Gnocchi with herbs on cream of potatoes served with clams and smoked black tea, a dish in the menu of Fabio Baldassarre’s restaurant Unico in Milan, via Achille Papa 20, tel. +39.02.39261025
Restaurant Unico offers an unbeatable view from above. When dining on the 20th floor of the WJC Center and observing Milan, a trip to Shanghai came back to our mind. On this occasion we were sipping some good tea while observing the night skyline together with some oriental friends. That night, together with chef Fabio Baldassarre from Abruzzo, a special compatibility soon arose: «The use of tea in the kitchen is not a novelty as it could have been 15 years ago. There’s been a significant cultural acceleration among chefs. I worked for 4 years as Heinz Beck’s sous chef at La Pergola in Rome. Tea was already considered as an important ingredient».
The book cover
Tea, as a spice, evokes Asian horizons: this recipe was included in the “Viaggio” (Travel) section because – as stated - «it is meant to evoke China and a journey from the Mediterranean sea to the Far East. You leave and return with the concept of a dish. Or you stay here, but the mind travels on board of an idea. And what is far away gets closer, much closer».
The chef of Unico in Milan
How about the next step? «It also comes from ancient times – he explains – I would like to smoke some dishes using tea leaves, putting them in the pots in which I usually put the spices to add a unique aroma. I also imagine to smoke some blue-tailed fish, a mackerel or some prawns». We impatiently wait for this outcome.
The universe of the most popular infusion drink and its multiple uses, even in the kitchen