A new Canto in Siena

Matteo Monti returns as chef to the kitchen of the Certosa di Maggiano. Called by Lopriore

First role as executive chef for Matteo Monti, who

First role as executive chef for Matteo Monti, who was called at Il Canto (tel. +39.0577.288180) by Paolo Lopriore, with whom he had already worked at length in the past. The latter is not the only great chef with whom Monti shared the kitchen, since he also fell into the genial clutches of Davide Scabin at Combal.Zero

At Certosa di Maggiano there have been quite a few changes in the last year. The beautiful 16th century building, surrounded by the calm countryside of Siena, though only a few minutes from the centre of the town of the Palio, has slowly transformed itself, losing its charm but focusing on what is essential, just like the spirit of the convent would evoke.

Since it seems that in life there is no such thing as the “right” road, only “our” road exists, that is to say the one by following which we are happy, it is sometimes useful to slow down, meditate and understand if, in order to reach our goals, it is best to start a climb for super-athletic people with dizzying sceneries, or a longer and more moderate slope, enjoying the smallest thing to the fullest. Of course this is a rough trivialization but perhaps it was from a similar thought that Anna Claudia Grossi and Paolo Lopriore got their idea.

Tortello with ricotta and pecorino

Tortello with ricotta and pecorino

Gone is all that could suffocate freedom, starting from the membership to the prestigious Relais&Chateaux chain, proudly maintained for years but no longer in line with the spirit of the Certosa. Gone all the frills replaced by a focus on authenticity, always with a strong and rigorous professional approach. While Lopriore hs moved to a place that is more incline to his food, cutting loose with the expectations of a large part of the guests, charmed perhaps more by an iconic Tuscany than by the refined and absolute talent of the chef, Matteo Monti has now returned to Il Canto.

This is indeed a return because during his career Monti spent a long time with Lopriore. Matteo: cheerful, easy, from Piacenza, he started to work at Osteria del Teatro in Piacenza, and then moved to Siena for a couple of years. Then came an experience in Oslo, and then again at Certosa; finally at Combal.Zero with Davide Scabin. Monti has acquired lots of experience but this is the first as “chef”, called by Lopriore himself, which perhaps represented a good source of motivation, leading him back to Siena when not everyone would have been brave enough to take such an inevitably big responsibility.

Lamb, Garlic and Artichokes (served on a side) by Matteo Monti

Lamb, Garlic and Artichokes (served on a side) by Matteo Monti

Matteo Monti accepted the proposal of his master with humility and intelligence, acting as a good follower but telling a completely different tale. Let’s start from the menu, which recalls the territory, it is simple and immediate, with no superstructures but satisfying dishes and few yet elegant wines, perfectly matched. The excellent raw materials used, thanks to the skill and the experience of the chef, stand out highlighting the dish without any flaws.

The Tortelli with Ricotta and Pecorino were lovely and deliciously recalled the scents of the family kitchen and at the same time bestow a perfect final balance in the palate, revealing the authentic taste of each single ingredient. The Lamb, Garlic and Artichokes (the latter served on a side) are truly Tuscan and when in season, the Fried salted codfish, Broad beans and & Black pepper are recommended. The only cameo in memory of Lopriore’s work are the Potato gnocchi with candied lemon and toasted cumin. These are some of the first experiments of chef Monti, certainly the beginning of a journey full of great success.

Il Canto
Hotel Certosa di Maggiano
Strada di Certosa, 82/86
Closed on Tuesdays
Average à la carte prices: starters 16 first course 15 main courses 24 euros



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