Felice on the mountains

This is how Lo Basso, a chef from Apulia, charmed everyone at the Alpenroyal up North

30-08-2013
Felice Lo Basso in the restaurant of the Alpenroya

Felice Lo Basso in the restaurant of the Alpenroyal hotel in Selva di Val Gardena (Bolzano), tel. +39.0471.795555, in which he’s been working for a decade. In the kitchen, he alternates his creativity between the marine cuisine of his origins and the territory that adopted him

Ah Felice, Felice what warmth have you brought to these mountains? Chef Lo Basso of the Alpenroyal in Selva di Val Gardena is not exactly a bashful and mountain person. In his soul hairy mussels and sea urchins are still seething. However, for the past 10 years this has been his “third home” - born in Puglia, with a family in Rimini and a job in this jewel of modern mountain tourism, namely Val Gardena. Here, contrary to noble Val Badia, the landscape is richer and greener, with generous pastures for cows and haymaking.

Veal tongue and raw red prawn raviolo

Veal tongue and raw red prawn raviolo

Villages look like sculptures made by the same local artists who for centuries have decorated churches and altars across half of Europe with the art of carving. Hannes Prinoth is the son of one of these artists and his family boarding house, once cheap solution, after the crisis in the Sixties, year after year has grown to become a true and splendid 5 star hotel where every detail of hospitality is taken care of with particular attention to the food. So here talented Felice had the opportunity to grow and develop his unique style. Without renouncing to his beloved sea and with a great curiosity for the mountain, the chef from Molfetta has been capable of blending these two themes in an unusual and original way. A dish in particular comes to mind, namely Tongue and raw red prawn raviolo. It’s an original and perfect combination of sensations and textures.

Lo Basso is certainly inspired by his origins when it comes to marine cuisine, but he’s very intrigued by the local territory, in particular by the smoking technique and the use of Alpine meat. There are many remarkable inspirations and we only mention some dishes which he has prepared over time: Risotto with mint and strawberry mousse, Lobster salad with passion fruit, Dried broad bean puree with bitter chicory and garlic, Po’…modoro or his Ravioli with mountain lard filled with veal tongue and red onion jam. His Pineapple and fennel ravioli with smoked anchovies and balsamic vinegar, the Salted codfish with vanilla or the Squid sauté filled with broccoli are also worth remembering. As well as the very interesting Roasted veal tongue with orange and squid ink gelatine.


Vegetables and fruit mosaic with raw red prawns

Vegetables and fruit mosaic with raw red prawns

There are small masterpieces such as the Fish and fruit mosaic with raw red prawns, herb mousse, sea urchin ice-cream and yogurt sauce. His strategy has in other words been unveiled and it is mostly based on the combination of mountain and sea and in this sense Felice offers constant surprises and is certainly capable of mastering his ingredients with an intelligent contamination as few others can. If one also considers his propensity to work hard, sometimes even too hard, the future lies in his own hands. For a chef from Southern Italy this is certainly an important chance to get rid of the cage of raw materials, which, especially in the South, often become a burden and can even limit the development of high cuisine (but these are complex theoretical issues that are best not to be analysed here).

Felice, in any case, is the leader when it comes to an original if not in fact unique interpretation of that great heritage of flavours and knowledge that in Italy goes literally from the sea to the Alps.

Alpenroyal Gourmet Restaurant
via Meisules, 43
Selva di Val Gardena (Bz)
+39.0471.795555
Closed on Sundays
Average prices: starters 25, first courses 22, main courses 32 and desserts 14 euro
Tasting menu: 79 and 98 euros


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