It is never easy for a chef to talk about their cuisine without sounding self-congratulatory. Or he risks being overly cautious, especially after so many years of experience in the field.
This is my story
I am self-taught
I approached the stove, for the typical family situation that arose in everyday life. Sometimes you find yourself cooking with an able relative.
In my case it was my grandmother.
She was a very good cook, like almost always all grandmothers.
She was of Cremonese origin and she had taught many of her secrets to my mother, who applied them with some inspiration and creativity.
Observing them, I began to make fresh pasta to make ravioli, to make meats, like braised meats, to make desserts, following their recipes.
I started to simulate the women who most represented the cuisine that I still try to offer you
Over the years my palate evolved, thanks to an ever increasing maturity and awareness. My growth as a lover of the culinary world, happily underwent various territorial incursions. Because, in addition to the Emilian origins, of which I have already told you, on the table in my house there were also those of Sicily, precisely from Palermo. My father called himself a “Palermo DOC”, he lived in the heart of the Vucciria.
I certainly owe my innate passion for the pleasure of being at the table and eating, to my parents. A passion matured from an early age, when they took us around restaurants, together with my younger brother Andrea, who today takes care of the wine cellar at the Osteria. I think I can proudly claim that mine is a cuisine with real, incisive flavors, which you recognize in every bite, thus combining Lombard-Emilian traditions with Sicilian and Palermo. I have had the best solicitations to create in the kitchen by touring many restaurants. I love conviviality and the pleasure of the table in general.
I want to tell a plate
About pasta, of which I am a big fan, a dish that has had a lot of success, both in technique and taste, are my blacks dumplings stuffed with mussels, squid and saffron sauce, tomato and curly.
The dish was presented at “Taormina Gourmet” in 2014 and was inspired by a typical Palermo preparation, namely that of spaghetti with mussels and sea urchins. The review of this dish of Sicilian tradition, is to make a stuffed pasta, changing and involving everyone who tastes it.
The iodine sensations of mussels and sea urchins, the almost sweet squid sauce, spicy touch of saffron: a plate and palate appears to be an explosion artistic. I must say, being very attracted to the aromatic suggestions, from herbs and spices, even those of exotic origin, give character and personality to this dish that represents me very much.
It does not, however, the dishes marked with the alleged delicacy that often is nothing but prudence in the face of curiosity deficits many diners.
Anonymity in these cases is around the corner
The risk is the creative soul of the action of a cook and stimulates the imagination and knowledge, both in terms of product and technique.
Not surprisingly, another dish that deserves to be mentioned, because it best expresses the dichotomy between past and future, is the one with anelletti, typical format of pasta exclusively Palermo, seasoned with an octopus sauce, a recipe for which I often love to tell.
I have always been a regular visitor of the Palermo street food
Across the markets of the old town such as the famous Vucciria or Ballarò, I am often attracted by the heady fragrance of the food that is prepared by Palermo street.
The famous “fritters” and “croquettes” or the entrails like “stigghiole”, the “meusa”. As also artichokes, from boiled potatoes or from pollanche (cobs) and many other specialties of our territory. But … what fascinates me most are the exploded mussels and the boiled octopus, strictly “maiolino” octopus, or rock. Thus it was born the idea of carrying the octopus from the street to the table at Osteria dei Vespri: anelletti with octopus sauce has become over the years a true staple of our menu. It is a dish that fully expresses his philosophy of a kitchen that likes to dare and use the Sicilian territory, taking advantage of all that our region offers (including Slow Food).
Mine is an open kitchen with all national excellence and not. And outside of rhetoric, I think that everything that can improve a dish needs to be taken into account but never in ‘perspective of a globalization of taste.
I am in favor of a cultural opening up to, because the table is conviviality: the food is a Symposium