GIANLUCA’s New Island Adventure

Chef Gianluca Visciglia has left the chaos of Jakarta and has moved to the idyllic island of Lombok. He invited us over to share his new island adventure.

 

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Chef Gianluca Visciglia has left the chaos of Jakarta and has moved to the idyllic island of Lombok. He invited us over to share his new island adventure.

I AM A HUGE CITY BOY.
I think growing up in the city predisposed me to liking the noise, the vibrancy and even some of its craziness.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach, but if I had to live on an island, I think I would go crazy. Getaways to Bali and Lombok are fun, but I think, I still like coming back to the hustle of the city. And I’ll miss my grocery shopping and movie nights.

That said, I was thrilled to get an invitation from a good friend, Gianluca Visciglia, who had just moved to Lombok.  Gianluca had just started his new role as executive chef and F&B manager at the Qunci Villas in Senggigi.  “I love Lombok, from the first time I visited the island almost 11 years ago and it was always my dream to have the opportunity to work on this beautiful island. The beaches and all the fresh local ingredients I find in the market, give me many inspirations to create new dishes. When I started working in Jakarta I noticed that all the best seafood came from Lombok. So when Qunci Villas offered me the opportunity to be part of their team, it was a dream come true – both for my passion for food and for my life,” Gianluca confesses.

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His first project at the resort, and the reason we were invited was their new tapas bar at Qunci Villas, NooQ.  The new restaurant is a modern tapas bar with Spanish and international tapas sourcing around 80 percent of the ingredients from local suppliers. Dishes like Lombok Oysters with ginger flower vinaigrette or the sous vide Mahi-mahi with bok choi salsa verde and taro purée or their Homemade Chicken Chorizo, all these tapas are made using modern cooking techniques but use the best local ingredients. “For me Indonesia has some of the best seafood and the fresh vegetables you can find around any other Asian markets, so I try to use as much local products as  I can,” Gianluca shares.

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Qunci Villas also has two more restaurants, Quali their Asian seafood restaurant and Quah, their Mediterranean restaurant. In the two other venues, Gianluca wants to instill the same concept of cooking Asian and Mediterranean cuisines with as much local ingredients as they can use.

I eventually ask Gianluca what local ingredients does he love to cook with. What are the local ingredients you like cooking with? “I really like torch ginger flower for it’s amazing perfume and flavor, which you can infuse into your dishes and jackfruit for his distinctive sweetness and flavor,” he says.

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To launch NooQ, Gianluca hosted an amazing dinner by the beach, and showcased the many delectable dishes he had just created for the new restaurant. All his dishes were eagerly awaited by the guests and were very well received, garnering rave reviews from the hungry guests. Some even immediately booking for the following day.

Gianluca stresses that the opening of NooQ is only the beginning. He has many more plans for the food and beverage program of Qunci Villas. Firstly, he wants to revamp the menus of Quali and Quah, using modern technqiues and using the same best local ingredients available from the Island. He also wants to make sure that they source their ingredients sustainably.

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Gianluca doesn’t stop there. He has a few more plans, which he excitedly shared with me. He has in the works a few collaborations with several Michelin starred and Asia 50 Best restaurant chefs. He has sought out award-winning and like-minded chefs, who follow the same local and sustainable ingredients concept and plans to bring them down to Lombok to do special degustation dinners. This way, he says, not only are they able to taste good food, they are also able to highlight and promote the best of Indonesian produce in their cooking.

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Lombok may be Bali’s less famous neighbor, but with Gianluca’s initiatives, it looks like he will soon place the island on the world’s culinary map.  I am excited to see where it goes. Planning a trip to Lombok, Qunci Villas is my bet not only for the resorts excellent location and idyllic setting, but now with Gianluca around, for its amazing food.

QUNCI VILLAS
Jalan Raya Mangsit
Senggigi, KM 5, Kec. Mataram Lombok, Nusa Tenggara Barat
T: +62 370 693800
www.quncivillas.com


Written by Jed Doble Photographs by Dennie Ramon August 26, 2016.

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