Il Teatro is known for its elegant atmosphere and delectable cuisine. The FACT team went to meet the venue’s new Italian chef, Marco Arlotti, for a sneak peek into the restaurant’s wonderful kitchen…

Chef Marco Arlotti welcomes the Fact team with a big smile. His delicate approach in the kitchen and friendly demeanor makes it comfortable to start our tour into his working space. With only three months in dusty Qatar, Chef Marco has settled in quite well at the Four Seasons Hotel as the new Chef De Cuisine in the Italian restaurant, Il Teatro. At 33, Chef Marco has built up incredible experience from working in Milan, making him superb at what he does.

As we all sit down to start our culinary journey with his tasty dishes, Chef Marco jokes and chats of his early experiences with professional and master chef, Sergio Mei: “He wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer,” Chef Marco recalls. “He was an incredible teacher and I had the privilege to work several years with him. Whatever you asked him was, surprisingly, the correct answer!” We were ready to tuck into our first dish, an antipasto: Capesante Scottate con frutto della passione, a delicious starter that will give your palate a sweet and sour, acid taste, all in one spoonful. We’re intrigued to know more about the changes or additions Chef Marco will make to Il Teatro’s menu. “I want to balance among the different range of dishes and in their ingredients,” he says. “I’ve introduced 90 per cent of the present menu, I’ve changed their recipes and added new ones.

“Work with salt, pepper, extra virgin oil, and herbs. It comes down to those simple things.”

Next up was a wonderful Risotto. Fact highly recommends this exquisite Italian dish which was full of flavour and left us happily full. So, what makes chef Marco’s cuisine so unique from other Italian chefs and restaurants? “Salt is the key to a good meal,” he admits. “You may have the best fish in the world, but if you don’t know the proper ‘feel’ to its measurements then it won’t make it a good one. You have it in you, or you don’t.” To explain further, he shared some culinary insight into his cooking methods. “My trick is to take salt and mix it with dry herbs,” Chef Marco says. “Use different types of salt for every dish.” Chatting with Chef Marco revealed not only his chef side but also his vibrant personality, and his passion for good ingredients and Italian cuisine. “What makes the difference in a dish? It’s in the details, the feeling that you give,” he says. “Work with salt, pepper, extra virgin oil, and herbs. It comes down to those simple things.”

Last, but not least we had the tantalising Sea Bass with vegetables; a fresh fish cooked tenderly with delicious veggies on the side – one word: yum! Il Teatro, under Chef Marco’s supervision and creative outlook will, no doubt, fast-become a foodie favourite for Italian cuisine in Doha.

The food is authentic and super tasty, made with 80 per cent of ingredients exported straight from the cuisine’s homeland. Foodies, there’s no need to travel to Italy, not when Chef Marco and Il Teatro can serve up hearty Italian fare, right here in Doha.

GO: Visit Il Teatro at the Four Seasons Hotel. Call 4494 8888 for reservations and more information.