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Sauro Ricci

Sauro Ricci

While vegan, macrobiotic and other special diets are often seen as restrictive by chefs, for Sauro these are interesting subjects which he has explored and researched himself. He believes being aware of what we eat and managing our own relationships with food, knowing how it affects our body, is vital. Macrobiotics is what he’s particularly passionate about, as it focuses on the quality rather than the quantity of what we eat, as well as caring for the environment and looking after our minds as well as our bodies.

Sauro was made head chef of Joia in 2016, taking the reins from Fabrizio Marino and carrying on Pietro Leemann’s vision for high end vegetarian healthy food. His favourite ingredients are artichokes and asparagus, although he will only use them when they’re in season. Legumes and brown rice also feature heavily on the menu, and each dish is based around the chef’s dedication to food that’s balanced, pleasurable, free and aware.

Three things you should know

Sauro uses spring water in his cooking for added purity, and prefers to steam vegetables to retain as many of their nutrients as possible.

Like Joia’s founder Pietro Leemann, Sauro practices Tai-chi, Taoism and astrology, maintaining a deeply spiritual lifestyle.

Sauro believes macrobiotic food has to follow three rules: it should be viewed as a medicine as well as a food, it should follow the rhythms of the cosmos and the seasons, and that food should always be checked for its macrobiotic properties at the table.