THE next time you dine at Giovanni Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Saipan, you’ll experience the quintessence of Italian cuisine.
Giovanni’s new executive chef is Matteo Fracalossi whose mother hails from Tuscany, the region of Italy known for its cuisine which prioritizes simplicity in cooking and fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Fracalossi and Hyatt’s new catering director, Hani Min, met with local media on Friday to introduce some of the new Italian dishes now being served at Giovanni.
These include selezione di antipasti (selection of appetizers), such as insalata di mare (seafood, parsley salad, celery, cherry tomato), melanzane (grilled marinated eggplant, oregano, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, extra virgin olive), cavolfiore, broccoli e acciughe (cauliflower, broccoli, black olive, bread crouton, anchovy vinaigrette), insalata di riso (rice, ham, mozzarella, grilled vegetables, green peas), caprese (mozzarella of cow, tomato, basil pesto) and frittelle di cavolfiore (cauliflower fritters).
One of two salad options is the angolo dell’ insalata or create your own salad with lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and corn kernels. The salad is accompanied by condiments such as olio extra vergine d’oliva, aceto balsamico (traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena) and salsa senape e miele or honey mustard vinaigrette.
You can also try Giovanni’s Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, crispy bacon, garlic bread crouton and Caesar dressing.
The lunch menu consists of pane della casa or choices of homemade breads, such as ciabatta, traditional Tuscan bread, germ di grano and whole wheat. The pizza menu lists three styles of pizza: al taglio, a street food style pizza usually sold “by the cut” and weight, but which actually refers to a thin crust pizza cooked in a rectangular tray; capricciosa with tomato sauce, mozzarella, artichoke, black olive and cooked ham; and margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil.
For the soup, Fracalossi highly recommends his mother’s recipe for mesciua, a traditional Tuscan soup with legumes and grains. “It’s the soup my mother makes for me at home. Very delicious and very enjoyable,” he said.
Fracalossi, who has 24 years of culinary experience, said he wanted to highlight dishes from different Italian regions, including those his own mother cooked.
He said they had traditional dishes from central, southern and northern Italy. Giovanni’s menu is entirely Italian, Fracalossi added.
He said some ingredients may not be easy to find on the island, but they are committed to “providing the best Italian cuisine”.
Fracalossi began his culinary career at a young age in Trento, Italy. He was Executive Chef in Moscow at Amarsi Restaurant and was the Italian Chef at Banana Island Resort in Doha, Qatar.
He started working for the Hyatt in 2016 as Executive Chef at the Opera Restaurant at Park Hyatt Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, before becoming Executive Sous Chef at the Grand Hyatt in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Min said: “We have a lot of opportunities to improve [our] The Hyatt touch.”
With Fracalossi on board, she said, “We just want to show the world that Giovanni’s lives up to its name by becoming more Italian. This is just the start.”
Min started her Hyatt journey as F&B Marketing Manager at Grand Hyatt in Seoul, South Korea in 2016.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in international management from Kyung Hee University in South Korea and a master’s degree in fashion, marketing and management from Mod’Spe Paris in France.