Order and cleanliness, Claudia guards

Innorta, a female sous chef (and an iron sergeant) for chef Ugo Alciati: a very rare case...

08-05-2015
Claudia Innorta and Ugo Alciati of Guido ristorant

Claudia Innorta and Ugo Alciati of Guido ristorante (+39.0173.626162), and exceptionally at Identità Expo until Sunday

She arrived, didn’t like the way the fridge was organised, emptied it and rearranged everything. Obsessed with order and cleanliness, 29-year-old Claudia Innorta, from Giaveno (Torino), is no ordinary cook. First of all, she’s the female sous chef of a male chef: one of a kind, «I don’t know of any other woman», she says. «I don’t know of any other man», he says.

Besides – and the words above are the proof of it – she’s the alter ego, the perfect interface for Ugo Alciati, the chef in question. Professional couples are formed by analogy or complementarity: Claudia and Ugo proceed in parallel. Even their sensitivity in the kitchen is akin: they both think about the right mix between tradition and creativity, modern techniques and ancient wisdom.

With Alciati at work until Sunday night with Identità Expo (he signs a fantastic menu for lunch and supper, as illustrated here, except on Sunday at lunchtime when he will work together with Matias Perdomo), it is Innorta who has move between Milan and Serralunga d’Alba, where Guido ristorante is located, inside Villa Contessa Rosa.

She’s not scared by this up-and-down: firstly because she’s hard working, secondly because she has an innate sense of command, «my husband Antonio always tells me, “I feel like I’ve married a man, not a woman”. I like order, precise rules, cleanliness», and oddly enough Antonio is a hygiene-health inspector...

Claudia Innorta became a chef a bit by chance. Her parents are doctors, she enjoyed sleeping late, «I was a loafer. The closest lyceum to home was the linguistic one, so I enrolled there. It was easier». There was no vocation: in November, on the third year, she decided to change, «I chose catering school», and it seems like she wasn’t that convinced either. Her parents had the same feeling so to avoid her backing away again, they knocked on the doors of Betulla in Trana (To), «do you have place in your staff for a girl from catering school?». They had and she was fouled. In 2003 came the most important internship, at Villa Crespi in the same year when Antonino Cannavacciuolo got the first star.

Ugo Alciati’s veal in tuna sauce

Ugo Alciati’s veal in tuna sauce

Passion arrived too, with only one doubt: food or wine? After high school came the degree in Viticulture and Oenology in Alba, and a job in a winery in Treiso. However, she was looking for another direction and a friend of hers working at Eataly introduced her to Piero Alciati: a job interview and a one way ticket to Pollenzo, where Guido ristorante was at the time. It was April 2010, sweet Claudia then climbed internal ranks until she became Ugo’s right-hand (wo)man.

How about the future? «In Italy! In Piedmont!», she exclaims assertively, praising the work environment in Serralunga. And glorifying the dishes at Guido, the agnolotto with roasted meat sauce above all. However, there’s one more dish she could never (and never does) stop eating: «Our veal in tuna sauce. It’s fabulous».


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