Guccio Ristorante was named after Chef Marco’s family name. The restaurant was decorated to look like the Guccio’s family residence, with old pictures and posters. Especially the unique brick wall on one side of the restaurant.
Marco was born in Milano, North Italy, where his family had migrated to after World War II. The Guccio family origins have roots in two Southernmost regions in Italy: Sicily and Calabria. Every summer break, it was family tradition to traverse down to Nonna’s place in Calabria.
Being picked on as the youngest in a big family, presented the birth of his secret hiding place—under the large kitchen island where Nonna, his grandmother was lovingly preparing meals for the family. What unfolded as he climbed back out to a countertop full of ingredients, marked the beginning of Marco’s foray with food.
Whilst children of his age were shaping playdough, Marco’s playtime involved rolling out fresh gnocchi and pasta, in Nonna’s warm company.
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Typical Post-WWII houses were marked by naked brick roofs stripped by harsh bombings, with fire and dust-washed exteriors exactly the colour of the textured walls in Guccio’s. These were 2 key features in his grandmother’s house that remained indelible memories to the city dweller that he grew up to be.
The interior design is a juxtaposition of both history-centric and luxurious details with premium Mosaic, Italian Leather, and Granito marble, all specifically shipped from Italy, synonymous to the chef-owner’s centre of origins. The floors are also of a stone, Ardesia, shipped from the mountains Chef Marco used to hike as a child.
More than the physical ingestion of the food, was a soulful connection to his fondest memories and an assimilation of their passion towards food. A celebration of the purity of the freshest ingredients in their flavour, colour and texture just as the modest Southerners do—Simply, Excellently.
A perfect example of the Guccio family’s staple is their favourite Felija, also known as Calabria’s classic poor man’s pasta with slow-cooked tomato sauce made from fresh sweet tomatoes and granduncle’s family-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Raw, fresh, colourful produce and seafood are hallmarks of Southern Italian cuisine. This formed Chef Marco’s foundational culinary philosophy.
It was not until his exposure growing up as a cook with his mother, and subsequently receiving formal culinary training at the tender age of 13 (1995) in the North at Carlo Porta, when he acquired mastery of the more distinguished and complex Northern Italian Cuisine. By this juncture, Italian cuisine had already experienced a thorough nationwide facelift due to Post-WWII prosperity and affluence and the French Nouvelle Cuisine Movement. Coined as the Italian Nouvelle Cuisine movement in the late 1960s, Italian cuisine began incorporating a more complex usage of culinary techniques such as braising, stewing and the then-luxurious eggs, butter, cream, aged cheese and premium meats. This movement particularly shaped the foods of the more affluent Northerners.
At 18, Chef Marco’s passage into the fine-dining scene in London signified the next metamorphosis of his culinary style. From the Rustic home-made, hearty family meals he grew up knowing, to further reinterpretation and refinement of the processes and presentation.
At Guccio’s, one is invited to not only savour exclusivity but be a part of the authentic Italian hospitality Chef Marco intimately grew up experiencing. Just like his annual travels between South and North Italy, Chef Marco thoughtfully curated his menus in hope of bringing 10,000 miles to experience what his homeland has to offer. This is most pronounced in his Seasonal Tasting Menu which features grand crus from the coast to the valleys offered in the Guccio Style. Tasteful complements of wines have been designed to enhance this sensorial journey.
Here in Guccio, the finest from Italy deserve celebrated attention – with a good 80% of their extensive wine menu dedicated to this cause. The wine list composes an exquisite curation of Italian wines and liquor from artisan Italian vineyards and distilleries.
Seasonal tasting menu by Chef Marco
Gamberi – piselli – ricotta di bufala – limone
Raw Sicilian red prawns from Mazara, green pea coulis, lemon scented buffalo ‘ricotta’
Asparagi – stracciatella – uova di trota
Seasonal green asparagus chilled soup, ‘stracciatella’, trout roe
Roasted Italian sea bass fillet, Sicilian ‘caponata’, balsamic pearl onions
Pan-fried Australian lamb chop, rosemary potato, mustard sauce
Polipo – verdure di stagione – salmoriglio
Poached and pan-seared Mediterranean octopus leg seasonal vegetables, ‘salmoriglio’ dressing
Take for example, one of Chef Marco’s signature dish the Polipo— which is both a representation of this philosophy and a memorial of Chef Marco’s fondest memories. The preparation of the octopus leg is exactly how his grandfather would tenderise the flesh by breaking the muscular fibres in aggressive smashing before gently poaching and searing it. A few key steps but this fully prepares for a delectable mouthful of soft creamy meat intense with the aroma of the ocean.
Piccione – sedano rapa – vaniglia
‘Tortelli’ stuffed with braised pigeon, celery root purée
seared wild pigeon breast, vanilla essence
Manzo – pastinaca – fondo
Sous-vide for 48 hours U.S. prime beef short ribs, parsnip purée
seasonal vegetables, veal jus
Variation of Valrhona chocolate, raspberry jelly, sea salt crumble
To Chef Marco, food is to be cooked and shared with loved ones. From the 3 steps in, to the open kitchen where you get to see what is being prepared, Chef Marco wants to wholeheartedly recreate the familial experience he had joyously grown up in, to be shared and lovingly produced in the modern context. Simply, excellently, with a personal touch threaded consistently across the cuisine, the environment, and the engaging service style, spelling “Italian Hospitality”, with acute thoughtfulness and warm personal touches.
Simply, Excellently. Simply, Enjoyably.
20 Gemmill Lane, Singapore 069256
Telephone: (65) 6224 1684
Open from Monday to Friday for Lunch & Dinner and Saturday for Dinner
Closed on Sunday