Chef Francisco Ciciliano
For as long as Chef Francisco Ciciliano can remember, the kitchen has been his favorite room. It is where he experimented with local produce, along with with his two sisters, to create variations of established family recipes. He would soon turn these games into his dream profession, training in restaurant kitchens in his native Mexico before coming to the United States. As luck would have it, he was here barely a week when he met Kender Urena, then the chef at Bistro Bonne Nuit in New Canaan. For about twelve years, Ciciliano says, he learned from Urena and went on to develop his own gastronomic take on French cuisine at Bonne Nuit and Baldanza Natural Market Café.
Today, Ciciliano, as chef at Noir Stamford, is taking what he mastered a step further and introducing local foodies to bistronomy, a fusion of classical French traditions and European culinary innovation.
To explain the creative brains behind the operation, Ciciliano put his knives down and filled us in on life outside of the Noir Stamford kitchen.
Q&A With the Chef
What is your favorite part of being a chef?
That I continue to learn. I never doubt why I do this because every time I try out a new dish, I get that creative spark that drew me to cooking in the first place. I also enjoy plating a dish with detail, and using different garnishes and color for the final presentation.
What kitchen tools can you not live without?
Every chef has a favorite knife, but I also use a very thin fish spatula that I place in every direction and use at every angle for just about everything. I am not in the kitchen if I do not have my fish spatula at hand.”
If you could invite a celebrity chef to dinner, who would it be?
Julia Child. I really admire her skill and learned a lot from her books and cooking shows. I would want to prepare a delicious meal, the best I can do to thank her for the inspiration she gave to me.
Where do you shop locally?
I like La Marqueta, where I can find most everything I need. Shopping for food is part of the cooking experience, and I often have no idea what I am going to prepare until I see the food and get an idea of what I would like to eat. I also like the comfort of traditional Mexican food at Casa Villa. Their food is authentic and reminds me of my home.
Who cooks at home?
I do. For fun, I like to cook for friends. I enjoy cooking when my friends ask me to make a special French dish or a traditional Mexican recipe. It is for me
great way to relax and enjoy life.