Sergio Sigala, Cecconi’s

Sergio Sigala has wielded a Midas touch at Italian haute spots on Miami Beach. Some 11 years ago, he opened the now-legendary Casa Tua, whose romantic setting and high-end take on favorites from the Boot continues to attract the A-list of gourmands. Today, he serves a similarly soigné clientele at Cecconi’s, the Soho Beach House outpost with sister locations in West Hollywood and London.

Here, Sigala draws from his northern Italian childhood, during which he learned reverence for food. “Most of my childhood meal memories are linked to my small village in Lombardy, to the fresh vegetables that my parents used to grow in our garden, to the cheese and salami that my uncle used to make at home with the few animals he used to raise,” he says. It was during his formative years that Sigala’s grandmother schooled him in some of the classics he cooks to this day. Whereas southern cuisine focuses on dry pastas and red sauces, Sigala’s menu at Cecconi’s centers on filling fare such as fresh pastas—gnocchi, ravioli, tagliolini, and cavatelli. “Northerners use cream in many main dishes, and there’s more meat on the northern table,” he says, noting that the restaurant offers a range of seafood as well, from whole branzino to catches such as salmon and halibut, as well as roasted scallops. No matter the origin, however, Sigala likes to prepare top ingredients fuss-free. “I prefer to cook and serve a dish that everyone can understand,” he says. “They might not have the bells and whistles, but at the end it’s what Italian food is about—being honest, straightforward, and delicious.” Soho Beach House, 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-507-7900

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