“Alessandro Frau” of Acqua Restaurant
Alessandro Frau is the passionate and highly successful owner and chef of Acqua Italian Restaurant overlooking Kalim Bay. We caught up with him one stunning early evening in June
How did you start to become a chef?
I grew up in Sardinia and like many Italian households my family was passionate about food and cooking. However I initially trained in Tourism Management and later learned to be a chef by working in some excellent kitchens. I wanted to travel and lean English and so I went to London and to support myself, got a job rstly as a commis-waiter and then later in the kitchen at the world famous La Terrazza Restaurant in the Le Meridien Grosvenor House on Hyde Park Lane. I learned everything I could by working day and night, often without sleep. This was 1999 to 2001 and I was young and absolutely passionate about cooking, so nothing else seemed to matter! The attention to detail and hands-on learning served me well throughout my career and I denitely believe learning ‘on-the-job’ rather than in a classroom was the best way to become a good chef.
How did your experience in cooking evolve?
I went back to Italy to work in a Sardinian resort and in their low season I started working all over the world….Mexico, Paris, Finland, Sweden and on cruise ships, so that I could learn all the different cuisines and methods of working.
How did you arrive in Phuket?
My girlfriend and I came for a month’s holiday and loved it. I sent my resume to some of the top Phuket resorts and the Sheraton hired me after an interview and a rigorous ‘cooking test’! I started with them as Executive Sous Chef in December 2004, right before the tsunami happened. I totally re-launched Puccini their main Italian restaurant to deliver an authentic Italian dining experience and they liked what I did. They moved me through all of their eleven outlets and a year later I was promoted to Executive Chef.
How did you come to launch Acqua?
I was with Sheraton for four years, but I had an absolute passion to be creative and innovative both in my cuisine and the total décor, design and every aspect of the dining experience. I realized that to control all this and to follow my passion, I needed to be in control of my own destiny. I found a lovely location overlooking Kalim Bay between Patong and Kamala/Surin which I thought was ideal. I worked with architects, designers and decorators to produce the clean, modern, black and white thematic of Acqua. I designed the glassware, cutlery, menus, cellar….everything that came to fulll my vision for Acqua and in 2009, we opened.
What does the future hold for you?
I am consulting on the opening of a new Italian restaurant in Singapore and we are looking for a suitable location to extend the Acqua brand in Bangkok. Last year I won Thailand’s Iron Chef TV Show and they have invited me back again this year. Also Acuqa has been appointed as Ambassador for the famous Tuscan Frescabaldi Luce Wines and we’ll be staging events featuring the wines in the next months. So, I’m keeping pretty busy!!
324/15 Prabaramee Rd., Kalim Bay, Patong, Phuket Tel: +66 (0)76 618127
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.acquarestaurantphuket.com