An unsuspecting summer job scooping gelato at age 14 set the stage early for Rome-born dessert whiz Fabrizio Fiorani, the renowned Italian pastry chef who worked at Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo until April 2019. Now, at just 32 years old, Fiorani has cracked the code on edible art. His recipe for success – honed at some of the best kitchens in the world – is equal parts whimsy and technique, along with a pinch of magic, to yield inspired confections that are often too beautiful to eat.
Prior to landing in Tokyo, Fiorani trained at some of Italy’s most respected fine dining institutions: one Michelin-starred The Cesar at La Posta Vecchia Hotel, two-starred Il Pellicano and three-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri, which appeared in seven editions of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Quickly rising through the ranks, the chef decamped to become pastry sous chef at La Pergola, a regular in the extended 51-100 list. But when executive chef Heinz Beck announced plans to open a namesake restaurant in Tokyo, Fiorani jumped at the opportunity to gain international experience and work on the inaugural team in 2014.
Fiorani served as pastry chef of Bulgari Tokyo-Osaka Restaurants until April 2019, bending his French-Italian outlook to sweeten stunning, intricate confections not only at Luca Fantin in Bulgari’s Ginza Tower – which rose to No.18 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 – but also at the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, Il Bar, the brand’s numerous Bulgari Il Cioccolato shops, and Il Café in Osaka. In fact, in 2018, Fiorani published a book, Tra L’Onirico e Il Reale (Between dreamlike and real), which chronicles his signature recipes.
Sweet constructions are laser-focused on a single ingredient, like Lampone 1.1, built from 11 different textures of raspberry, or the more playful Tiramiso Naso (Tiramisu Nose), which incorporates two textures of the classic Italian coffee and cream dessert, a crunchy iteration designed to look like spectacles on a nose, and a light, airy version served in a glass, made from whipped coffee jelly and mascarpone gelato.
True to his beginnings scooping gelato, Fiorani has made ice cream a consistent theme throughout his career, making it a component of all his sophisticated constructions. But he’s come a long way since the 14-year-old boy who worked in the gelateria: this year, Fiorani’s visionary, technique-savvy desserts – modern creations built from premiere ingredients shaped by a highly creative mind – have earned him the prestigious title of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by Valrhona.