Story by Phil Heppding
September 15th, 2017
It is no secret the Beaches of South Walton boast some of the top culinary talent in the country. Our area is fast becoming an area known not just for white sands and emerald waters, but as a true culinary destination to experience all the cuisine our diverse region has to offer.
Vue on 30a’s Executive Chef of six years, Giovanni Filippone, recently completed taping for the first ever Hell’s Kitchen All-Stars in Los Angeles, California. The series premier kicks off Friday September 29th at 7PM CST.
The 30A Food and Wine team caught up with Chef Gio, as he is affectionately known, for a few minutes to chat about his experience and what to watch for in the upcoming season.
Since you first appeared on Hell’s Kitchen ten years ago, how has your technique or approach to food changed?
“I think I have evolved with the changes that come with food and cusiine. I’ve got more dishes under my belt, made my portfolio bigger with more interesting food. I feel I improve everyday and learn.”
“The day I think I know it all will be the day I fail.”
What has been your biggest eye opening experience from being on the show?
“The first time I went on Hell’s kitchen I went on their blind, not knowing much about chef Ramsay so I went in there and cooked. It was a lot harder than I expected….a 45 minute segment comes from us working all day. It was a little more challenging than I expected. Being under that much pressure and having to create something in a half hour is really tough.”
How is Hell’s Kitchen different from other food/chef shows?
“It is filmed in a fully functioning restaurant and if you have a good day guests will eat if you don’t have a good day they’ll leave hungry. You have to put out food that will feed the guests that are there….not a good feeling when guests don’t get fed, in a real restaurant or on a show….it’s a bad feeling either way!”
What do viewers not realize about a show like Hell’s Kitchen?
“We work all day to shoot the show. At work you can leave and go home and relax and unwind, At Hell’s Kitchen you’re stuck if you are in a bad mood or someone else is since you live with all the other chefs. There is no down time to get away from anything.”
Any techniques you’ve picked up from the show?
“A few things from the first show…little things that help me tweak what I do and make it a little bit better…some of the dishes I have tweaked here since there are different palates on the west coast.”
Season Premier is September 29th – What do you want people to look for?
“It is a reality show all-in, it’s a top notch cast and different than any of the seasons they have done in the past. The competition is a lot stronger and everyone has made it pretty far professionally.”
Did you win?
“I can’t tell you….you gotta watch and find out. But I did win. I won a long time ago. I have two kids, a beautiful wife and I live on the beach! I’ve won. I won 10 years ago when I lost. Had I won I wouldn’t have met my wife and wouldn’t have my two kids. I’ve won much more than they could have ever offered me ten years ago.”
What can guests expect on the fall menu at Vue on 30a?
“We’re adding a southwestern pasta dish of homemade fettucine with spice and a kick. A pork shank, lamb shank and a few pasta dishes in the winter. We are also adding fried cauliflower in hot wing sauce. Stop by and check it out. Its going to be really, really good.”
And that we will do!!!!!
For those interested in cheering on Chef Giovanni Filippone, the Vue on 30a is hosting a Season Premiere Vue-ing party on Friday September 29th starting at 6PM. Sitting is limited so please call 850-267-2305 to RSVP.
Be sure and catch Hell’s Kitchen All-Stars starting on Friday September 29th at 7PM CST