At 38, Giovanni Ricci has already chalked up 23 years in some of the world's best kitchens - including the Sheraton Bologna in Italy and the Hilton Prague in the Czech Republic. More recently, he ventured to Asia with a stint at the Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was responsible for the 100-seat award-winning Senja Restaurant.
Ricci comes from San Benedetto del Tronto, an active fishing port and one of the main seaside resorts on the central Adriatic coast in Le Marche, Italy - and the maritime influence is reflected in his shrimp salad and seafood platter.
But he is also schooled in classic Italian, as marked by the chef's tiramisu, a dessert that has already won him accolades and an award in Malaysia.
At Bene Italian Restaurant at the Sheraton Beijing, Ricci takes advantage of the seasonal truffles from November to March to create several signature dishes. One is a black truffle risotto with a veal roll with ham. Another is a buffalo cheese tortellacci with black truffle paste. [...]