Gambrinus’s new sustainable approach

Chef Zanotto re-designs the philosophy of his menu. With intelligent and ethical expedients

Quinoa cube with asparagus, one of the dishes incl

Quinoa cube with asparagus, one of the dishes included in the Menu con + Testa by Pierchristian Zanotto, chef at Gambrinus in San Polo di Piave (Treviso), tel. +39.0422.855043. The new approach includes less meat, sustainable fish, gluten free bread and grissini, desserts without butter and eggs, water from the well and organic wines

"Isn’t there another way to do it?", was Bruno Munari’s question. The same question is the one Pierchristian Zanotto asks himself everyday when he looks up at the pots and pans and reads this sentence which he personally painted on the walls of his kitchen in the Parco Gambrinus restaurant. He’s the youngest chef in a family of restaurateurs – the Zanotto family has been running this restaurant in San Polo di Piave, in the Treviso province, since the 18th century, together with its large park, the osteria, the inn and the cellar (in which the Elisir Gambrinus ages). On top of being a chef Pier is also an artist, and his mind and strength are unstoppable.

Only a few months ago, in the corridors of Identità Milano, he confided he had a project in mind: he wanted to add, beside local, traditional dishes – among all, his famous Risotto with red fresh-water prawns farmed in the springs of the Lia river, which runs through the park – a “different” menu. “One that is more coherent with our times, and even with myself”, he said. A menu that would act as a harbour and at the same time as a stimulus for himself and for others. Starting from his kitchen staff and his family working with him.

Gambrinus Park

Gambrinus Park

So a couple of weeks ago, in the dining room surrounded by the park, the time came for the debut of the Menu con + Testa. “An ethical and responsible change, in order to meet the needs of those who have some kind of allergies, but also of vegetarians, vegans, and those who of other religions” the chef explains. Menu-wise, this means little or no meat, sustainable fish, gluten free bread and grissini, desserts made without butter or eggs, water from the well and organic wines.

This menu is developed into two itineraries which – for the price of 45 euros – run parallel: Profondo Verde (Deep Green), totally free of any animal product – includes the Ethical foie gras with green avocado heart or the Roasted quinoa dices stuffed with beetroot – and Misto Sostenibile (Sustainable Mix), instead, includes some fish based dishes – such as sturgeon porchetta – and meat based ones – Local buffalo meat with biancoperla corn polenta.

An ethical approach must also include techniques, processing and cooking methos. This is why Pierchristian studied the quickest available cooking methods – to respect the raw materials – and with a low energetic impact – in order to respect the environment; less noble parts, and some traditional left overs are recuperated and re-proposed – this is the case of the pods which are fried and served as an aperitif instead of being thrown into the rubbish; water is used without abusing of it: “It’s a way of respecting an essential good we give for granted though this is not the case”, Pier points out.

Pierchristian Zanotto, 36 years old

Pierchristian Zanotto, 36 years old

Moving one step backwards – in any case – doesn’t necessarily mean going back when it comes to taste too. In fact, it can be an opportunity to widen one’s culinary world, and that of others. A difficult task to pursue in big cities, lets not talk of smaller centres where tradition is more cumbersome. This is the reason why Pierchristian deserves to be praised. Especially as his Menu con + Testa isn’t alone but is in fact matched, sustained and strengthened by Sustainable cooking classes and by the Ethic Hour, a sustainable version of the happy hour formula which is traditional in the summer, in the park.

Parco Gambrinus
via Capitello, 18
San Polo di Piave (Treviso)
Closed on Sunday evening and on Mondays



Reviews, recommendations and trends from Italy, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose