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Massimo Sacco is a Chef Magician

Massimo Sacco
Massimo Sacco

Massimo Italian Restaurant has been a crowd favourite for both expats and Indonesians whenever in Bali.

We chatted with its owner, Massimo Sacco, to get to know the Italian restaurant and the man in the kitchen better. He shares his love of food, people, and magic because after all, he’s a magician who can captivate you at his restaurant anytime.

Hi, Massimo! We’d like to know more about you. Please introduce yourself.

Buongiorno. I am Massimo Sacco, chef and owner of Massimo in Sanur, Bali. I arrived in Indonesia in 1996 to produce Italian gelato and homemade pasta. When I arrived in 1996, the first challenge was to build my own pizza oven because none was available at that time. I grew up in a family of chefs and I am the third generation. I’ve loved cooking since I was a little boy and, at the same time, grew my hobby for magic. I’m a Chef Magician or a Magic Chef.

Share with us your thoughts on expat life in Bali and the reason behind your move.

Since I first arrived in Bali, my focus has been on my passion for the kitchen and teaching my skills to my team. I have a great team and everyone is like family to me. We do have a unique boundary and have always been comfortable like at home.

restaurant Massimo Bali
restaurant Massimo Bali
Tell us about Massimo Italian Restaurant; the inspiration, concept, etc.

Massimo offers traditional Italian cooking with most of the recipes coming from my family or the tradition of my hometown. I love tradition and every recipe is carefully done according to tradition. We do have some Indonesian food too – to keep the tradition, I involved my team to share recipes from their villages.

How has opening a business in Indonesia been as an expat?

There are difficulties like anywhere in the world but I feel grateful to have a very nice time that can help during any difficulties.

The restaurant has been running for over two decades. Complete this sentence: Dining at Massimo Italian Restaurant is special because…

We have a wonderful team that makes you feel at home. We do have specialities from my hometown, Lecce on the southeast coast of Italy, and to try to give specialities where you either go to Lecce or Massimo in Bali. We cook every meal fresh from the scratch table by table, guest by guest, for every single order.

What are your personal favourites from your restaurant?

I do love anything! If there is any Italian dish that I don’t like then I simply won’t do it. I can tell you what the guests’ favourites are; homemade pasta like tagliatelle, tortellini, ravioli, homemade cheese daily fresh mozzarella and burrata, slow natural leavening pizza, and the traditional Italian gelato.

Why are giving love for the product, taking your time, and being committed to quality important to you?

Cooking is a big responsibility. We are what we eat and I eat at my home restaurant every day. I love food and service in all its aspects, and giving the best of myself makes me feel good.

The gelato is a customer favourite. Why is that?

Making gelato is my first love as I started working at the age of 14 in the best gelato shop in my hometown. I produce gelato according to the Italian tradition by using only milk, cream, sugar, imported nuts and biscuits, and local fruits. Some guests ask why my gelato melts quickly; we do not use any additional fat from other sources other than milk and cream, so absolutely no use of hydrogenated coconut oil and no additives.

gelato Massimo Bali
Massimo’s famous Gelato
Are there any expansion plans in store?

We do sell our gelato to other shops but one restaurant is more than enough as I like to give the best of myself to our customers and many working hours a day are needed. I’ve had several offers to open other stores but I always politely decline.

Massimo, what’s next for you and your company?

To keep our large family team and keep traditions as we reflect in everything we do.

Do you have anything to say for expats seeking to move to Bali?

I did travel around the world before coming to Bali. The approach should be always of respect for the people and the country that welcomes us.

How can our readers get in touch with you?

I am always available and my phone number is on any social media – Instagram @massimo_theoriginalsince1996. I still like to answer personally to anyone as I love people as much as I love food and magic. We do have a stage in the restaurant and very often I do perform magic but never schedule the show!

Thank you, Massimo! Stay healthy and happy.

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