The American from San Vincenzo

After a long experience at Noma, Timothy Magee returns to Tuscany with a new restaurant

18-03-2014

Restaurant Il Sale’s dining room, with scenic view, inside Relais Poggio ai Santi inSan Vincenzo (Livorno), tel. +39.0565.798015. This is the new home to Timothy Magee, the American ex chef at Le Nuvole, a small bistro in Suvereto. He returned to his beloved Tuscany after a fruitful six-months experience at Renè Redzepi’s Noma

An internship at Noma can change your life. Going back, after that, is difficult. This is what happened to talented Timothy Magee previously chef at Le Nuvole, a restaurant-bistro hosting only a few guests, nestled inside the medieval village of Suvereto, between Livorno and Grosseto. He closed his restaurant for little over six months and flew to Copenhagen to learn the secrets of the most acclaimed creative cuisine in the world. And after that, he turned the page.

Chef Timothy Magee explaining his dishes to the colleagues at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark

Chef Timothy Magee explaining his dishes to the colleagues at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark

Partly because of the economic crisis, which upon his return forced him to open only 3 nights per week, but most of all because of his desire to explore new horizons without having to deal with clients who were little inclined to experiments, he seized upon a unique chance: holding the reins of Il Sale, the restaurant inside Relais Poggio ai Santi on the hills of San Vincenzo, which is obviously open also to outside clients. This seaside destination, once the kingdom of Fulvio Pierangelini, patron of Gambero Rosso closed a few years ago, attracts crowds of tourists who come here to enjoy the sea, the countryside and the excellent cuisine based on local ingredients.

Besides, the guests at Poggio ai Santi are particularly demanding: immersed in the country-style elegance of the relais, they expect a certain refinement when dining. What could be a better context in which to try to be daring? So, starting from February 14th, Timothy’s new adventure began. He closed Le Nuvole and, with the help of the talented sous chef Nicola Fabrizio, with lots of experience in the most famous starred restaurants in Spain, he jumped into this venture. This way, he will finally be able to give vent to his creativity by proposing dishes made with the vegetables picked from the relais’ large kitchen garden, with organic hens and rabbits bred locally and with very fresh fish.

Chocolate mousse on a bed of almonds and crumbled meringues, served with vanilla ice-cream, lemon granita and dill

Chocolate mousse on a bed of almonds and crumbled meringues, served with vanilla ice-cream, lemon granita and dill

Mindful of the long days spent picking seaweeds on Danish beaches, used in Noma’s amazing dishes, Timothy has also developed a true passion for flowers and wild herbs, so much so that he offers a “kitchen garden” tasting menu inspired by the food served in Copenhagen’s mythical restaurant. Of course, there is also a tasting menu focused on fish, which is the chef’s forte, enriched with new recipes such as the unforgettable Scallops on saffron, wild asparagus and wood sorrel cream or the Trenette with scampi on a delicate broccoli purée.

The other challenge is confronting himself with a meat based menu with traditional dishes reinterpreted in a creative and light way, such as tripe, game and other local specialties. Even with regards to desserts, he promises surprises. After all, the years spent trying to grasp the secrets of master De Bondt can be found in the excellent Chocolate mousse on a bed of almonds and crumbled meringues, served with vanilla ice-cream, lemon granita and dill. Yet another good reason to discover Magee’s new frontiers of taste.

Il Sale del Relais Poggio ai Santi
via San Bartolo 100
San Vincenzo (Livorno)
+39.0565.798015
Closing days: always open from May to August; closed from Mondays to Wednesdays from September to April


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