Salvini: the seeds of wisdom

The lesson of the enlightened chef from Florence: fermented nuts. A great raw-diet dish

Simone Salvini between Marco Spanghero of Berberè

Simone Salvini between Marco Spanghero of Berberè and cook Federica Scolta, now at Dattilo but for a long time working beside Niko Romito. Their joined lesson, yesterday at Identità Expo, was splendid: a raw-diet dish with fermented nuts, made with Alce Nero’s organic products

As Simone Salvini arrives, a mystic numbness lands on Identità Expo, the same that every day wraps the Organic pavilion, behind that of Oman, where our chef prepares amazing vegan-raw-diet lunchboxes (with the pizzas of Berbere, an unmatchable offer between the Cardus and Decumanum) with Alce Nero’s organic products.

The chef born in Florence in 1969 arrived yesterday with all his knowledge. Seeds of wisdom, but also of sunflower and flask, which he left to ferment as the initial step for two joined preparations, conducted among the surprised oohs of the audience. They need to be soaked for 4/6 hours, then processed in a cutter and finally spread on a baking tin. A mucilage that later becomes like a raw-diet very sapid, tasty and crispy wafer. A preparation that immediately makes it clear what Salvini’s principle is: «Vegan cuisine is not about sacrifice, it adds solutions you didn’t believe were possible before». Even for the palate.

The dish from Simone Salvini’s lesson

The dish from Simone Salvini’s lesson

It is then the turn of the vegetal cheese, which is cheese in a very very broadminded way as no cow, goat or sheep milk is involved: «This ‘cheese’ is made with fermented nuts. They come from four continents: Nuts and cashew nuts from Brazil, almonds from Asia... This is my tribute to the colourful rainbow of Expo». A lumpy pâté/mousse made with the addition of water, then blended into the cutter, mixed with lactoflorin powder and finally strained. Its splendid properties go beyond its sensorial ones: «Zero cholesterol, it lowers the glycaemic level and is very nutritious. It is perfect for children too, in other ways». It is an extract you can use instead of butter but also to cream your vegan risotto».

On this occasion Salvini doesn’t make any risotto but uses it to make a mousse softer and covers it with sesame seeds, creating magic balls out of a ladle. The four varieties of “cheese” are then placed on the above mentioned wafer, adding herbs and various vegetables such as capers. Beautiful and delicious. «This is a perfect entrée in a fine dining vegan restaurant, a dream I would like to accomplish». He’d have so many clients right from the start.

A charmed audience

A charmed audience

And enthusiastic collaborators: helping him on the stage, all smiling and diligent, were Federica Scolta, a very young chef with an already long experience beside Niko Romito in the magic feud in Castel di Sangro, and Marco Spanghero of Berberè, who summed up all the great properties of the Berberè dough, used to make the best pizza at Expo (as we said here).

Beautiful moments, enriched with Salvini’s usual anecdotes full of ancient wisdom. Here’s one above all: «I’ve always had a free and serene mind; I don’t envy the tensions of starred cuisine. After all, lightness rhymes with creativity. As the famous physicist awarded with the Nobel Prize knew well. When journalist asked ‘what is your secret?’ he replied: ‘Playing football every afternoon’». Enlightened lightness.

Identità Expo

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


Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes. 
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