Tiramisu with surprise for Obama

After Queen Elizabeth and Clinton, the Cerea brothers cooked in Milan for another resident of the White House

Ex president of the United States Barack Obama be

Ex president of the United States Barack Obama between Bobo (left) and Francesco Cerea, two of the three multi-starred brothers from Vittorio in Brusaporto (Bergamo)

I would have liked to be an invisible presence at the dinner in honour of Barack Obama on the evening of Monday 8th May in Milan, the eve of his speech at the third edition of Seeds&ChipsThe Global Food Innovation Summit in Rho’s trade-fair. I would have liked to see his face when he sat at Palazzo Clerici, a 17th century building behind the Scala, chosen because it’s only a few hundred metres’ from Park Hyatt, the 5 star luxury hotel where the ex president of the United States stayed, with three floors reserved for him and his entourage.

Surely he must have been impressed by Tiepolo’s frescos. They date back to almost three centuries ago, to 1740. «We’re certainly making a good impression as Italians», said Francesco Cerea. The photos alone are breath taking, let’s not talk of a visit in person. Cerea is guaranteed success when it comes to delight when playing away from home. Attacking when playing at home, where everything is familiar, is easy. Less so far away from your kitchen. Vittorio from Brusaporto near Bergamo had to organise the table for a total of twenty guests.

The number itself is accessible to anyone, the real difficulty is in the people sitting around the table: Obama above all, then two ex Italian prime ministers, Matteo Renzi and Mario Monti, business men like Sergio MarchionneMarco Tronchetti Provera and Diego Della Valle, and stylist Donatella Versace. Watchword: no pictures.

Two out of twenty asked for a special menu, Monti and Versace. All the others followed the guest in a way. Just one desire: drink Italian, from start to finish. Which means the bubbles too. So when at 6.30 pm the waiters started to serve the finger food, they poured Trento Ferrari Maximum Brut and Francesco Cerea on the phone almost laughs: «It’s a da Vittorio selection that the Lunelli family makes for us». Why not take the chance for some promotion?

Chicco and Bobo Cerea’s modern Tiramisu 

Chicco and Bobo Cerea’s modern Tiramisu 

Six special bites: Parmigiano Lollipop, Sicilian Cannolo with burrata and Sicilian tomato, Pan brioche with Parma ham and veal paté, Toasted Altamura bread with butter and herbs and sea bass carpaccio, Bruschetta with tuna sauce and anchovy from the Mediterranean, and finally Crispy Lasagna.

At 7.30 everyone sat. With a mandatory rule: the event was to finish at 9. First, second and then the dessert: Gnocchetto with ricotta, heart of branzi cheese, Spanish moss and black truffle from Norcia; Veal shoulder with white Port («Remember, Paolo, not just Port: white Port, it’s important»); then the ace of hearts: Modern Tiramisu. «We chose this dessert because it’s an Italian dessert famous all over the world. Except we added our touch and transformed it into a brick». Wines? Sauvignon 2015 from Attems, Merlot-Corvina Corte Giara 2015 from Allegrini and Moscato d’Asti Ca’ Du Sindic 2916 from Sergio Grimaldi.

The Tiepolo Room at Palazzo Clerici in Milan before the dinner in honour of Barack Obama

The Tiepolo Room at Palazzo Clerici in Milan before the dinner in honour of Barack Obama

Putting aside a perfect risotto for 800 people on the evening of the premiere at the Scala for Saint Ambrose, camp kitchens at Palazzo Marino invited by the then mayor Letizia Moratti, the Cereas, Francesco king of dining room and cellar, Chicco and Bobo kings of the kitchen, in 2000 cooked for Queen Elizabeth: «It was the 19th October, her majesty went mad for our risotto allo zafferano». The grand patron of Seeds&ChipsMarco Gualtieri, had already invited another ex president of the United States to Milan, Bill Clinton. For him, Lombard tradition.


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