Camanini as chef, Bottura as guest

An extraordinary dinner with dishes from Lido 84 and the anecdotes of Modenaĺs Massimo

07-11-2016

Massimo Bottura and Riccado Camanini joke during the dinner that had Bergamo’s chef from Lido 84 as the protagonist, with his most famous dishes, and the chef from Modena sitting at the table. The event is part of the “Storie di gusto e di passione - Viaggio alla scoperta dei protagonisti della nuova cucina italiana” project organised by Coincasa with Cargo Etc. in collaboration with Identità Golose (photo Brambilla-Serrani)

Photogallery

Snacks della cena di Camanini: Alga nori e mortadella, Riso soffiato, nero di seppia e Parmigiano tostato all’anice stellato (tutte le foto sono di Brambilla-Serrani)
Gambero, olio di semi di fragola, Campari
Mandorla e gin
Spaghettone al burro e lievito

«I want you» is more or less what chef Massimo told Riccardo Camanini when he had to establish which chef would cook – with the above mentioned Bottura as guest of honour – at the private dinner in Milan which yesterday celebrated the gourmet tour called “Storie di gusto e di passione - Viaggio alla scoperta dei protagonisti della nuova cucina italiana” organised by Coincasa with Cargo Etc. and the collaboration of Identità Golose (we wrote about it at length, for instance here and here). Cesare Battisti took instead part in the grand final open to the public on Friday night, 4th November, at 6.30 p.m. also at the Coin store in Milan V Giornate.

Camanini thus had to exploit the chance to do the best he could with his cooking, a sort of certification of a period of extraordinary growth: while the public storms in, critics praise him, his Lido 84 grows dramatically, the chef and his brother Giancarlo – in charge of the cellar and more – still champion modesty, on top of cooking, and keep their feet to the ground: «We were born to two workers, we give value to work. So for us the time has not yet come to achieve [be it money or famous awards, it’s of little importance]. We reinvest everything to make the restaurant nicer. On 14th November we’ll stop for three weeks for a total makeover», but he won’t sit idly by: first stop in Sweden, visiting the “right” places, starting from Fäviken of his friend Magnus Nilsson, then Australia at Margaret River Gourmet Escape, the gourmet festival a three hour drive south of Perth with marvellous surroundings.

Camanini at work with Roman Andrea Capasso. Helping the chef at Lido 84 there’s also Gilles Fornoni from Bergamoand Martina Sguerso from Savona: the people in his team are all young and very promising

Camanini at work with Roman Andrea Capasso. Helping the chef at Lido 84 there’s also Gilles Fornoni from Bergamoand Martina Sguerso from Savona: the people in his team are all young and very promising

Camanini continues: «We’re doing well: at first – that is to say on 21st March 2014, two years ago, not a lifetime – we were four. We’re now 13 plus two paid interns, and two more people to be hired are on the agenda. We had 80 wines in our list, we now have reached 250…».

His humbleness is typical of the people from the mountains of Bergamo. His quick steps instead show mostly his origins from around the lake, as he’s from Lovere, near lake Iseo. Always on the west bank, though of another lake, the ancient Benaco, in the very Gardone where his Lido 84 having returned to the old splendour – in fact it’s being considered among the temples of taste as never before in its history – clever Rick created dishes that he presented in the best possible way during the evening in Milan. Bottura took a second helping of Prawn, strawberry seed oil, Campari, a magical aperitif thanks to this very precious oil made in Austria and sold at 120 euros per liter.

Marchi took a third helping of the Cacio e pepe in a bladder, of which we’ll write again: pardoned as the dish subsists and is a great dish too, the author of this piece himself just took a second helping but would have gone on and on, as with the small cannoli made with Nori seaweed and mortadella, an irresistible appetizer served with Puff rice, squid ink and Toasted Parmigiano with star anise in beautiful handmade pewter bowls made by Marinoni in Brescia. Before sitting at the table they also serve Perch, porcini bark, bay leaves which is an unexpected hymn to meatiness, «the meat is so firm because the waters of the lake have turned cold these past few weeks. And then you have the bay leaves…», which you can sense very well indeed.

Camanini’s Cacio e pepe in vescica [Cacio e pepe in a bladder] is very photogenic...

Camanini’s Cacio e pepe in vescica [Cacio e pepe in a bladder] is very photogenic...

