Executive Chef Mirko Cappa’s 20-year culinary career has taken him across the globe, but the cuisine and culture of his Italian homeland remain close to his heart. In his current role overseeing the culinary programme of Bodega & Grill at Angsana Laguna Phuket, in addition to leading all seven outlets of the resort and supervising a team of over 140 people, Chef Mirko has an idyllic setting in which to showcase his flair with Mediterranean cuisine.
Chef Mirko was born with a passion for cooking, and spent much of his childhood helping out in his family’s two restaurants in Lake Garda near Milan. “When I got home from school I jumped straight into the kitchen,” he recalls.
He gained his first international experience while serving as a chef on a ship in the Italian navy. In his travels he was inspired by different cultures and exotic flavours, and witnessed firsthand the possibilities of bringing the culinary techniques and recipes of the Mediterranean to different cultures and lands. After finishing culinary school studies in Italy at the age of 20, Chef Mirko set sail for the exotic East, and began working at a luxury hotel restaurant in Singapore. His career progressed steadily through the ranks in five-star kitchens around the world to places as diverse as Shanghai, Malaysia, Bermuda, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Mexico. Joining Angsana Laguna Phuket as Executive Chef marked Chef Mirko’s return to Phuket; he first landed on the Thai island to serve as Executive Sous Chef at the popular and award-winning Puccini restaurant on Bang Tao Beach
In addition to his duties overseeing all of Angsana Laguna Phuket’s restaurants, Chef Mirko takes a hands-on role at Bodega & Grill, which sits in a quiet setting in the heart of the beachfront resort. Indeed, Bodega & Grill’s easy glamour and warmth reflect the chef’s distinctive presence and demeanour.
Chef Mirko explains that Bodega & Grill is a place to visit with friends and family, soak up the peaceful atmosphere and share a hearty, delicious meal. Guests can relax in Bodega & Grill’s elegant interior of rich woods and polished floors, or dine out on the open terrace to enjoy the balmy evening breezes next to a whirlpool and tropical gardens.
Bodega & Grill is not a formal fine dining spot, Chef Mirko says, but more traditional and casual with an emphasis on shared dishes. The menu highlights a rich range of choices with cold starters including Carpaccio, Porterhouse beef and Phuket lobster with artichokes & fennel salad, citrus dressing and fresh rocket. Hot starters prepared in the wood-fire oven include Bodega Foie Gras and Baby Octopus Luciana.
Many dishes are designed for couples or groups to share, including special paella and risotto selections for five that are prepared at the table. With some 350 labels of wine to choose from, guests are easily guided to the perfect pairing for their meal.
While the menu offers a diversity of tastes, quality and simplicity remain constant throughout. “I try my best to balance ingredients as the simplest preparations make for the best dishes,” Chef Mirko says. “I choose the best quality products and local products wherever possible. You don’t need to make it too complicated – people always return for simple, tasty food.”
The elaborate steak menu boasts some of the finest cuts of beef to be found in Phuket. Bodega & Grill’s signature dish, Tomahawk Tagima Wagyu Steak, is served with a theatrical flair. Fresh off the grill, the 1.2kg cut of beef is set in a cast iron skillet on a wooden platter and brought out to a table in the dining area. Diners watch as the generous Australian steak is first branded with a “B” for Bodega & Grill prior to being sliced up and served with a sauce of their choice.
Bodega & Grill’s dessert menu features a creamy New York Cheesecake, Chocolate Brownie and zesty Temon Tart.
Chef Mirko acknowledges that dining out is about the ambience and company as much as it is about the food. “With Bodega & Grill, my goal is to create a loyal community of guests who return frequently because of our welcoming environment and their affinity for our food. I like to sit down with my guests and offer a personal touch.”
Building a strong team that shares his passion in the kitchen and brings a smile to guests is key. “My strength is that I spend a lot of time with my staff, and I show by example.” They share the workload, but also the joys.
Enquiries and reservations services for Angsana Laguna Phuket may be made via firstname.lastname@example.org or direct reservation line +66 76 358 555