Elsa has a diverse and extensive international experience in high end catering. Her clients include private individuals, corporate, banks, governments and charitable organisations. One of Elsa’s most memorable private functions include her catering for the state dinner by President Nelson Mandela for President Bill Clinton’s visit to South Africa and for her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother at a private Crown residence in Norfolk, England.
As a testament to the high regard in which Elsa’s talent is held as well as an example of her wide appeal and repertoire, Elsa catered for the wedding celebrations of the PGA golfer, Ernie Els, as well as an exclusive cocktail event for President Nelson Mandela’s SOS Fund of Children Villages in Africa.
Diego Chiarini, Chef and Partner of Singapore’s Italian restaurant, OSO, is both highly experienced and traveled, and has been internationally recognised for his unique style of cuisine on numerous occasions.
Having worked in Asia since 1996, Diego was keen to make the move to Singapore (formerly from SENSO) and sees the new venture as being something he has always had an interest in doing. Diego says of OSO, “The restaurant is quite unique to Singapore, when we (the partners) started to talk about the concept we always knew it was going to be special. We all have a strong personal interest in OSO and each of us adds something different to the business.”
Chiarini has worked in some of the world’s leading restaurants, including Bice, located in the Tokyo Four Seasons Hotel, which has been voted one of the ten best Italian restaurants in the world. Other prestigious venues such as the Royal Monceau Hotel, Paris, the Four Seasons Hotel in Milano, and the Hotel de Paris in Monaco have witnessed Diego’s enviable talent in the Kitchen. Chiarini cites one of his leading influences as Alain Ducasse, the world famous chef de cuisines, who he worked alongside at Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo.
During a period of employment as the Chef de Cuisine at a leading Paris hotel, Diego regularly contributed to (amongst others) a best selling French food magazine “Cuisiner!”, writing his own column and features for readers. The June 1995 issue of “Cuisiner!” sold a staggering 200,000 copies throughout France and added to Chiarini’s credibility in the industry. Similarly, whilst employed at the Carpaccio restaurant, it was voted BEST foreign restaurant in the famous “Henri Gault Guide des Restaurants Etrangers de Paris”.
Fluent in three languages, Italian, French and English, and with a strong working knowledge of Japanese, Diego has been fortunate enough to work in some of the finest locations in Europe and Asia, and now he brings his style to Singapore. The other partners at OSO know only too well that they have a genuine asset in Diego, Restaurant Manager and Partner, Stephane Colleoni, says of Chiarini, “I would not want any other chef in this restaurant, quite simply he is the finest Italian chef I have worked with”.
A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Diego will not settle for anything less than the best, something his students at Bice Cooking School in Tokyo would be able to explain. Before lecturing in Asia, Chiarini had spent time teaching at the Culinary Institute Cordon Bleu Paris on a once-monthly basis.
With OSO, Diego’s philosophy has not changed at all, he still hand selects the finest ingredients, many of which are being sourced direct from Italy using his peronsal contacts and associates throughout the country. Diego remarks, “If I cannot find exactly the ingredient that I am looking for, the dish will not feature on the menu. There is no point in me providing food that is not authentic.” This is immediately prevalent on speaking with Diego, he is somewhat dismayed that the tomato salad is not currently available. “I cannot find the correct tomatoes yet, but as soon as I have them, the restaurant guests will be able to experience the dish. They should not try it with the wrong ingredients.”
Having spent the last nine years working in Singapore, Stephane Colleoni has an intimate knowledge of the local restaurant scene and considers this experience essential to the success of OSO, now relocated to 46 Bukit Pasoh Road.
Responsible for the daily operations and OSO, Colleoni is general manager and partner in the operation. His experience in Europe and Asia has seen him employed at some of the world’s leading restaurants, including for the previous four years, Ristorante Bice at the Goodwood Part Hotel, Singapore and four years at Senso. Stephane is confident his previous experience will ensure the highest level of service and consistency is maintained at OSO. “Obviously when you are working for yourself the focus changes, but our philosophy is based on the experience we have, being consistently professional.”
During his time working in France, Colleoni gained credentials as the manager at the Duplex restaurant Paris and Maitre d’hotel at Ristorante Bice Paris at the Hotel Balzac and Martinex Hotel at Cannes. Having also worked for Bice in London, and the Savoy Hotel, Stephane had the opportunity to further his experience working away from his home country. Prior to his employment in London, Stephane had worked in Le Jules Vernes Restaurant, located in the Eiffel Tower, Paris.
A French-Italian national, Colleoni is fluent in French, Italian and English with a strong working knowledge of Spanish. His professional qualifications include the Brevet d’etude Professionelle and the Certificat d’aptitude Professionelle.
The opportunity to engage in the ownership of a business with Diego was not something Stephane had to think long about; ‘When I considered the other partner I would be working with, it was obvious to me that we could put together a successful restaurant and bar. Diego is certainly one of the finest Italian chefs in the world, and with the experience myself, I knew we had a strong team”.
Despite the obvious qualities each partner brings to the business, Stephane remains realistic, acknowledging the fact that “dedication, consistency and quality” are essential.