Mattia Camorani, head chef at Cucina at Hotel Missoni, tells us his favourite sports in his adopted city, ahead of his appearance at Taste of Edinburgh next week
How long have you lived in the city?
I’ve been living in Edinburgh for over three years now, and I absolutely love it. I’m originally from Italy and moved to the UK in 1995 as I always wanted to travel. I was working in London under my mentor, Giorgio Locatelli, at his restaurant when I was approached to be head chef at the world’s first Hotel Missoni here in Edinburgh. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to be part of something new, exciting and different, and I jumped at the chance.
What’s your favourite shopping area in the city?
Multrees Walk is a great destination for shopping. It’s so modern and clean, and I like the fact it’s all in one compact street. Ideally I’d spend a few hours browsing in the designer shops there, and then head upstairs to Harvey Nichols’ Forth Floor restaurant to admire the view of the city with a coffee or glass of wine.
What’s your favourite restaurant, café, deli or takeaway?
My favourite restaurant is Martin Wishart at The Shore for its excellent service, fine dining and very clean, fresh flavours, which is something I always look for in a restaurant. We’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to great cafés. Urban Angel on Hanover Street and Leo’s Beanery on Howe Street have delicious coffee and cakes. The service in both is relaxed and friendly – great places to go on a day off.
What’s your favourite view in the city?
The view of the Old Town as you walk along North Bridge towards Edinburgh Castle is amazing. This is the way I walk into work every day and it always blows me away, no matter how many times I see it. I love the contrast between the Old Town and the New Town.
What’s your favourite walk in or around the city?
I like wandering around Stockbridge. It’s so close to the city centre yet it has a real village atmosphere, and there are so many great local producers in the area; butchers, cheese shops, wine specialists, as well as cafés, restaurants, bars and some great boutiques for shopping.
Which are the city’s best green spaces?
The Royal Botanic Gardens and the Water of Leith are both really beautiful spaces that Edinburgh should be proud of and I love walking around both, especially when the sun is shining. We’re lucky to have so many great parks and green spaces like this in Edinburgh.
What’s your favourite museum?
It has to be our neighbour on Chambers Street, The National Museum of Scotland. They’ve done an amazing job of the refurbishment and with so many exhibitions and events on, it’s a perfect city escape. What’s your favourite season in the city?
It has to be spring as I love the dramatic change in the weather as we come out of winter. The days become lighter and brighter and everything feels so fresh and bright. We always have access to fantastic produce in spring and it’s exciting when all the fresh ingredients arrive in the kitchen and we introduce new menus.
Are you proud of Edinburgh?
Yes. I really enjoy living here. It’s an easy-going, friendly city, and very compact and easy to get around. There’s such a range of excellent bars and restaurants, beautiful parks and walkways, amazing architecture, history and culture and always plenty to keep you entertained.
Mattia Camorani will appear at Taste of Edinburgh, which takes place on The Meadows 6-8 July.
This article originally appeared in the July issue of The Pulse magazine
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