Delmonte, the new face of Marche

Federico and his sister Beatrice have opened Vicolo del Curato, a very good restaurant in Fano

Raffaello chopped meat, an excellent dish at Vicol

Raffaello chopped meat, an excellent dish at Vicolo del Curato in Fano, near Pesaro Urbino, Marche region, chef patron (with his sister Beatrice), Federico Delmonte, phone +39.0721.809372. Beside the joyful aspect, we have here a clever and lively battuta di fassona (chopped bovine meat from Piedmont) dressed with olive oil, lime juice and then wrapped into dehydrated coconut, served with tomatoes from Vesuvio dressed with Balsamic vinegar

A couple of weeks ago, the team of Identità asked the contributors of the guide and of the website on which restaurant – and thus on which chef – they would bet for a deliciously new 2013. Only one rule: no starred chefs, with the exception of the novelties of the latest editions of Michelin, like Cogo, Fossaceca, Monosilio. The 44 answers were published January 1st. Mine goes beyond the most renowned and already followed and cheered young chefs – and not only by us.

Federico and Beatrice Delmonte

Federico and Beatrice Delmonte

We’re in the Marche, a region that for years has captured me entirely. Federico Delmonte is the chef and patron at Vicolo del Curato in Fano, in the province of Pesaro Urbino, tel. +39.0721.809372. He is in the kitchen, while his sister, Beatrice, is in the dining room. As in many locations where on the first visit you think it’s a romantic couple, you then discover that their private life is outside the restaurant. Like the Palluda’s in Canale, the Scarello’s in Udine, the Uliassi’s in nearby Senigallia, though not the Scabin’s because Davide and Barbara are indeed siblings, but they’re both chefs, and in this case we’re talking of him being in the kitchen, and her taking care of the dining room and cellar.

This is a brand new establishment. When, on the 20th March, I will celebrate my 58th birthday, the Delmonte’s will blow their first candle at Vicolo del Curato. We’re in via Gasparoli 59, in the heart of the historic centre, so it’s best to park nearby and then have a relaxing walk. The restaurant is at the corner with via Nolfi and was born out of the passion of thirty-year-old Federico, who has always had the kitchen in his mind and in his heart. Beatrice was preparing piadine with a smile, in a totally different place, in the same way as her brother, who gained experience from the lowest rank, for example at Il Pagliaccio, in Rome, until he jumped on the other side of their river Rubicone. With their parents working in very different sectors (if you don’t want to change scene or job, being the child to restaurateurs is an advantage), they said to each other that if you don’t open your own place at thirty, when will you ever do so? At fifty, when you’re worn out and tired?

Gnocchi of beetroots

Gnocchi of beetroots

I was impressed by Federico because he’s totally focused on his job, he’s on top of things, he doesn’t wander, mixing up real work with the ephemeral, he aims for the durable approval of his clients, not the occasional one of a blogger or similar influences that confuse very fragile chefs. And yes, he’s been at La Prova del Cuoco in the wake of the period spent at Alberto Faccani’s Magnolia in Cesenatico: what’s important is to know how to tell substance from glitter.

The offer is based on three tasting menus, Terra at 38 euro (4 courses), Mare at 42 (5) and the chef’s menu at 55 (9). Then there’s the a la carte menu, with 5 starters, 5 pasta courses, 7 mains and 6 desserts. There’s more fish than meat. At the end of November a memorable dinner: Amber fish carpaccio with yoghurt, horseradish, ground starred anise and yellow melon seasoned with olive oil, salt and marjoram. King prawn in cold guazzetto: reduced cold purée of king prawn guazzetto, garlic sauce, onion blanched in water and vinegar, wholemeal toasted bread, king prawn seasoned with olive oil, salt and fennel. “ACE” scallop: a braised scallop served with a cream of carrot, ground lavender, orange syrup, lemon and saffron, raw carrot marinated in apple vinegar. Battuta Raffaello: a tartare of Fassone beef seasoned with olive oil, lime juice, tandoori and rolled up in coconut flour, served with tomatoes from Vesuvius seasoned with balsamic vinegar. Then a slice of braised tongue served with…


Cibi Divini

Restaurants from all the world told in Il Giornale by Paolo Marchi from February 1994 to the winter of 2011. And since the spring, for the readers