Once we sat, they served Spaghettoni with butter and yeast, now Camanini’s signature dish (here’s the recipe), which also ended up in the menu of 80 dishes from the world, a sort of planetary “best of”, which Californian tri-starred chef Corey Lee offers in his restaurant In Situ at Moma in San Francisco, we wrote about it here. Among the 80 dishes, there’s also one by Bottura, in fact two, and the Lider Massimo told about the ironic birth of the second, Oops! I dropped the lemon tart: «Taka [one of his two sous chefs] is a meticulous Japanese. We have a timer at the restaurant: in exactly 15 minutes the dish must be out. You can imagine what he thought that day when, almost at the end of the service, he dropped two lemon tarts ready to be served on the floor. He was paralysed: it would have taken him at least 45 minutes to make another one! Impossible. Yet at a time which could have been difficult for the kitchen, I saw a chance to express the poetry of everyday, the imperfection that leads to perfect shape, content and flavour».

The tart had fallen on the top side of the plate. It broke up, but “elegantly”: hence the idea was not to recompose it as the one that was still intact, but to create the same effect. «The result was a dish which is a perfect metaphor of Southern Italy: broken, cracked, yet including iconic ingredients (lemon and citrus fruits, bergamot, capers, oregano and chilli pepper) with an extraordinary, I’d say poetic, outcome».

The Milanese Coin store in Piazza V Giornate. The grand final of this event within “Storie di gusto e di passione - Viaggio alla scoperta dei protagonisti della nuova cucina italiana” – organised by Coincasa with Cargo Etc. and the collaboration of Identità Golose – took place on Friday 4th November at 6.30 p.m.. There were Severino Salvemini, professor of Business organization at Università Bocconi in Milan (and a great lover of music and cooking) and Cesare Battisti, patron chef at restaurant Ratanà and Chef Ambassador at Expo (they joined a discussion on the meaning and value of the creativity that has Milan as its ideal habitat. Paolo Marchi, creator and curator of Identità Golose, guided the conversation and commented on the recipes prepared by Battisti during a cooking demo after which guests were invited to taste)

The Milanese Coin store in Piazza V Giornate. The grand final of this event within “Storie di gusto e di passione - Viaggio alla scoperta dei protagonisti della nuova cucina italiana” – organised by Coincasa with Cargo Etc. and the collaboration of Identità Golose – took place on Friday 4th November at 6.30 p.m.. There were Severino Salvemini, professor of Business organization at Università Bocconi in Milan (and a great lover of music and cooking) and Cesare Battisti, patron chef at restaurant Ratanà and Chef Ambassador at Expo (they joined a discussion on the meaning and value of the creativity that has Milan as its ideal habitat. Paolo Marchi, creator and curator of Identità Golose, guided the conversation and commented on the recipes prepared by Battisti during a cooking demo after which guests were invited to taste)

Once the story is over, the dinner continues: Camanini serves a dish that is a beauty for the eyes and a celebration for the taste buds, the above mentioned Cacio e pepe in the bladder, presented at Identità Milano last year (read the recipe here), «I had been thinking about how to use natural containers for some time, then Paolo called me...», and thoughts went Paul Bocuse’s iconic Poularde en vessie, that is to say how to unite gastronomic history and Italy. Then there was a very intense Broth of blue tailed fish, some extraordinary Black trumpets, aged Marsala, collagen, jus of guinea fowl, cocoa (that is to say mushrooms turning into meat), up to the irresistible mix of cakes (Mountain milk ice cream, White chocolate meringue, Rustic cake with polenta and orange, Rose cake cooked on the spot with zabaglione with Vov and lemons from Garda, King size cannoncino filled with a cream of walnuts from Sorrento and coffee, Caramelised banana with passion fruit, walnuts, raisins, toasted capers, lemon, sage, cinnamon and star anise, Toasted crust with dark chocolate) ending with a final wow: 85% dark chocolate, Lagavulin and heart of smoked elk, an unexpected raw present from Nilsson, «it has sweet and smoky aromas, so I thought it inevitable to grate it in a pairing with peaty whisky and chocolate».

Camanini ends handing roast chestnuts. Everybody leaves happily.


Sections

Carlo Mangio

An outdoor trip or a journey to the other side of the planet?
One thing is for sure: the destination is delicious, by Carlo Passera


Photogallery

Snacks della cena di Camanini: Alga nori e mortadella, Riso soffiato, nero di seppia e Parmigiano tostato all’anice stellato (tutte le foto sono di Brambilla-Serrani)
Gambero, olio di semi di fragola, Campari
Mandorla e gin
Spaghettone al burro e lievito
Cacio e pepe in vescica
Brodo di pesce azzurro
Trombette della morte, marsala invecchiato, collagene, fondo di faraona, cacao
Gelato al latte di montagna
Meringa al cioccolato bianco
Torta di rose cotta al momento con zabaione al Vov e limoni del Garda
Cannoncino king size ripieno di crema alla noce di Sorrento e caffè
Banana caramellata con frutto della passione, noci, uvetta, capperi tostati, limone sfusato, salvia, cannella e anice stellato