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04-04-2023

The future of Italy belongs to Caranchini as well

The patron of Materia in Cernobbio, Chef of the year for Identità, at 33 is only at the beginning of his career which will leave a mark thanks to the rare gift of matching impossible ingredients and complex techniques, making them seeming simple

Davide Caranchini, Chef of the Year for the 2023 I

Davide Caranchini, Chef of the Year for the 2023 Identità Golose Guide, signs the souvenir artwork at the award ceremony on Monday 27th of March 2023 in Milan. Foto Brambilla-Serrani

If Como has recently become a culinary and not just tourist destination, this is also thanks to a concrete and sound person like Davide Caranchini, born in 1990. Since around eight years ago he’s at the helm of Materia, a restaurant in Cernobbio which he runs with his partner Ambra Sberna. She’s in the dining room, he’s in the kitchen, she’s from Sicily, he’s from Como. They are partners at work and in life.

Davide Caranchini: Grilled salad, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Grilled salad, March 2023

On Monday last week, Davide was on stage at Teatro Manzoni in Milan to receive the Chef of the Year award from the Guida di Identità Golose ai Ristoranti di Italia, Europa e Mondo. He’s young star capable of making seemingly simple, and accessible to all, recipes that are not simple at all. And it’s not just a question of pairings that most could know and categorise in a menu without making mistakes.

Davide Caranchini: Veal sweetbreads and carrots, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Veal sweetbreads and carrots, March 2023

An example above all: Bone marrow and saffron, a flagship for Materia, but if you order it, when do you expect it to be served? The two main elements recall Risotto alla milanese with bone marrow, but this would be banal. Instead, it’s a dessert, take it or leave it, the decision is up to the guest who, let’s remember, is a volunteer. There’s no authority that could force us to dine in a specific place. It’s a matter of trust.

Davide Caranchini: Linguine with butter and garum, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Linguine with butter and garum, March 2023

The motivation behind the award leaves no doubt: «Born in Como in 1990, he has given value to his important experience abroad, in London and Copenhagen, building an extraordinary (in that it is full of personality and character) journey across Italian cuisine. A cuisine of the lake, built with rare creative sensitivity with local products, especially vegetables and freshwater fish». Which for many is still of a lower quality compared to seafood, especially when the kitchen does nothing to make it interesting.

Davide Caranchini: Risotto, lemon, almond and timut pepper, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Risotto, lemon, almond and timut pepper, March 2023

And interesting is not the right adjective to describe Caranchini’s menu. It doesn’t represent the strength enclosed in every tassel of a very personal mosaic. It’s like seeing a four-wheel bolide with hundreds of horsepower still, the engine turned off. You can admire every aspect, but it’s only when the engine is running, and the power is released that you can judge. The same applies to people like Davide who can interpret each product and connect it with others without stopping to wonder how most people would react in front of an unusual recipe.

Davide Caranchini: Pigeon on the spit, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Pigeon on the spit, March 2023

If you’re afraid to go out at sea, you can always keep close to the coast, or not set sail at all. We should not be ashamed of our limits, in fact, we must transform them into our strengths. Today I don’t know how far at sea Materia could get. I don’t think much further than the horizon on which it is moving right now. The restaurant is small, a kitchen plus two small dining rooms, and a restaurant with a genius like his cannot avoid wondering how he could express himself in a larger restaurant.

The carcass of the pigeon on the spit by Davide Caranchini

The carcass of the pigeon on the spit by Davide Caranchini

Meanwhile, I still dream of the intensity and brightness of the lunch: Grilled salad, a triumph of pumpkin, hazelnut mayo, black truffle, mushrooms, red fruits, barbequed curly salad, lichen and bark… A masterpiece. Then Marinated trout, curry, passion fruit, peanuts and basil; Veal sweetbreads and carrots; Spaghetti, fermented plum, parmigiano reggiano and basil; Linguine, butter, garum of agone and amchoor; Risotto, lemon, almond and Timut pepper; Pikeperch, caviar, bergamot and seaweeds; Pigeon on the spit, radicchio, rosemary and liquorice, in two services, which I became three when I asked if he could serve the carcass so I could enjoy it in delicious peace.

 

Davide Caranchini: Hazelnuts, chestnuts and rosemary, March 2023

Davide Caranchini: Hazelnuts, chestnuts and rosemary, March 2023

 RISTORANTE MATERIA

Via 5 Giornate, 32
22012 Cernobbio
Tel: +39.031.2075548
E-mail: info@ristorantemateria.it
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, ten services per week.
Average prices: starters 29 euros; first courses 28; main courses 36; desserts 15.
Tasting menu: Revolution revival 85 (five courses), 95 (seven) and 145 (twelve); Green power 85 euros.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Cibi Divini

Restaurants from all the world told in Il Giornale by Paolo Marchi from February 1994 to the winter of 2011. And since the spring, for the readers identitagolose.it

by

Paolo Marchi

born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
instagram instagram.com/oloapmarchi

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