The bitter and the acid

Lorenzo Cogo and Daniel Burns explore two flavours that are only seemingly distant from our sensitivity

13-10-2014
Lorenzo Cogo d'El Coq di Marano Vicentino e Danie

Lorenzo Cogo d'El Coq di Marano Vicentino e Daniel Burns, canadese del Luksus di Greenpoint a Brooklyn, entrambi una stella Michelin. Giovani leve con due approcci distanti per estrazione, molto tecnici nelle esecuzioni

Lorenzo Cogo is here in New York to express and spread all of his love for bitterness. «A flavour that is certainly not foreign to the Italian culture», the chef from Vicenza explains, «just think of the fantastic bitterness of some cocktails or historic liqueurs such as vermouth».

In the first dish presented at Eataly he pulls amaranth out of the cylinder, the keystone for a new interpretation of Prosciutto and figs, a quintessential Italian classic. Except in this case the fig is in the shape of a cream made with the (bitter) leaves of the fruit, which are processed in the Pacojet with the help of pectin. Some natural yogurt is added to the (boiled in water and then cooled down) amaranth. Two standing slices of prosciutto complete the dishing out that finely expresses «the main goal of El Coq: re-interpreting the criterions of our tradition with intelligence».

Prosciutto, figs and amaranth by Lorenzo Cogo

Prosciutto, figs and amaranth by Lorenzo Cogo

Daniel Burns’s moment arrives. Canadian, for a long time the pastry chef at Noma, the manager of the Test Kitchen at David Chang’s Momofuku, since two years ago he’s the director at Luksus in Brooklyn. He brings along some records: he holds two degrees (in Mathematics and Philosophy), he’s the first Michelin star in Greenpoint (a once very disreputable neighbourhood which is now very trendy) and most of all he’s the first star on the planet not to have a single wine in the list. There are only craft beers from all around the world, 150 countries, to be precise.

At Eataly he debuts right away with a beautiful concept: «When I used to work with Redzepi and Chang I would in fact do what they asked me to do in the kitchen, and of course not what I wanted to do myself. For this reason, in order to learn, it is important to choose an establishment that is not too distant from what you feel is your personal inclination, so you learn a lot and it doesn’t bother».

The dish he prepared is an ode to Northern seas: Smoked mussels, watercress purée, pickled red onions, smoked beef and marrow crumble. The latter, in contact with the cold stock made with the mussels, curiously replicates the feeling of wet sand that is typical of the mussels’ habitat. Except in this case the sand is inviting for the palate because it is splendidly mineral. A dish with stock which is never missing in the set menu at Luksus (Burns is so keen that he personally serves it to the audience at Eataly, one by one). A preparation with stimulating smokiness and acidity, the two prevailing flavours that are influenced by his Nordic DNA.

Identità New York number 5 closes with the return of Lorenzo Cogo: Ravioli with pistachio and chicken gelatine. Bitter-acid micro-ravioli that explore new taste horizons. The worthy conclusion of a memorable edition.


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