Fou Zoo

Pan Asian Restaurant


Italian chef who fell in love with asian cuisine

Fou Zoo was one of the places in which Italian chef Antonio Vacca (28) started his career. He had come to the restaurant before its opening and during his internship he tried out working at every position from dishwasher to cook of every section. After his internship in our restaurant finished in 2011, he moved back abroad. He worked at prestigious restaurants (London’s restaurant NOBU Berkley for instance). Currently he’s been working as chef in Roka Restaurant, London for four years.

Young energetic Italian who fell in love with Japanese cuisine has returned to our restaurant as a host chef already twice. Our guests could remember Antonio’s signature from tasting events Japalian and Dolce Vita. This time, he’ll be staying at Fou Zoo from 26 to 28 April. Together with our chef Michal Conrad they will show you their very own connection of Slovak and Italian approach to Pan Asian(?) cuisine. Read an interview with Antonio and what Michal says about him.

What made you want to become a chef?

I always cooked at home with mum, and just loved being emmersed in the kitchen, we shared flavours, recipes and this is where I feel creative, It‘s home and I dont ever want to leave the kitchen.

How do you remember your time working at Fou Zoo?

It has always inspired me as I got to work close to Mickey, he was always around, showing new things, teaching, he initiated me into the world of cheffing.

How did you go from being a kitchen porter to becoming a headchef?

8 years ago the only way to start in a kitchen with no knowledge was from the bottom up, nowadays... it‘s a great step as you understand the value of each and every memeber of the team.

How has your cooking style evolved over time?

Over the last few years I have explored a variety of cooking, from peasant to modern, and even though my focus is Japanese/Asian style food I now see that the detail of an unexpected ingredient is essential to lift a dish.

In your career which restaurant was a key turning point?

Moving to London and making Head chef at Roka.

What qualities do you need to become a chef at a Michelin stared restaurant?

You need to be a little crazy, and very driven.


What characteristics do you have that make you a successful chef?

Hungry, for everything, passionate and in love with this tough industry.

What cuisine do you personally prefer?

Rustic local cooking.

Which ingredients do you like working with?

Unexpected ingredients, and combinations... You should check the pre-desert at the event Bellissima Azia. It’s a special surprise.

Source of all photos: Antonio Vacca´s Instagram

What aspects do you consider when preparing a menu?

The complete experience, every sense, thinking like a guest and what they experience, from the moment the plate comes to the table till the last scoop or bite.

What is it like collaborating with Mike Konrád?

Its like seeing an old brother, he is family, reconnecting, sharing and developing,

our cooking duo is emotional and that can create the most exeptional dishes.

What was your favorite dish at Fou Zoo?

Beef and prawn roll.

What message does your meal send?

That great Japanese food can be made by an Italian chef.

What is your cooking philosophy?

To make new culinray memories for my guest and to make sure i enjoy cooking every step of the way.

Michal: Antonio was right from the start very hard-working, zealous, goal-oriented and I could always count on him. As a person he’s very nice and a bit crazy, like every chef. At the moment we’re in touch every day, skyping a doing final touches on recipes for the event. You really have something to look forward to.

Bellisima Ázia event is therefore a unique fusion of Slovak and Italian concept of Asian cuisine, in a ´never tasted before´ form.

You can enjoy three tasting evenings from April 26 to 28 after 6 pm in our restaurant.

Price  7-course menu for 1 person: 89 EUR

Drink pairing for 1 person: 40 EUR




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