Alejandro Di Bello’s culinary journey began in Uruguay, where he was born as the youngest of seven children. His passion for cooking began at an early age when he would help his mother cook for the family. Di Bello’s father owned a nursery, which Di Bello would visit every weekend, allowing him to become familiar with a variety of fruits and vegetables that were used in the family’s daily recipes. Di Bello received his Culinary Associate Degree in Hospitality from Universidad del Trabajo del Uruguay while simultaneously gaining additional culinary experience working at a bakery. In 1999, he began working at a Conrad Hilton property but later jumped at the chance to work at what was then a Four Seasons property in Carmelo, Uruguay. Di Bello eventually went on to work at numerous Four Seasons properties throughout the United States, including Miami, Lanai, Jackson Hole and Santa Barbara. While working in Miami, Di Bello met his wife of 10 years, Siri. The couple moved to Houston in April of 2016, where they both continued to work for the Four Seasons brand.
How’d you learn to cook?
I went to culinary school in Uruguay (Universidad del Trabajo del Uruguay). I grew up cooking with my parents — our family specialty dish is “Asados,” which is our version of barbecue.
What’s the first recipe you ever mastered?
A delicious stuffed chicken dish that consists of ham, cheese, bacon and bell pepper and it’s wrapped in cult fat and served with date chimichurri.
What ingredient can you not live without in the kitchen and why?
Garlic. It goes well in several dishes and preparation. It has a powerful way of elevating other flavors.
What utensil can you not live without?
A good sharp knife
Favorite affordable wine?
Favorite place for dessert?
Any ice cream shop!
What is your comfort food?
Any comfort food that is simplistic, yet has phenomenal taste.
What do you see as the next food trend?
Elevated tweaks on traditional food.
Is there a food you won’t eat?
Raw proteins – I like my food cooked!
Who are your favorite chef, restaurant and dish?
There are many chefs that I admire and look up to, but the most memorable is Chef Thomas Bellec from Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. He expanded my knowledge and taught me so much while working with him. His provolone cheese beignet is to die for – it has roasted beets, endives and arugula, with a late harvest poppy seed vinaigrette.
At home, what do you keep on hand to serve drop-in guests?
Breads, cold cuts and cheeses – little things to snack on.
Is there a particular food that is underappreciated?
And what would you do to help its reputation?
In my opinion, underappreciated can mean limited knowledge or unopened mind of food. Therefore, one method could be introducing little by little the product’s taste/flavor so one can be comfortable with new food trends. The idea is to expose to something outside of comfort level.
What would people be surprised to find in your home refrigerator?
What would be your last meal?
A great wooden fire cheese pizza with green olives, and of course a large glass of Coke®.
1300 Lamar Street [inside the Four Seasons Hotel] | Houston, TX 77010
713.652.6214 | www.bayouandbottle.com