Bagna cauda QR code

Enrico Panero’s talent traps the great classic from Piedmont into a super tasty QR Code

The brilliant Bagnacaoda QR code that Enrico Paner

The brilliant Bagnacaoda QR code that Enrico Panero, chef at restaurant Da Vinci di Eataly Firenze, presented yesterday in Identità Expo’s temporary restaurant. From a winter dish, "bagna calda" thus becomes a dish for every season, even the warmest ones. In Florence it will soon be in the menu as a starter (photo credits Brambilla/Serrani)

Bagnacaoda (or Bagna cauda), who would have said. The great classic from the salt way in Piedmont returns full of assertiveness and trapped into new borders under the pastry-bagof Enrico Panero, a brilliant talent at the helm of restaurant Da Vinci di Eataly Firenze, the first protagonist of "Identità Giovani", the format which every Tuesday at 4 pm will point the spotlights on the under 30 protagonists of the best Italian cuisine.

The initial sparkle of the 28 year old from Fossano is QR Code, the two-dimensional barcode, emblem of the rampant app-digitalisation of the real world. «I chose it because in my Pindaric flight I wanted to give myself some points of reference that would not allow me to lose sight of tradition: Q stands for quadro [painting/square], the symbol of creativity par excellence; R stands for rationality, the breaks setting a limit to travelling without boundaries. Code is my personal code». It is a brilliant and international way to get on the stage of Expo, «an international stage on which I’m honoured to be».

Enrico Panero, 28, a rising star (photo credits Brambilla/Serrani)

Enrico Panero, 28, a rising star (photo credits Brambilla/Serrani)

Bagnacaoda in the shape of a square, therefore. Anchovies, «rinsed and briefly put in white vinegar to remove the fat», are placed in order, as 3 concentric mini-squares on the corners of the code. A thin line of yellow pepper emulsion draws the contour of the square. The pointillism of an emulsion of milk and wild garlic makes fun of the spurious version that includes cream (and garlic, contrary to the classic version, is not invasive, you can hardly taste it).

Everything else is the re-actualisation of a precise memory: «My family would put bagnacaoda in the centre of the table, together with a basket of cooked and raw vegetables. It happened once a month, it was a special day». The same happens inside the square: the anarchy of the QR code points is represented by raw carrots, asparagus, red shallots, turnips and peppers, also cooked, peeled and diced. There are also powdered walnuts, a memory of a Piedmontese custom that is coming back. Oil (a jelly with a little addition of glucose) a touch of salt and voilà, the pinwheel of textures finally acquires value.

Christian Costardi, another bagnacaoda expert, was also in the audience (Brambilla/Serrani)

Christian Costardi, another bagnacaoda expert, was also in the audience (Brambilla/Serrani)

The last two touches are interesting: marjoram leaves are scattered here and there as a testimony of his early years in Liguria. And two pieces of rustic bread (without the crust) are placed on the side, begging to be used to scoop the sauce at the end. Most of all, they are a descriptive summary of Panero’s approach «Because», he explains, «my cooking is both polished and gourmet and accessible too: this applies to the price of the dishes in the menu, in general, and to the hints to popular customs as in the case of scooping the sauce».

It is finally our turn, to very happily fall under the blows of a bagnacaoda that as of today is also available in a spring-summer version. It will soon be the starter before the starters at Panero’s.


Identità Expo

Activities, ideas and protagonists in Identità Golose's location inside the 2015 World Fair