(9th January 2024, Hong Kong) – Tuscany’s Dario Cecchini brings his maverick passion, a reverence for meat handed down through eight generations and a commitment to dining as theatre to premiere an experience beyond the steakhouse
Conceived as a cosy renaissance sanctuary with jaw-dropping views of Hong Kong’s harbour and skyline from the 39th floor of MONDRIAN HONG KONG, in the heart of the Kowloon’s dining and nightlife buzz, Carna by Dario Cecchini is set to deliver an experience in sophisticated nose-to-tail dining.
Hailed by the New York Times as the “world’s greatest butcher” and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table, Cecchini now partners with disciple and fellow Tuscany native Daniele Milliani on a mission to challenge, inspire and provoke.
Cecchini has cooked for everyone from Elton John to King Charles III to a rock and roll soundtrack while quoting Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare. He is modern Italian cuisine’s arch disrupter, court jester and philosopher.
Carna by Dario Cecchini is poised to become Hong Kong’s hot table non pareil; the first Carna in Asia and joining sister restaurants in the Bahamas and Dubai. An exclusive chef’s table tasting experience will brings diners on a journey through a variety of cuts of meat, blending time honoured traditions with the finest products, innovative flair and true tableside theatre.
Naturally, there will be steakhouse favourites from Bistecca alla Fiorentina to Bistecca Toscana, dry-aged to perfection. But also expect experiences and flavours from 18 different cuts including beef cheek, shank, tongue, bone marrow, chuck flap, flat iron, Etruscan cut, Bistecca alla Fiorentina and more. Other must-try dishes include Beef Tartare, Deep-fried Beef Meatballs with Bone Marrow, as well as the signature “Charcoal Grilled” steak with special cuts from the finest farms.
With the belief that all cuts of meat can be utilized when cooked properly, Carna’s Nose-to-Tail concept eliminates waste and promotes sustainability.
‘WE SHOULD LEAVE THIS WORLD BETTER THAN WE FOUND IT’
Carna will be strong on respect, hospitality, and generosity, inspired by Dario’s own restaurants and shops in Tuscany. Cecchini’s respect for animals was not only shaped by his family’s long traditions, but from his time studying veterinary science at the University of Pisa. Descending from an unbroken line of eight generations of butchers in Panzano, his love of animals formed his philosophy.
“You must guarantee the animal a good life and a dignified death, and use every part of the animal well,” he says. “When you eat meat, you must be respectful, reverential. So, I know our menu will be delicious but also just and ethical for our guests.”
Cecchini and Milliani grew up less than 20km apart in Tuscany, and it’s the flowering of a beautiful friendship. “Daniele is like a son to me,” says Cecchini. “He understands my philosophy. A butcher knows the alphabet of meat. A chef with that alphabet can write poetry.”
Milliani, who began learning to cook at 14, has an innate passion and flair for his native cuisine, and shares his mentor’s respectful and ethical approach to meat. Before his journey took him to Hong Kong, he worked in Italy, St Moritz and the Maldives. He says he is honoured to work alongside his mentor and inspiration, and looks forward to elevating the nose-to-tail ethos in Hong Kong.
Cecchini says Hong Kong already has a strong tradition of nose-to-tail right down to its street food, which he has explored at length. “To come to Hong Kong for me is a dream. I come from a village of 1000 people; I love the simple life in the countryside. But I have a mission to introduce my concept to people and I am so excited to create something special in Hong Kong with Mondrian.”
‘OUR INSPIRATION IS THE DIVINE COMEDY. WE NEED THE SPIRIT OF ULYSSES’
Cecchini is big on personality and looms larger than life in his restaurants. He intends to impart that spirit to his entire team. “Dining must be fun and an adventure, interaction with guests. My inspiration is not to be the richest guy in the cemetery. My inspiration is to acquire knowledge. That is the spirit I bring to Hong Kong.”
Milliani describes the setting: “It’s the most beautiful view in Hong Kong. The design is stunning. The feeling is very renaissance. This really looks like you are in 17th Century Italy. You enter another world. It’s warm, cosy, it is perfect for Carna.”
Carna will also offer “no wastage” cocktails to complement the nose-to-tail approach to dining, using cutting-edge techniques in co-operation with the chefs to create sensational cocktails including Carna Beef Fat Washed Bourbon with Salted Maple Syrup, and Cumin Bitters; Porcini Wedges Gin, Mancino Rosso Amaranto Vermouth, Amaro Santoni, Salted Chocolate Bitters, and Upcycled Porcini Dark Chocolate. And of course, a superb and innovative wine list designed to partner with Cecchini and Milliani’s creations.
Legendary designer Joyce Wang has created a celestial setting with a unique vibe. From the marbled ceilings to the sumptuous curtains and creative use of lamp-light, it’s a setting designed to complement the cuisine and transport diners to a place of ecstasy.
Dario Cecchini, the world’s best butcher, will be visiting Hong Kong from January 25th to 28th, offering an exclusive culinary experience. Guests will have the unique opportunity to meet Cecchini and savour his signature steak. For more details, please contact the restaurant.