Imbarcati in un viaggio di gioco unico con Pin-up Casino! Connettiti con noi attraverso il nostro link su ক্যাসিনো e immergiti in una varietà di giochi avvincenti e incredibili bonus. Inizia la tua avventura di gioco ora! Scopri come Everix Edge sta rivoluzionando il trading di Bitcoin con sicurezza ed efficienza. Library zlibrary project Mosbet
Top 10 best online casino sites from Outlookindia OLX88 Immediate Core: Canada's prime choice for investment learning

25-01-2024

Paulo Airaudo in Florence: we tried the jewel-like restaurant at Hotel La Gemma

A great chef with ties to Italy already in his DNA. An excellent restaurant. A refined boutique hotel in the centre of Florence. Our tastings confirm it: Airaudo is 'the other Cerea brother', that is to say he knows how to combine deliciousness and elegan

Italian-Argentinian chef Paulo Airaudo, two stars

Italian-Argentinian chef Paulo Airaudo, two stars in San Sebastian, now stars with his voluptuous cuisine also in Florence, at Luca's restaurant in boutique hotel La Gemma

As in a game of matryoshkas, one gem hides the other. The biggest one is the 19th-century Palazzo Paoletti between Via Calimala, Via dei Cavalieri and Via dei Lamberti, a stone's throw from Piazza della Signoria, right in the heart of Florence's historic centre: until 2021 it housed a Zara department store, then the effect of lockdowns prompted the clothing multinational to close its doors. The Florentine Cecchi family, active for two decades in the real estate brokerage business, seized this opportunity, immediately taking over the building and converting it, after major works completed in record time, into a structure dedicated to high-end hospitality, a boutique hotel with five floors, 23 spacious rooms and 16 suites/apartments, all furnished in Art Deco style contaminated by contemporary design elements. A gem of beauty.

The five Cecchi brothers (with the girlfriend of one of them)

The five Cecchi brothers (with the girlfriend of one of them)

What did they name the new structure? La Gemma, but as an acronym for the new Cecchi generation at the helm of the project, consisting of the young siblings Ginevra, Edoardo, Massimiliano, Maria Sole and Andrea, who succeeded their father Luca who passed away in 2020.

Images of La Gemma in Florence

Images of La Gemma in Florence

To unearth a further gem in La Gemma, it is necessary to go up to the first floor: there you will find Luca's, the gastronomic restaurant - dedicated to Luca Cecchi - that general manager Laura Stopani wanted to entrust to a strong name in international fine dining, which she had met when, between 2013 and 2017, she was director of another luxury hotel, Borgo Santo Pietro di Chiusdino, in the province of Siena. Few remember this, but a decade ago, leading the kitchen of the magnificent relais in the Senese region where Ariel Hagen's star now shines, was the Italo-Argentine Paulo Airaudo. He was then not even 30 years old. Meanwhile, he has become a sort of King Midas of the restaurant business, an endless series of establishments around the world between the San Sebastian head office, with Amelia, two stars expected to becoming three, plus Da Filippo, La Bottega di Filippo, 1985 Cantina Argentina, The Blind Pig, El Bar de Villa Favorita and the recently taken over traditional Basque tavern Irai. And then there’s one-starred Aleia in Barcelona, Noi, Haku and again Amelia and Da Filippo in Hong Kong, Anima in Bogotà, not to mention London's Da Terra, two macarons, opened with Brazilian Rafael Cagali, who in turn has Italian, Veronese origins.

