Meet Chef Marco - Q&A with The Man Behind Birba's Homemade Pasta

It’s no secret that we love fresh food - from the fruit in our cocktails, to the eggs in our bennies and the dough in our pasta! With its relaxed atmosphere, al fresco dining, fantastic bar selection, and inventive Italian menu, Birba is the ideal place for an evening hangout with friends, rich with great wine and shareable foods. Our little Italian eatery has become well known and loved for its variety of handmade pastas - the Tagliatelle being a personal favorite of mine. The secret behind our beloved Tagliatelle is the man who makes it, Chef Marco Saba. He was born and raised in Italy, which means his passion for quality food and his straightforward, but jovial nature is pretty much a birthright.

Chef Marco making black and white pasta at Birba image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Chef Marco making black and white pasta at Birba
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - Chef Marco, where did you grow up?

MS - Musei, Sardenia, Italy.

F10 - What is your favorite food memory?

MS - Bucatini alla Matriciana by Zio Peppino in Rome.

Bucatini all Matriciana: a traditional Italian dish made with long hollow strands of pasta, pork, pecorino romano and a spicy red sauce - yum!

F10 - When did you know you wanted to become a chef?

MS - I started young, working at restaurants, and eventually made my way into becoming a pasta worker. 

F10 - Where did you gain your culinary experience from?

MS - Working for pasta companies, I never went to culinary school. We have cooking in our blood. I have a qualification from a very large pasta company (Fresh Pasta).

F10 - Is there a chef you admire most? Who and why?

MS - No, I don’t follow chefs. It never interested me. 

Pasta Process image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Process
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Varietals  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Varietals
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Black + White Fettuccine image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Black + White Fettuccine
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What is your favorite pasta to make?  Is it different than your favorite pasta to eat?

MS - I love making all pastas. I do not have a preference. My favorite pastas to eat are ones that have filling (ravioli, tortelli, etc.)

F10 - What is your favorite kitchen equipment or gadget to use?

MS - Dough Mixer, it is the most important piece of equipment for my job.

Chef Marco rolls out the dough image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Chef Marco rolls out the dough
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Fresh Cut Ravioli  Image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Fresh Cut Ravioli
Image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What brought you to Palm Springs?

MS- I left Los Angeles because it was too chaotic. Palm Springs is more tranquil, I like Palm Springs. 

F10 - What do you love most about your job?

MS - The greatest satisfaction for me, is when everything goes smoothly and according to plan. 

image credits: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What is your favorite dish on the menu at Birba and what would you pair it with?

MS - Black and White fettuccine with a good white wine. 

F10 - If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

MS - Can’t answer this question, I could never eat the same meal for the rest of my life. 

Words well said, Thanks Chef!

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Follow Chef Marco on instagram to find out more about the man behind Birba’s pasta menu!