Keep Clean And Carry On

Why I’m Obsessed With… Cleanliness

As confessed by Francesca Scarpa, mother of two and restaurateur behind the Da Paolo Group.

Why I’m Obsessed With… Cleanliness
Francesca Scarpa, Head of Marketing and Product Management, Da Paolo GroupDa Paolo Group

She’s the mother of two hyperactive boys, Malo (seven) and Arno (five), who love tumbling around in nature. A familiar face among local restaurateurs, Francesca Scarpa was previously also a competitive surfer, and now often rides the waves with her kids.

In fact, they are so cool on their surfboards and snow skis that it makes us wonder — how does the self-professed cleanliness-obsessed 36-year-old keep her boys clean, especially in light of the current COVID-19 situation?

At work, cleanliness is also paramount for Francesca. After all, as the head of marketing and product management for the Da Paolo Group of food and beverage businesses, she has to ensure that each facility practises top hygiene standards. She works alongside her husband Guillaume Pichoir, who joined the family business as chief executive officer in 2010. Her brother, Andrea Scarpa, succeeded their father, Paolo Scarpa, as group executive chef.

Apart from co-running three restaurants — including the latest 5,000 sqft Da Paolo Dempsey Restaurant & Bar — seven Gastronomia outlets as well as the catering and professional services arms of the business, Francesca loves getting into the kitchen for another reason — to cook and bake with Malo and Arno. Let’s see how they keep up the fun, while keeping the germs at bay.

(Image: Da Paolo Group)

I discovered I love to wash my hands when I was… at university. At one of my microbiology lab lessons, we did swab tests on hands washed with and without soap. Suffice to say, the results left a deep impression on me!  

I wish I didn’t have to touch… the thumbprint scanner at the checkpoints. It’s usually filled with thumbprints left by other travellers. 

When people said that I couldn’t wash my hair during confinement, I…  went ahead and washed my hair anyway! 

Before I touched or fed my baby (when they were really tiny), I would… use chlorhexidine  to wash my hands. 

My kids can touch… everything, because it’s not possible to control what they touch. But I always remind them that they should not touch their faces, or put their hands in or near their mouths… For now, it’s mission impossible, but we can always hope, right? 

My kids know how to… wash their own wakeboards and mountain bikes, and they store them outside the house. They know they have to remove their shoes before entering the house, and wash their hands the proper way as soon as they get home from any outdoor activity. 

I train them to… wash hands and clean up by constantly reminding them… a.k.a. nagging! 

In my bag, I always have… antibacterial wipes. I find it more useful than a sanitiser especially when there is no sink around to wash hands.  

My natural remedy for disinfectant is… eucalyptus or tea tree oil. I love the smell! 

The first thing I do in the morning is… brush my teeth. 

The last thing I do at night is… brush my teeth. 

Prior to dining, I would… wash my hands with soap and water. 

(Image: Da Paolo Dempsey)
(Image: Da Paolo Dempsey)

I think the most lethal, bacteria-filled spots are… public toilet door handles! That’s why I think all malls should have automatic doors leading to the toilets. 

When I have to open the toilet door, I’d… use a tissue to hold the handle and then wash my hands with soap! 

My favourite type of cleansing agent is… eucalyptus oil. I like applying it on surfaces to kill germs after using soap and water. 

I will always… wash my feet when I get home before I wash my hands! Don’t ask me why. I guess it makes me feel clean?

My dream home would have…  a sanitising chamber for us to go through before we enter from outside.

(Image: Da Paolo Dempsey)

If I had to enter the kitchen at work, I… tie my hair up and then wash my hands with soap and dry them.  

In view of the current COVID-19 outbreak, Da Paolo Dempsey is… fiercely protecting our staff and diners. We have put away our menus and replaced them with single-use disposable menus for now.   

What I know about COVID-19 is… that we must all be responsible individuals and keep ourselves and the space we use clean. And we should not think that as long as our homes are clean then we are fine. Our lives are (hopefully) beyond our homes. Public areas are the toughest places to keep clean since it is accessed by so many people and so, it’s the most likely place to catch any bugs. If we all played our part in exercising consideration to other users, then we will make our environment safer for everyone including ourselves. 

(Image: Da Paolo Dempsey)