#UAEReads: Cesare Romani’s habit to feed the mind and soul

An executive chef describes his five favourite books.

Cesare Romani, the executive chef at Yas Viceroy in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Yas Viceroy.
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When he is not leading the culinary team in one of the most iconic hotels in the Middle East, the executive chef at Yas Viceroy is likely to be found with a book in his hand. Cesare Romani makes a point of finding time to read despite his busy schedule.

“Reading has always been very important to me,” he says. “I carry a book with me at all times. I cannot imagine my life without books. I try to read 100 books a year.”

Romani recently started using a Kindle, which he says transformed his reading habits.

“While I still love the tactile and olfactory experience of a paper book,” he says, “I find that I read much more now and love the idea that I can carry hundreds of books with me at any one time.”

Reading has played an important role throughout Romani’s life and career.

“Because I started to read at a very young age, I developed an early desire to travel and see the world, seeking inspiration and creativity from the books I consumed,” he says.

“I believe it also encouraged me to take on my career as a chef. A chef learns his craft from repetition and practice, as well as the discovery of new ideas, techniques and knowledge that come from books.

“A book alone will not make you a chef – but a chef who doesn’t read will never be a great one.”