fine food - Chef Pino Lavarra

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Sweet pea risotto with herb breadcrumb queen scallops, and prawns.


Two-star Michelin Chef Pino Lavarra

Two-star Michelin Chef Pino Lavarra heads up The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kongs fine-dining Italian restaurant, Tosca. Located on Level 102, Tosca offers Italian cuisine, with classic ingredients presented in contemporary and innovative ways. The restaurant recently received a Michelin star only eight months after Chef Lavarra took over. 

Born in Putignano, one of the oldest villages in Puglia, Italy, Chef Lavarras passion for food originated in his childhood; his mother was the school cook with a cooking style that was simple, yet full of love. Having over 30 years of experience in the culinary industry around the globe, in countries including Germany, England, Malaysia, and Italy, Chef Lavarra is one of the top Italian chefs specialising in Italian fine dining.

In 2002, as the executive chef of Rosellinis at the Palazzo Sasso hotel on the Amalfi Coast, he was awarded the ultimate culinary accolade, his first Michelin star, followed by two Michelin stars for nine consecutive years since 2004.

Pea stock


serves 10

  • 3kg fresh pea pods and leaves
  • 1kg onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 ltrs water
  • Olive oil for cooking

Finely chop the fresh leaves and pods of the peas and the onions, and crush the garlic. Heat some olive oil in a pan and put in half of the pea leaves with onions and garlic, cooking until transparent. Add water and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the rest of the peas and leave to infuse for 1 hour. Then pass through a muslin cloth and refrigerate.

Pea cream


  • 3kg peas
  • 600ml fish stock
  • 600ml whipping cream
  • 600ml semi-skimmed milk

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Blanch the peas for 23 minutes and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to refresh. In a separate pan place all the other ingredients and bring to the boil; now add the peas and simmer for 40 minutes. Once liquidised, pass through a fine sieve.

Scallop with herb breadcrumbs


  • herb breadcrumbs
  • 3 queen scallops per portion

Place the herb breadcrumbs on the scallops in a hot oven to lightly brown, then remove from the shell.



Remove the intestine of the freshwater prawns, steam for 20 seconds, then roast a little and cool down. Use the shells to make a bisque. Season the prawns lightly with a little black garlic, parsley, and lobster oil. Keep warm.

White wine and parmesan Risotto


  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1 kg rice
  • 200g shallots, finely chopped
  • 375ml white wine
  • Hot pea stock
  • Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and white and black pepper to season butter

In a pan heat some olive oil, add the rice and warm through, then add the shallots to the rice and sweat until transparent. Add the wine and, continuously stirring, reduce down until all the alcohol has been absorbed. Add a couple of tablespoons of hot pea stock; once the rice has absorbed all the stock, add more, one ladle at a time. Repeat this until the rice is cooked (approx 16 minutes). Then add one large tablespoon of the pea cream and a pinch of parmesan. Remove from heat and stir in 1 knob of butter and leave for 1 minute to rest. Season with salt, white pepper, fresh black pepper and a good splash of olive oil.

To assemble the dish

Place risotto on a plate with gratinated scallops crumbled with herbal breadcrumbs, one roasted red prawn and the prawn sauce, dried peas and pea flowers.

Hong Kong, China
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