Léveillé and the unchanged risotto

Striscia la notizia featured the nice story of a Breton chef who arrived in 1993 at Miramonti l'Altro and inherited a recipe that’s been in the menu for 57 years

13-07-2020

When people think of the famous risotto from the Piscinifamily, Risotto mushrooms and sweet mountain cheese, they think of a delicacy born in 1963 at Miramonti, the restaurant of brothers Angelo and Giuseppe Piscini in the village of Caino, Brescia, and then celebrated also at Miramonti l’Altro in Concesio, thanks to Mauro and Daniela PisciniGiuseppe’s children. Caino, in the Valle del Garza, has little over 2000 inhabitants, Concesio, at the beginning of Val Trompia, has some 16K.

After closing the first restaurant eight years ago, this story starts a new chapter in the second restaurant thanks also to Breton chef Philippe Léveillé, born in 1963, as old as the risotto celebrated on June 16th on Striscia la notizia, an authentic Capolavoro italiano in cucina.

Philippe Léveillé with his most precious collaborators: Martina Spera (left) and Arianna Gatti

Philippe Léveillé with his most precious collaborators: Martina Spera (left) and Arianna Gatti

To understand the story of Philippe, try to imagine him as a 30-year-old under the sun of Rio de Janeiro, the private chef of a rich American heiress who had bought one of the boats of Alain Colas, the first skipper to go solo all around the world on a multihull. This was back in 1973, five years before he disappeared at sea.

Léveillé said: «Vittorio Fusari called me from Iseo because he was looking for a cook for his second restaurant, Maschere. He didn’t speak French and I didn’t speak Italian. I don’t know what we said but I wanted to come back to Europe and so I left Brazil while it was summer there, and arrived in Rovato in the middle of the winter. I didn’t like it at all, so much so I thought of saying thanks and leaving. Instead, I’m still here and I have found my America here, as Italians say».

Gualtiero Marchesi between Philippe Léveillé and Philippe Léveillé

Gualtiero Marchesi between Philippe Léveillé and Philippe Léveillé

From a first establishment to a second one: «After Fusari, who passed away this winter and whom I miss a lot, in 1993 I met Mauro Piscini and his sister Daniela whom I later married. With them I started a journey that is still continuing, and a revolution with reference to their family history. Except for risotto. We were both born in 1963 and this is the only recipe that has stayed the same. Every day I serve at least one risotto. All the people of Brescia have eaten it».

Watching Philippe preparing it is marvellous: «A pan, a little butter, rice… We toast it, add some white wine, and the cooking begins. Vegetal broth, then saffron from Abruzzo, just like my sous-chef Arianna Gatti

Then we add a ladle of broth and a knob of butter. When it’s still very al dente, we add the porcini and two types of cheese, from Bagolino and from Collio. Once it is nicely mixed, we had some shaved local cheese and then put the plate in the oven for 30 seconds. We take it out, add some crispy porcini on top et les jeux sont faits».

He beams: «What rice do I use? Vialone nano, not Carnaroli. This has always been the choice at Miramonti and I’ve never made a change. Paolo, you think perfection is perfect? I don’t know if it’s perfect, but I know it’s good». Here’s the recipe, and here’s the episode.

Philippe Léveillé: Risotto with mushrooms and sweet mountain cheese, since 1963 in the menu in the restaurants of the Piscinis, between the villages of Caino and Concesio in Val Trompia, Brescia

Philippe LéveilléRisotto with mushrooms and sweet mountain cheese, since 1963 in the menu in the restaurants of the Piscinis, between the villages of Caino and Concesio in Val Trompia, Brescia

Once the images go back to the studio, Michelle Hunziker teases Gerry Scotti on rice and risotto: «I love risotto in every variation, strawberries, saffron, vegetables…». He replies: «White rice». She says: «Have you had strawberry risotto? It’s gooood». Said as a sort of provocation. Strawberry risotto is one of the infamous dishes that include Tortellini with cream, ham and peas, or a pasta trio.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso 


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Capolavori Italiani in cucina