Challenge of Marco Feltrin: “My Feria of Taste: Indonesia on a plate”

The kitchen is a strange place to practice: “I learned an avalanche of “words” every day in all languages, but perhaps more in Italian,” despite being in London or Sydney, Australia, and then in Indonesia, in Jakarta, where in addition to work he found a wife. Cheerful laughterMarco Feltrin happily recalls her first steps in catering, an “anomalous” place for those born in a design dynasty, Arper, but wants to escape the “industrial” fate that seems already destined for him. “I had to find a way to establish myself without being a son or a grandson…” recalls the chef, who recently turned forty. “Because if it’s not your passion, even if … family, it doesn’t work.” Marco found his way by traveling around the cuisines of the world, and then in his native Treviso, where everything began as a child, in the same room with the Vineria of the star Francesco Brutto. “It’s like I’ve closed the path, I’m back where I started, and above all, I have a sommelier who was a former colleague of mine.”

And this Regis Ramos Freitas (photo), a partner and friend of great competence, confident in describing wines, creating cocktails, suggesting pairings. Thus, restructured and renovated, the former Vineria became hisFeria”, a party in Spanish, a restaurant and a bistro that reinterprets ethnicity, or rather the East, in a modern way.
Why is this name?
“I liked this folk festival, this exchange idea, I didn’t want to use an Indonesian name which is too characteristic.”
So your kitchen…
“Contaminated. “Fusion”, and not between Indonesia and Italy, but all the cuisines of Southeast Asia, therefore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia. My wife Shriyanti is my “comparison” for the dosage of chili and spices. You have 100 percent Indonesian taste, but I can’t always listen to you because you have such a tolerance for spicy that baffles us all.”

What amazes you?
“Decisive flavors and sharp contrasts between sour and spicy, between cold and hot. As for the food, the colors are beautiful, bright and the textures are different from ours. I like crunchy, and also such a “chewy” that we do not use. And in any case, being a world that I started to know late, I feel its charm: for me it is always something new, and therefore I study and try to deepen it. Stimulating”.
He started out as a pizza maker…
“After science school with Da Vinci, not having a clear idea, like my classmates who went to university, it took me a year to look. I worked as a pizzeria salesman in Monastier. It made me realize that this medium is beginning to interest me.”
And after the pizza?
“I thought: I’ll try at the university, I entered the Faculty of Foreign Languages ​​and Literature in Padua, I was passionate about the Russian language, with immense love for Dostoevsky. But then I realized that I do not need to waste time, I was 23 years old, and starting in the kitchen from scratch at that age is not easy.
In The Bear, the chef puts his life in order, starting with the kitchen.
“I fully support this phrase. But putting things in order in the kitchen came to me later: first I had to figure out how to do it. So soon they took me to the winery. A good start. In the meantime, however, I had a great desire to leave. It was 2008.”

“I wanted to look around, learn. At this age, you are fond of techniques, experiments, you see the finished dish and understand how it got there. In terms of organization, well, I haven’t thought about it yet. And so I leave for London, I go to the Harris bar, there are Al Fayed, princes and princess-countesses, the secular elite, Kate Moss, Naomi Campell … “.
You are dating?
“Not at all, I was still in the basement, it was a typical English kitchen, where you can’t see anything even if it’s raining outside, you work hard and talk a lot. But I learned a lot, there were 8 of us, everyone did their own thing, strict discipline, although the staff was always … “badly treated.”
Swear words in English?
“In Italian, the boss was from Puglia (laughter). I also went to London to learn English, but I ended up speaking Italian and cooking in Italian. So I changed, I moved to an English gastropub to immerse myself more in the environment, it was in Mayfair, next to Johnny Depp’s house, another high-end establishment, we also catered for Prince Harry.
And them? You met?
“Zero, I was always in the kitchen-basement underground, from time to time the waiter came and told us about the VIPs upstairs. But there I completed the path that I set for myself. From there I returned to the stellar environment. Heinz Beck, the cuisine of a five-star super-luxury hotel.”
Always insults?
“Well, they are always in short supply, maybe even increased. Let’s say they are permanent, you temper yourself, okay, maybe this is not the recommended way of working: employees work only because they are afraid? Who knows?”

And then Nobu showed up?
“Yes, this place had the biggest impact on me and one that I still feel today. Here, the tone was friendlier, perhaps because the first approach to cuisine and dishes was different: Nobu makes nikki, designed by Japanese expatriates who moved to Peru, a blend of Japanese cleanliness and South American flavors. . I was there for three years, it was a stellar atmosphere, a lot of people, 600 people a day.”
Great for gaining experience.
“You’re always on your toes, yes, but I also had a lot of fun, and to my credit, my superiors and colleagues, I had a great time. At the time, I was also trying to figure out if I could open my own establishment in London. But the well-being I felt then was due to the people I met, when they left, I didn’t feel so good. I was a little confused.”
Then jump to Sydney.
“My former colleague asked me for help for six months, he was a chef in Sydney. So, after many years of gray London, I left for Australia, the realm of the sun. There I put the knowledge I gained to good use. I tried a good place, Lumi, and started to really understand how to run a kitchen. Three more wonderful years: I dreamed of doing something of my own.”

Your place?
“Yes, I went to a former colleague in Singapore, I wanted to find a partner to open a restaurant, he is in the dining room and I am in the kitchen, but instead I found my current wife. And so I landed in Indonesia, in Jakarta, where for several more years I met wonderful people, delicious food and learned a lot. In any case, the medium-term goal was to return to Italy, covid has accelerated the times, and I returned.”
Call home…
“Already. I have had experience. And I have always been an optimist, even tired of the widespread sentiment of many young people who complain that there is nothing in Treviso: frankly, if we do not commit ourselves, who will? After for so many years of absence, I wanted my family to be there.”

And here is Vineria on the horizon.
“Yes, I have come full circle. This place is now mine, and I have radically changed it. Francesco Brutto made a strong impression, I couldn’t just change the curtains.”
Indonesian food prepared by an Italian.
“My taste is Italian, so I understand what might be interesting to clients, what I need to balance. Products, especially meat and fish, are Italian and high class. In Indonesia, many spices are used, including to cover up not the best raw materials. In short, I always have to deal with some kind of adaptation … “.
A year and a half after opening, what is your balance sheet?

“Feria has two spirits and two different offerings. There is an informal and youthful part, the Satè bar, and for this space we are now thinking of a series of events that can be experienced inside. And then the Feria restaurant, the result of many years of experience. The menu is built on an offer, which can also be understood here, with an emphasis on exchange. This is the meaning of the feria, the great celebration of living together.”

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