Winter sun: San Marzano tomato, cow's milk mozzarella, bacon and quail's eggsby Beniamino Bilali
There’s only one mozzarella. Actually, three
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison avenue
11 Madison avenue
His father wanted him to be an architect. Very soon, instead, one brick after the other he would build a talent that, already as a kid, seemed out of the ordinary. He began at 14, with elbow grease in Swiss five-stars hotels, accumulated efforts that were repaid 10 springs later, with a Michelin star shining over the magic Gasthaus zum Gupf and the concurrent praise of Gault Millau. Not before having bent his head under the admonitions of Gérard Rabaey, 3 macaroons sculpted in the rock of the Pont de Brent in Montreaux.
United States, here I come! But on the more distant coast, that of San Francisco, in May 2003. Only four months and his Campton Place already makes faultfinders faint: in two years, the San Francisco Chronicle will pin 4 stars, the maximum, on his shoulder. With those of Starchefs following: Best New USA chef in 2005. After 3 seasons in Northern California, many attentions are the fuel to travel coast to coast: «6 thousand km on the road», he would then write for Guida di Identità Golose 2012, «the same distance that divides Europe from the East Coast. Two worlds apart. In fact, the truth is that New York is indeed a world apart».
Here is where he would build his most recent adventures. At the Eleven Madison Park, close to Flatiron, cutting the Big Apple obliquely with his sharp, relaxed but dynamic step, faithful to the creed of painter Willem De Kooning: «I have to change to remain the same». Even right after the Red guide of New York says that there’s no beating it: 3 stars in the 2012 edition.
Is chef Daniel satisfied perhaps? Not at all: in the summer of the same year, with the inseparable general manager Will Guidara, he decides to change format. And the refined refuge on Madison avenue changes music: magic, glass bells puffing smoke, fog storms coming from the sea fruits grilled by the table and picnic baskets placed in the middle. It’s an extravagant and participative (4 hour long) ode to the history of New York. «Isn’t it risky, managing such a project while the menu revolution is already taking place?», he was asked. «You can always find many reasons not to do something. But it’s not in our nature». Incredible Humm.
A Swiss from Zurich, born in 1976, at the age of 24 he already conquered a star at the Gasthaus zum Gupf, in Canton Appenzello. In 2004 he’s at Campton Place in San Francisco. Three years later he moves to the other coast and becomes Eleven Madison Park’s chef, 3 Michelin stars, 4 New York Times stars. In 2012 he’s the Best foreign chef according to Guida di Identità Golose
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, he's been working as a co-author and coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since the first edition (2007) and is a contributor for several on and offline magazines. twitter @gabrielezanatt