Whether it is his flamboyant clothes or his business philosophy, Vincenzo Spinosi likes to stand out and be different.
The Italian entrepreneur has taken his father's business of producing artisanal pasta to a different level by creating a new type of pasta that he has named Spinosini 2000.
"I wanted to give Italians and gourmets around the world something original and better than any pasta they have ever tasted before. We did extensive research to develop a unique product that takes only four minutes to cook, tastes great and is healthy because it is the only pasta enriched with Omega–3," said Spinosi, during a trip to the UAE for a special Spinosini promotion at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai, and the Beach Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Spinosi's enthusiasm is infectious. He doesn't speak English but that didn't stop him from getting us all excited about our first taste of Spinosini. While he stirred up some Spinosini with shrimp and vegetables for us, he talked non-stop - in Italian - explaining how the fine, wavy pasta is made by hand, discussing his book featuring Spinosini recipes created by famous chefs and telling us about the celebrities - including the Pope, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Pavarotti - who loved Spinosini.
But all that talk was not mere hype. Spinosini is really something special in terms of flavour, texture and its ability to
absorb sauce and remain soft and succulent a long time after it is cooked. I love pasta and have never tasted anything so delicious.
Spinosi explained that while ordinary pastas are made from flour, water and eggs, absolutely no water is used in the making of Spinosini.
"We use only fresh eggs produced by a special breed of Livornese chickens fed on cereals and cold-pressed sunflower seed oil, rich in vitamin E and Omega-3. The eggs are broken by hand and the pasta is gently pressed. Each strand is cut by hand making it soft and porous enough to absorb a generous amount of sauce," he said.
The elaborate process and limited production makes Spinosini much more expensive than other pastas. "This is a luxury product. It is the Rolls Royce of pasta. I hope some day menus will list Spinosini as a separate choice on their pasta menu for discerning guests," said Spinosi.
"Come Prima at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai, is the first restaurant in Dubai to use Spinosini and I am happy they have invited me to do a promotion and conduct a workshop to introduce my product to people here. I am looking for appropriate outlets to make my exclusive product available in the UAE," he added.
Spinosi also make other types of pasta including fettuccini that cooks in one minute and an exclusive pasta flavoured with squid ink. He has been dubbed the "King of Pasta" by the Italian media. But he would rather be called a prince.
"The term 'king' implies that one has already arrived. But I have big plans for the future and am working on many new
products," he said, offering us a taste of Spiritosini, his recently introduced brand of cookies.
Did you know?
Vincenzo Spinosi dropped out of school at the age of 11 but was recently invited to talk about his successful business by the Business Management School at Milan's prestigious Bocconi University.
In 2000, he received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences for outstanding quality and service.
One person is employed by Spinosi just to break eggs by hand. The employee breaks over 5,000 eggs daily.