Tomas Scarpetti has been traveling since his youngest age. Born in Rio Grande, next to Ushuaia, he lived in Tierra de Fuego until he was five years old. “My father was a soldier so I moved everywhere in Argentina, north, south, until I was 18”. Since then, he began to travel all around America and Europe.
An international chef
“I never stayed more than three or four months in the same place”. He settled for the first time in Brazil for five years, where he opened the Chou restaurant in Sao Paulo in an old house. The place becomes a reference in gastronomy. He creates a second place, Futuro Refeitorio, plus concept store, with a bakery and a roaster, next to the restaurant.
Self-taught, Tomas Scarpetti begins washing the dishes in his brother’s restaurant in Praia de Rosa, Brazil. “I learnt everything I know thank to my experiences,” says the one who worked as a chef with one of the world’s greatest actors in gastronomy: Francis Mallmann in Buenos Aires, but also for Paola Carosella in Brazil, and Ignacio Mattos from Estela restaurant in New York.
Compared to the urban rage of these big cities, Tomas Scarpetti prefers the oceanic sweetness of the Basque Country. “I came here for the first time six or seven years ago. From then, I wanted to come back every year with my van. He came back for surfing, but above all for the quality of the fresh products on site. The most important thing is the product for me, that I work in a simple way to respect its taste”, describes the one who does his menu considering the products he will find at the market of Saint Jean de Luz, Quintaou or Biarritz.
Zero waste and comfort food
Vegetables and fish make up most of his dishes, which he sees as “comfort food”. Literally : food in which we find comfort, but also friendliness. “I like to make dishes to share, which comes as a flood on the table and everyone want a bite of it,” pleads the one who finds the classic mechanics of “one dish per person” a bit sad.
After the product, comes the technique. In the line of one of hismasters, Francis Mallmann, the chef likes to cook with fire. In Providence‘s pocket kitchen, it’s hard to imagine installing all the asador kit, but he still plans to cook some vegetables on this model. And most importantly, he wants to make the least waste possible with his cuisine.
With his van, Tomas Scarpetti has traveled through America and Europe for more than twenty years. Last year, he chose to settle in Biarritz. “For the high quality products and surfing,” he says. At the age of 41, this self-taught chef worked in the kitchens of Carøe in Biarritz in 2018, a Scandinavian-inspired restaurant, and made several pop up residencies, at the Maitenia restaurant in Ciboure and at La Légende in Sauveterre-de-Béarn. Before deciding to get closer to the ocean this year, by choosing Providence in Guéthary.
From April 6th to June 2nd, the Argentine will officiate at Providence every Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. A place where “the atmosphere is very beautiful” and where he intends to bring the richness of his multiple experiences to create beautiful things.
Photo by @hannahindia.photography.