Ethics, vegetables, esotericisms

All the inspiring lectures from this afternoon in the Auditorium. From David Toutain to Negrini/Pisani

08-02-2015
The round table closing the first day in the Audit

The round table closing the first day in the Auditorium. The protagonists: Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani of Aimo e Nadia. With them, moderator Danilo Giaffreda. The afternoon parade included, one after the other, David Toutain, Davide Scabin, Davide Oldani, Antonia Klugmann, Basque Eneko Atxa and Negrini/Pisani. Translation by Slawka G. Scarso

David Toutain had the star that has just been lit on his Parisian restaurant shine on the congress. Refracting it on a multitude of surfaces and textures. Starting from parsley, following the green furrow of Alain Passard: root, stalk, leaf, fibres and scents. They were all present in the amuse bouche composed of a crispy purée of root and leaf juices, a potato mousseline with stalks, cream with wood sorrel in a triumph of chlorophyll that coloured the eyes. The familiar taste was thus transformed into a totally vegetal sensation. This was followed by the marinated squid heart, to break its fibres, brushed with squid ink and then frozen, cut with a mandolin knife and then paired with crosnes with beurre noisette and chicken skin. Pensive, elegant, unswervingly French.

The always provocative Davide Scabin

The always provocative Davide Scabin

Star Davide Scabin was more extrovert, as usual, struck during a convalescence by the golden ration: 1.6180. The secret of beauty according to millennial aesthetics, the foundations for endless masterpieces and for a possible arithmo-cuisine. How can you translate a ration in terms of food? Hervé This and Pierre Gagnaire had already asked questioned themselves; the chef from Combal holds a ruler once again. Mathematical perfection starts from the shape in the dishes and rules the proportion of the ingredients. Scabin looked for traces of this in his raw meat and in his tataki-style aubergine, in Lopriore’s veal with mushrooms, in Bottura’s homage to the North,in Marchesi’s rice gold and saffron and in Albert Adrià’s rosa di Gorizia. Esoteric fascination but also a possible dishing-out technique for restaurants working daily with special moulds.

Davide Oldani has just left the table of the Expo delle Idee and he’s still ruminating on the ethics and responsibilities of a chef. In his viewfinder there’s the evolution of tradition, starting from Marchesi’s rice gold and saffron - for which he lay new foundations with matured Carnaroli and Vialone nano rice, to make it more pleasant for the palate and easier to cream - to the research of an Italian syncretism. The cooking is purist, with saffron (from Milan) sublimated by the alembic into a colourless liquid, and the off-centre gold. A tribute served on a melamine plate, a sustainable material which Kartell has just developed. The bread and chocolate and the sea bass with caviar from Pic are part of Oldani’s recycling approach, in the shape of a hake with tapioca and squid ink, following the indications of the Carta di Milano.

Journalist Laura Lazzaroni and chef Antonia Klugmann, author of a lecture full of sensitivity, an approach she will soon transfer to Argine in Vencò (Gorizia)

Journalist Laura Lazzaroni and chef Antonia Klugmann, author of a lecture full of sensitivity, an approach she will soon transfer to Argine in Vencò (Gorizia)

Chromosomes XX got for the first time on the stage thanks to Antonia Klugmann who started with the theme of nature’s and creativity’s intertwining, from an empathic perspective. “I was shaken by the beauty of the valerian growing down the river”, she said. The result was a vegetarian recipe inspired by a field, in search of the milk-flavour that is implicit in the grass and in celeriac, followed by the intelligent use of meat: knees, full of marrow and nerves, from which she also obtains broth and demi glace. To this she added broth and a purée made with medlars fermented on the tree, turnips and coffee.

Spain got on the stage thanks to Eneko Atxa’s uniform, who was sided by his Ligurian second, Matteo Manzini. His poetics are focused on the placer identitario, cultivated in the house vegetable garden, in synergy with local producers. Dishes are thus scattered down a path that leads the guest to familiarise with the building and its philosophy, as if they were chapters in a narration. There are green islands for different vegetal variations and right in front of the restaurant there’s a mini picnic basket; a stop in the kitchen for the aperitif, for instance a bloody mar, savoury cocktail. Which indeed is prodromal to the rest of the menu: roasted lobster with an emulsion of grass as well as the chickpea broth with pork and the chargrilled fish infusion.

Eneko Atxa and Matteo Manzini, chef and sous chef at Azurmendi, 3 stars, half an hour from Bilbao

Eneko Atxa and Matteo Manzini, chef and sous chef at Azurmendi, 3 stars, half an hour from Bilbao

Aimo e Nadia, at last. That is to say Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani, the dioskouri of Italian tradition, at Il Luogo for 10 years now. They dwelled on the surprise effect our ingredients emanate, on the refusal of a culinary passion for foreign things. Thanks to their strong complicity they extract a winning 3D from a basket of as many as 82 food suppliers. Technique, taste, harmony, emotions are all summoned up in the almost-raviolo filled with squid and in many other dishes, such as the carbonara made with podolico cheese and turnips, a parenthesis on memories.


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