Chef-Owner of Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, Singapore
Chef Lino Sauro (born 1970), chef-owner of Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, is a natural advocate of authenticity. Born in Sicily in Southern Italy, his culinary background is strongly influenced by his growing years helping his father, a farmer, in his hometown.
In fact, the Sauro family comes from a lineage of farmers, who have tended the same plot of farmland for at least a hundred of years, cultivating a vast array of fruits and vegetables from grapes, wheat, fava beans to tomatoes. Since he was a child, Lino grew up helping his family to slaughter animals, and his childhood has instilled in him strong traditions such as making fresh ricotta cheese from scratch every morning.
He went on to the “school of hard knocks”, working his way up in five-star establishments in Europe, such as Lake Garda and Germany (Stuttgart). When the time came for him to see the “world beyond his nose”, he spent six years on the road, encountering culinary traditions and chefs from Amazonas River, Peru, Chile, Columbia, Bolivia,Argentina, Uruguay, China and most of South East Asia, including Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia.
With his global experience and having travelled the world, Chef Lino was even more committed to the preservation of Italian authentic traditions. He also understood that for it to happen, these traditions need to be updated and refined for the modern-day palate.
When the opportunity came for him to set up his own restaurant in Singapore, he created Gattopardo, a restaurant dedicated to seafood – a celebrated speciality in his home region in Sicily. He shares, “Gattopardo is synonymous with Sicily. Whenever anyone in Italy mentions ‘Gattopardo’, it refers to a Sicilian mindset, where you need to adapt to your surroundings in order to progress.
At Gattopardo, Chef Lino is very particular about using seafood that has been sustainably farmed. He ensures that the fisheries fit the MSC Fisheries standard, a well-respected American standard that certifies that fisheries are well-managed and sustainable, or that they have been certified by Friends of the Sea.