The Artist Behind The Food - Doki Sushi @ Libelula
Opening on 1st November at Libelula, we decided to ask Fabrizio Giustiniani a few questions to find out a bit more about him, the Costa Rican food culture and what inspired him to create this restaurant.
Where are you from in CR?
I was born and raised in San Jose.
What did you eat as a child?
Growing up in my house, my mom always made sure to feed us healthy, balanced, fresh food like: salads, lots of vegetables, fruits. If I could accurately describe the food we ate growing up , it was a mix of Costa Rican ingredients and dishes with Mediterranean flavours and preparations.
Describe typical food of Costa Rica
Costa Rican typical food is delicious and has a big place in my heart. It’s food that feeds the soul and provides us with loads of energy, lots of perfectly fluffy white rice and beans, lots of vegetables in the form of “picadillos”, sometimes just the smell of a firewood oven can transport me to magical places.
What is your favourite place in Costa Rica?
I love Costa Rica as a whole, every single place is beautiful and special and full of biodiversity. However, if I had to choose one single place it would be Cocos Island. It’s out of this world!
Does the food change depending on where you are in Costa Rica?
Food will be similar all throughout the country, however there are certain places like Limón ( Atlantic Coast) that have strong influences of their own. They use a lot of coconut oil, coconut milk, thyme, panameño pepper and seafood; just to name some. This influence came from black people migrating from the Caribbean and eventually merged with Costa Rican ingredients that we all know like : rice , beans, banana, plantain, etc. Giving life to a new genre of food that we now call “Caribeña”.
Were you inspired by someone in your family to cook?
My mom has always been a great cook and inspiration for me! Also all around my family there has always been a great eating tradition. On my dad’s side of the family, which migrated from the island of Corsica, France to Costa Rica in the 1960's, we have always kept a good tradition of bringing the family together around food. We all love French food, good wine, cheese etc.
Where did you train as a chef?
Chef training is something that never stops, you keep learning and improving your cooking skills every single day. Formally I trained to become a chef in Paris, France @ Cordon Bleu.
Where in the world have you worked?
Most of my work experience as a chef has been in Paris, France. During my time there I had the chance to travel extensively and work in kitchens in Italy, Spain, south of France, Morocco to name some, all great influences in my cooking style.
Why Japanese food?
Japanese food has always been an interest of mine, the respect with which they treat their ingredients, and the history behind their gastronomy has always been fascinating for me. There are many similarities between Mediterranean food and Japanese food, but if I could highlight the main one, it would be the freshness of the ingredients they use. Everything comes directly from the plant to the table or from the sea to your plate. This makes for unique styles of cooking and amazingly delicious plates.
What's your favourite ingredient? Is it easy to find here in CR?
Any ingredient that is super fresh can be my favourite ingredient to cook with. Luckily in Costa Rica we have a wide variety of climates and regions, and also being a relatively small country we can easily get ingredients from our different regions.
Name a few of your key dishes on your menu
My menus are always composed of very fresh food, fresh ingredients, raw elements. Mainly because of the weather and ambiance we have in Costa Rica throughout the year. All of which go very well together with Japanese food. I also love to give small hints of my background in every dish that I prepare, so you can expect to identify some Costa Rican flavours , and Mediterranean flavours as well merged into our dishes. Some dishes not to miss in our menu are: Chef’s tuna tataki, Tamarind-mongolian Beef, Doki ramen bowl, Sesame noodle stir fry. They are all packed with bold flavours, fresh ingredients, and amazing techniques. They gently tell a story about my background.
How long have you been in Potrero
I’ve lived in Potrero for 3 years now.
How long have you had Doki Sushi
Doki Sushi started operating in May 2021.
How did you choose your team ?
I had the honor to handpick my team, I don’t do interviews, I only work with people I know and I trust. When I bring together a team to work with me, the first thing I will always tell them is: “Forget about everything you know (in terms of cooking), I don’t care what you have learned elsewhere , here you will learn everything from 0, you will learn my way of cooking, my way of doing things.”
Can you introduce your team?
Right now we have a very diverse team of 5. We are all from different provinces of Costa Rica: San Jose, Limon, Alajuela, Guanacaste, Cartago and we all have very diverse backgrounds. The one thing that binds us all together is our passion for delivering an experience that our customers won't easily forget.
What excites you most about opening in LIbelula ?
The opportunity to work in a tropical paradise, the atmosphere, the proximity to nature, the opportunity to have a veggie garden. It's a beautiful setting in general, one that motivates us all very much!
What exciting projects do you have planned?
We will have a veggie garden “huerta” where we will have very fresh ingredients for our use at the restaurant.
We will have a Sake bar , with exciting cocktails to have by the pool.
We are planning to have events every now and then, with great live music and of course incredible food!
Who is your food good for? Kids, Adults, Parties, Groups?
Our food is great for anyone who wants to have an unforgettable culinary experience. Our versatility allows us to deliver anything from the range of : an amazing family style diner, exciting food for kids, a romantic candle light dinner for a couple, an amazing meal for a group or party.
What is the date you open for the public?
Doki sushi @ Libelula Lounge will officially open its doors on November 01 2021. We will be gladly waiting for you to come visit and have an awe-inspiring culinary experience surrounded by our tropical paradise gardens at Libelula Lounge.
You can see the menu here: Doki Sushi Menu, there will also be daily specials
We are open for bookings, please contact us for reservations either via email, phone, FB, or Instagram
email@example.com, +506 6205 3348, +506 8639 6854
You can see more of his food on his instagram page: @dokisushicr