We talk to Massimo Tagliaferri, Head Chef at Pimlico Road’s Enoteca Turi.
This family-run Italian restaurant offers an award-winning wine list and regionally inspired cuisine created with traditional and seasonal ingredients. Founders Giuseppe and Pamela Turi established the restaurant in 1990, after Giuseppe had spent time as a sommelier at both the Athenaeum and Connaught hotels, with Pamela overseeing the business side when she joined in 1992. After catering school in Casago, Italy, Head Chef Massimo built up his impressive CV working in the kitchens of some London’s top hotels and restaurants including The Dorchester, Grosvenor House and Claridges, before joining the team at Enoteca Turi. Here, he fills us in on his passion for culinary experimentation, favourite go-to dishes and the best of Belgravia…
What inspired you to become a chef, and how did you get where you are today?
“I grew up in a small village in Lombardy, in northern Italy near Lake Como. Everything revolved around food in the sense that we grew our own vegetables and kept animals; this was the reason I went to catering school, where I was amazed by the abundance of organic local ingredients that were available. That ignited my interest in being able to experiment with how to bring out the essential flavour of each ingredient, and what combinations worked best.
After that I learned different things from each job in hotels and restaurants, big and small, in Italy and abroad, working with some highly skilled chefs. I learned both Italian and international cuisines. However, I am pleased to have returned to my ‘origins’ and be showcasing the different regional dishes that make up Italy’s food heritage; Enoteca Turi is the perfect place to do that.”
Tell us about your favourite aspect of working in your restaurant…
“I love that we have dishes from all over Italy on the menu, and that we are very aware of seasonality. We work with the freshest ingredients, often imported from the regions, to give that authenticity of taste.”
What’s your go-to dish to make at home in the autumn?
“My favourite dish in autumn is a hearty Tuscan soup called ‘Ribollita’. It’s made with bread and vegetables including cannellini beans, kale, cabbage, plus others such as carrots, chard and potatoes. It’s both healthy, comforting and a meal in itself.”
Where’s your favourite place to go in Belgravia?
“Although I don’t go out much, I did go to Hunan, the well-known Chinese restaurant on Pimlico Road. It was a great experience, and because I eat everything, I loved the fact that I did not need to order, and the surprise of what was going to appear next. It was all delicious.”
What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever had?
“Some time ago I was taken to Gordon Ramsay’s 3* Michelin restaurant. That was an amazing experience from the ambience, the welcoming service, to the food which was sublime. I think we had a beautifully rich pumpkin soup, scallops, and pigeon all cooked to perfection.”
Discover Enoteca Turi at 87 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8PH. Call 0207 730 3663 to reserve a table.