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Italian Gastronomic Adventure with Chef Stefano Merlo at Favola

I return to Favola at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur for another gastronomic adventure. This time I witness guest Chef Stefano Merlo cook before our eyes and have a sneak peek at some of the dishes that he will be cooking up for dinner at Favola between the 15th to 21st April 2012.
Chef Stefano is from Rossini’s, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Bangkok, Thailand. This brilliant chef has collaborated with Chef Alfredo Russo, the distinguished chef from Michelin-star restaurant, “Il Dolce Stil Novo” in Turin and Chef Toshikazu Tsuji of Restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri. From 15th to 21st April 2012, Chef Stefano will be cooking up culinary delights for dinner at Favola including foie gras and raspberry, lobster salad with chickpeas and green pepper emulsion, risotto with seafood and sea foam, Wagyu ribeye “pizzaiola” style, citrus scented roasted duck leg and milk risotto with cherry parfait.

Do not be deceived by this seemingly plain looking dish Artichokes Frittata. However, contrary to the regular frittata which is similar to an omelette or quiche, Chef Stefano creates a luscious and creamy finish to the frittata somewhat similar to scrambled eggs. A clever play of textures and flavours with crunchy croutons and buttery artichokes makes this a very satisfying first dish for me. 
Much as I love risottos, I don't normally order this because its always too mushy or unflavourful. Today I discover that there isn't any shortcut to making a good risotto. Its a lot of patient stirring and lots of good broth. It took Chef Stefano almost 25 minutes to cook this delish risotto. However, this isn't the timing for all risottos. The time needed to cook a good risotto depends on the choice of grain used and the broth is added in batches rather than in one go as how we would cook porridge.
The Seafood Risotto was robust with flavours from the use of mussel and clam broth. Of course the succulent pan fried seafood selection of scallops, prawns, mussels, seabass and squid gave the risotto even more character. The delicate ball of foam is quite magical. Made with the goodness of mussel and clam broth combined with Lecithin (the Lecithin that we take to improve our memory and for good skin).
A smiley chef with his yummeh creation
Luscious al dente seafood risotto
Risotto is also used for dessert. And before you scream madness, risottos do make awesome desserts. The Milk Risotto with Cherry Parfait is not overly sweet, delightfully rich and soft. It is sweet as a dessert should be and the slightly tangy cherry sorbet with chocolate stems made this such a beautiful end to the cooking demonstration by Chef Stefano.
And if you're game for Chef Stefano's contemporary twist to Italian flavours, then hop over to Favola at Le Meridien for dinner from now till 21st April 2012. A la carte dishes are priced between RM 30++ – RM 250++. A 4-course set menu is also available at RM 300nett per person, while the 4-course set menu with wine pairing is priced at RM 450nett per person. Starwood Privilege members are entitled to 20% off. Facebook fans are also entitled to 20% off but do remember to make your reservations via Facebook.

The day didn't end with merely Chef Stefano's cooking demonstration and tasting of 3 dishes. The  generous folks at Le Meridien treated us to Favola's Saturday Hi-Tea. Check out the scrumptious offerings available every Saturday from 12pm to 3pm for RM88++.
Antipasti
Meat and seafood galore. The meatballs are a must have!
Pizzas and breads
Pasta and more pasta stored inside the cast iron pots. The lids are seriously heavy and Horng puts on smiley face to hide the weight of the lid.
 Gorgeous desserts
My intake...
Hot chick Mei with the heavenly waffles. If you see waffles on the menu at Favola, this is a must order. Highly addictive with a crisp outside and soft insides topped with lots of butter 
and maple syrup or ice cream, Mei and I did not end on this large piece. We had more:D
Like what you see? Then head over to:
Favola
Level 8, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
T: +603 2263 7888, +603 2263 7434

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• Read about my previous post of Favola here.

• I'll post up the 3 recipes in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, hurry over to Favola before Chef Stefano heads back to Bangkok!