The Creative Spark of Venice
The creative genius behind Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s celebrated Oro restaurant is Executive Chef Davide Bisetto. His passion for art, beauty and the city of Venice inspire every delicious dish.
Venice is nothing if not a bold city. As an island state, seafood features heavily on every menu, but excellent wild-game and vegetables are also a popular presence on the Venetian plate. Much like the audacious architecture, the city’s culinary heritage is deeply intertwined with Mediterranean and Eastern influences. This is a city that innovates. It is apt that the Executive Chef of Belmond Hotel Cipriani’s Oro restaurant is passionately driven to do the same.
The hotel is famed for its own culinary innovations. Both carpaccio and the Bellini cocktail were invented here. Chef Davide Bisetto launched Oro in 2014. He was born in Treviso, just a few kilometers north of Venice, but his journey here crossed several borders—his quest for culinary perfection leading him every step of the way.
Bisetto remembers a childhood steeped in the region’s gastronomic traditions. He would pick homegrown vegetables in the garden and help his grandfather to prepare jams. Aged 14, his passion for cookery was fully ignited and he began a course at a cookery school while working in the kitchens of Castelfranco Veneto Restaurant.
Soon Bisetto was bound for London. It was here that he honed his talent at the Santini Restaurant, famed for its avant-garde style. After a brief spell at Martini in Hamburg, Chef Davide arrived in Rome for military service. In this time he cooked for high-ranking officials including Spadolini and Andreotti.
In 1990, the opening of Santini in Milan sparked Chef Davide’s next adventure. He spent five years in the city, moving on to Four Seasons Milan, where he became Sous Chef to Sergio Mei within months. Paris was the next step. Here, Bisetto faced the challenge of tempting discerning French diners with exceptional Italian cuisine. He and his team won over the Parisian culinary scene, of course.
In 2002, Chef Bisetto’s explosive creativity was recognised with a Michelin star for Carpaccio Restaurant. He continued to push the limits of gastronomy, pouring his innovative intuition into every dish. In 2007 he was awarded his second Michelin star.
Today, you’ll find him in the kitchens of Oro where his eye for precision and vibrant artistry manifests in the colourful, flavourful dishes he creates. His challenge here is to capture Venice on a plate; not just the classic Venice, but one that’s always ready for new arrivals on its shores. The spirit of a city that innovates. Only a Chef with Bisetto’s perfectionism and creative range could attempt such a thing—and what exquisite results.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?It was definitely at L'Arpège in Paris, run by Chef Alain Passard. Every time I go there it's always the same incredible experience.
The first dish you ever learned to cook?I was 12 years old when my mother taught me to prepare custard at home.
What inspires you?I am continuously inspired by the beauty, art and culture that surround me every day.
Appetizer or dessertOne need not exclude the other. I say you should treat yourself and enjoy both.
Which item on your menu best represents youThe "Rapotto". Chioggia turnip risotto, goat’s milk and herring caviar—it’s the perfect representation of my home-land, combined with some of the best flavours I have picked up on my travels.
Best culinary lesson learned?I've learnt a lot from all the great chefs I’ve met through the years, but my sincere thanks go to Sergio Mei. He was the first to make me understand I could express myself with this job.
If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?Paris. After spending 16 years there, I owe a lot to that place…As you can see in my creations.
Words to live by?When you create something…It doesn't matter what, but how.