In Rhodes, the new Sole Giaguaro

Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri, kitchen coordinator at Berberè, tells us about the his new collaboration

06-06-2018

The sign in front of Giovanni Scaraggi’s restaurant in Lachania, on Rhodes. His friend Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri, whom he met at Noma, is supporting him in creating the culinary offer 

Everything started at Noma: something one happens to say more and more often, even in Italy, given that many Italian cooks at some point spend at least a few months in the kitchen of René Redzepi’s super-restaurant. Sometimes people meet there, get to know each other, and later meet again and work together elsewhere.

In this case this applies to Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri – born in 1988, two years spent with Redzepi, then at La Pergola in Rome with Heinz Beck, and later with the Aloe brothers working as the coordinator of all the Berberè restaurants – and Giovanni Scaraggi – who completed a 3-month internship at Noma, and then moved to Greece to acquire more experience, the most significant of which was at Nobu in Athens

Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri at Noma

Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri at Noma

Alessandro himself tells us he remained in touch with Giovanni after they became friends in Copenhagen and recently discussed a collaboration: «Giovanni called me – he says – and asked for my help for his first opening. He was to debut as patron-chef of a restaurant in Rhodes, in Lachania, a rural village in the very south of the island, a rather wild area».

The entrance to the restaurant 

The entrance to the restaurant 

The outdoor area

The outdoor area

So a collaboration began in which Proietti Refrigeri gave his old friend some advice and directions with reference to how to organise the kitchen and create the dishes: «We had long conversations on the phone, because I was still full of work, but I managed to give my consultancy remotely. Then I found five days to go to Rhodes before the opening, and we worked together a lot. Just think that we defined around 30 dishes in just one day! Even now, we speak often so as to perfect the research of suppliers, and other small details».

Gazpacho, fermented strawberries, roasted calamari, mussels and crispy pork jowl

Gazpacho, fermented strawberries, roasted calamari, mussels and crispy pork jowl

Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri is not the only one giving his support: «Giulia Sevesois also helping. On top of being my partner, she’s also an excellent baker and pastry chef. She’s worked at Nomatoo, then with Christian Puglisi at Relæ and most of all at Mirabelle, his gourmet boulangerie, and then she worked at the opening of Magnolia in Rome as head pastry-chef, where she stayed for two years, when they got the Michelin star». 

Amberjack tartare, lemon mayonnaise, fried capers and gel of celery 

Amberjack tartare, lemon mayonnaise, fried capers and gel of celery 

Giovanni Scaraggi’s restaurant will be called Sole Giaguaro. What about its culinary identity? «For sure, it aims to be a different, new restaurant for Rhodes. By offering a cuisine based on research, with Italian and local products, but most of all by looking for a creative offer that is still hard to find in Greek cuisine. High quality raw materials prepared and presented in a special way, in a contemporary and innovative restaurant».

Fusilloni, calamari, mushrooms and pepper water 

Fusilloni, calamari, mushrooms and pepper water 

They’ll try to offer the best products of both countries: «In Greece they have extraordinary raw materials, cured meat, cheese, excellent meat, but they’re often not given the value they deserve. We have carefully researched some small producers who work as artisans. And we’ve done the same with Italian producers, especially from Apulia, given that Giovanni is originally from Bari. I believe we’ve done a great job in terms of research and preparation, and innovation too».

Smoked red drum, cauliflower with hazelnut butter, emulsion of mussels and asparagus 

Smoked red drum, cauliflower with hazelnut butter, emulsion of mussels and asparagus 

Of course it’s hard for a chef to tell us an “emblematic” dish out of the many created over the past few weeks, but Alessandro Proietti Refrigeri accept the challenge: «First of all, I’d say that in this menu we can improve in terms of innovation and creativity. After all, we still need the public to get to know us, so it will be a gradual evolution. Among the current dishes, I’d say I’m very happy with our Strawberry gazpacho with mussels and calamari».

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

Sole Giaguaro
Lachania 85109
Rhodes
+30.224.4046262
Average price 35€


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