Chef’s Special: Cristian Samone, Rosso Bothwell, South Lanarkshire

Chef Cristain Simone

Rosso offers guests authentic modern Italian cuisine in a cafe dining atmosphere. Dishes range from classic Italian pizzas and pasta to grilled meat and west coast mussels. The venue also trades as a delicatessen and catering business.

How long have you been in the industry and how and when did you start?
Since 1996, after my two years catering (chef) school.

What’s your career highlight so far?
Coming to Scotland from the north of Italy for work experience and meeting my wife to be. I would have never met her if it wasn’t for this job.

How would you describe your food?
Pretty simple and colourful, nothing sophisticated. Simple food is the best.

What’s the price of a typical three course meal (without wine)?
A three course meal is around £14.95.

Why should someone visit your restaurant?
To see me singing and dancing away while I’m cooking.

Describe your staff.
They are the best staff ever. I love working with them, we’ve all got good chemistry.

What’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
At home, mainly pasta. I am always trying to cook different meals from all over the world. I love cooking whole fish, especially sea bass. I also love cooking steaks, like sirloin or fillet.
What is your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Haggis. Nice and healthy the way I like it. I like haggis with chicken, or fried is amazing!

Is there any food you dislike?
Yes, oysters. I can’t stand them. They are not great looking things!

What is your favourite wine?
I don’t know, probably Pinot Grigio, Merlot, or Montepulciano.

What makes a good chef?
Respect your colleagues, have patience and keep calm under pressure.

What’s a tip every chef should know?
Work with your team, not against them.

Who do you admire in the industry and why?  
I find Gordon Ramsay interesting as he is the complete opposite to me.

How do you relax outside of work?
I don’t actually, my wife to be is always bossing me around! I’ve got a motorcycle that helps me to relax.

Who would you invite for your ideal meal and where would you go?
I would invite my mum and take her to Rosso in Bothwell but it’s very difficult since she lives 1215 miles away in Italy.