional dishes that constantly evolve through the co-creation of his young head chef, Antonio Corsaro, who helms Fiamma. Having honed his skills at some of Europe’s most elite establishments, including Michelin-starred restaurants by celebrated chef Alain Ducasse, Corsaro is known for his culinary finesse as well as commitment to freshness and sustainability. We chat with Chef Corsaro about his food philosophy, what he hopes people will experience at Fiamma, and his favourite Singaporean dishes.

How did you discover your culinary passion and what do you love about cooking?

I was very young when I first discovered my passion for food. My grandmothers and my mother were excellent cooks; they were the ones that ignited my passion for food. They prepared three meals daily. I first entered the kitchen and started cooking under the care and guidance of my mother (Maria), a very demanding cook. I enjoyed every experience I had in the kitchen with her. My father also played an important role in driving my passion for food when I was young. He once brought me to the port and experienced the auctions of the freshest catch; it was an eye-opening experience for me.

To professionally pursue this culinary journey, I enrolled in a school at Vico Equense, Italy, that specialises in Food, Wine and Hotel Hospitality. My passion for food has to come from Napoli, where I grew up, with rich history dating back to 2000 years ago. We are able to explore cultural and historical stories from these recipes handed down to the Roman empire.

After working closely with Chef Mauro to open Fiamma, he has become a role model that I admire. He inspires me to explore the new era where chefs contribute to protecting the world from food waste and chemical usage. Today, cooking is a way to express myself to the customers and my fellow chefs. I enjoy discovering and experimenting with new recipes while finding the perfect balance between the past and the future.

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Fiamma Chef Antonio Corsaro
Photo: Capella Singapore

Tell us about your culinary journey. How has your style of cooking evolved over the years?

I started my professional culinary journey at Sorrento, Tremiti Island, London. However, the real journey began at Unico, a one-star Michelin restaurant in Italy, as a Chef de partie working alongside Chef Fabio Baldassare. I then moved to Italy, joining L’andana, a one-star Michelin restaurant with Chef Alain Ducasse, and eventually multiple restaurants with him. My perseverance and guidance from him have allowed me to become a Head Chef at Bulgari hotel London for Alain Ducasse, Rivea restaurant. 

In 2018, I was part of the opening team for Osteria BBR at Raffles Hotel, Singapore, as a Senior Sous Chef—eventually moving to Sukhothai Hotel, Shanghai, as Chef de Cuisine at their La Scala restaurant where I achieved a Michelin Plate and Black Pearl Award. Throwback to 10 months ago, I was appointed as the Chef de Cuisine to collaborate and work closely with Chef Mauro Colagreco to open Fiamma at Capella Singapore.

Travelling and exploring the world throughout my culinary journey has allowed me to meet people from different walks of life, immerse in their culture and explore the diverse cuisine. This bird’s eye view experience has allowed myself to understand and appreciate the importance of fine quality ingredients in my cooking. Keeping the flavours of each fresh ingredient has always been my top priority in my cooking. Exploring the use of new and traditional cooking methods, I always strive to present the dish organically, with minimal change.

I enjoy creating a jovial ambience for my guests when they come and dine at the restaurant, not compromising the quality of the food I serve and ensuring a traditional but contemporary Italian savoir-faire. With the growing popularity of veganism, I am now more open to experimenting with new recipes, and be more adventurous in creating new menus that guests would typically not experience.

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Fiamma - The pizza chamber
The pizza chamber. Photo: Capella Singapore

What is your food philosophy?

My philosophy for food is simple. It’s to use fresh, sustainable ingredients while sourcing and maintaining their quality. Every day I wake up with a goal: to bring happiness to every guest coming to dine in Fiamma. Having a good work-life balance is essential to maintaining a more productive and focused environment. In the kitchen, my team gets everyone involved by trusting them with their responsibilities. We implemented a daily sharing session where we build a relationship with the team by sharing the history of Italian food and lessons from the past.

What inspires you?

The changes in seasons inspire me whenever I can revamp the menu alongside Chef Mauro Colagreco to create new dishes. My 20 years of experience in many reputable restaurants has allowed myself to keep an open mind and maintain the technical skills to create new dishes that our guests will love.

Tell us about Fiamma and co-creating the menu with Chef Mauro Colagreco.

Fiamma is the reinterpretation of Michelin-starred, Chef Mauro Colagreco’s Italian roots. The menu is nostalgic and familiar with rich, new flavours, and is an ode to his grandmother’s cooking and childhood memories. Being a native Italian has allowed me to relate strongly to him.

Under Chef’s Mauro guidance, we quickly brainstormed a selection of main dishes that embraced the Italian history we have in common. These dishes eventually became Fiamma guests’ favourites, appealing to their preferred tastes and flavours in mind. To maintain the standard of our food at Fiamma, we always have taste tests with Chef Mauro, whenever he is in town. When there is a menu change, I provide my expertise to focus on local and sustainable ingredients.

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Fiamma - The living room
The living room. Photo: Capella Singapore

What experience do you hope people will have at Fiamma?

I want every guest to feel like they are dining in Italy. A place that is welcoming and easy-going, giving all guests an authentic casual Italian dining experience while enjoying good quality food and a wide variety of Italian wines. Dining at Fiamma should feel like a communal dining experience with your family and loved ones; sharing food brings joy and happiness.

What are your favourite local dishes in Singapore?

Some dishes I love in Singapore are Spicy BBQ Stingray and White Pepper Crab.

What is your go-to dish to prepare when you’re in need of comfort food?

I love the pizza at Fiamma; it reminds me a lot of Napoli. Whenever I get a chance to have them, it fills my tummy and soul.

Anything “cooking” in the near future for you and/or Fiamma?

The upcoming Spring menu is going to be a milestone for Fiamma. I cannot reveal much, but it is a must- try if you plan to visit. We will be incorporating asparagus—the perfect match with our Lamb Loin—as a critical ingredient in the upcoming Spring menu.