Paulo Airaudo

Paulo Airaudo

WORTH THE TRIP – An outstanding dish, worth the trip alone: homemade cappelletto stuffed with pigeon, thyme butter sauce. Simplicity, absolute flavour

WORTH THE TRIP – An outstanding dish, worth the trip alone: homemade cappelletto stuffed with pigeon, thyme butter sauce. Simplicity, absolute flavour

In short: Stopani had already tried to 'bring' Airaudo back to Italy four years ago, it seemed all set for his landing in Ostuni, at the boutique hotel Paragon 700, scheduled to debut in spring 2020, then Covid arrived to mess up the plans. Now she’s made it, at La Gemma

The resident chefs at Luca's are Olivia Cappelletti and Tommaso Querini. They manage a great kitchen, while in the dining room we enjoyed the courteous professionalism of Nemad 'Nicola' Ametovic, a Florentine of Serbian origin

The resident chefs at Luca's are Olivia Cappelletti and Tommaso Querini. They manage a great kitchen, while in the dining room we enjoyed the courteous professionalism of Nemad 'Nicola' Ametovic, a Florentine of Serbian origin

Luca's dining room

Luca's dining room

In Florence, the chef makes use of two valuable residents, Tommaso Querini and Olivia Cappelletti; he reinterprets his dishes by adapting them to the Tuscan context; but overall he proposes himself, the style that characterises him. There is something in Airaudo's cooking that recalls that of the Cereas. Certainly, the Italo-Argentine rambles more than his brothers from Bergamo, he plays between the South American matrix, the Italian inspiration that is in his DNA, the fascination for the Orient and the Spanish lesson.

Breakfast at La Gemma is of great gastronomic quality, well done

Breakfast at La Gemma is of great gastronomic quality, well done

But there are common polar stars: enjoyment as a viaticum for the gastronomic experience; the idea that when dining opulence is not a minus almost to be hidden, to be ashamed of, but a privilege that is well paid for by the diner, and therefore does not lend itself to being restricted between ideological stakes; the conviction that a restaurant is first and foremost a business, which must function instead of chasing fashionable chimeras.

Homemade fresh pasta tagliolini with Carnia butter sauce with anchovies, lemon and caviar, one of Airaudo's classics

Homemade fresh pasta tagliolini with Carnia butter sauce with anchovies, lemon and caviar, one of Airaudo's classics

The Cerea family does all this somewhat under the radar, without proclamations; Airaudo states this proudly, he is not one for diplomacy. His phrase should be carved in stone, so that no one forgets it: 'Fine dining is changing and evolving, and we all have to understand that. People want happy places where they can enjoy themselves and spend pleasant hours'.

This Risotto with pumpkin, 'nduja oil, nasturtium dressing, lemon, nasturtium leaves and lobster is very, very interesting. The sweetness of the pumpkin and lobster are in contrast with the spiciness and smokiness of the 'nduja. Delicious

This Risotto with pumpkin, 'nduja oil, nasturtium dressing, lemon, nasturtium leaves and lobster is very, very interesting. The sweetness of the pumpkin and lobster are in contrast with the spiciness and smokiness of the 'nduja. Delicious

Monkfish, white turnip, telline (seafood), beetroot, bagna cauda, trout roe, another wonderful dish, like cappelletti. You can really tell there’s been 72 hours of maturation. But it has a flaw: it is borderline savoury

Monkfish, white turnip, telline (seafood), beetroot, bagna cauda, trout roe, another wonderful dish, like cappelletti. You can really tell there’s been 72 hours of maturation. But it has a flaw: it is borderline savoury

Pigeon breast, onion puree, maitake mushroom, duck fat and Colonnata lard, toasted onion petal with spring onion oil. Delicious. Pre-dessert and dessert (Goat cheese flan, plums, oat waffles and honey and Jerusalem artichoke puree, pistachio crumble, white chocolate ice cream, almond air, crispy Jerusalem artichoke skin, both very good)

Pigeon breast, onion puree, maitake mushroom, duck fat and Colonnata lard, toasted onion petal with spring onion oil. Delicious. Pre-dessert and dessert (Goat cheese flan, plums, oat waffles and honey and Jerusalem artichoke puree, pistachio crumble, white chocolate ice cream, almond air, crispy Jerusalem artichoke skin, both very good)

This also applies to Luca's inside La Gemma.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Carlo Mangio

An outdoor trip or a journey to the other side of the planet?
One thing is for sure: the destination is delicious, by Carlo Passera

by

Carlo Passera

journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief

Author's articles list