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Identità di Gelato Senigallia, third edition. The lessons of Cedroni-Abbadir, Casabianca and Galletti

A report on the first part of the day dedicated to the new frontiers of contemporary gelato: with the hosts, the duo from Madonnina del Pescatore and Uliassi’s pastry chef, and with a young entrepreneur from Romagna

The dining room of the Rotonda a Mare welcomed the

The dining room of the Rotonda a Mare welcomed the third edition of Identità di Gelato Senigallia. The lessons were opened by the two "hosts" Moreno Cedroni and Luca Abbadir

La Rotonda a Mare in Senigallia, a round sphere floating above the sea (which with a bright day felt like it was still summer) has confirmed its retro charm. It hosted the third edition of Identità di Gelato. A 360-degree story on gelato, under the theme of the new frontiers of contemporary ice cream making, which developed through the stories and testimonies of chefs, ice cream makers, pastry chefs and mixologists.

Paolo Marchi and Cinzia Benzi

Paolo Marchi and Cinzia Benzi

Paolo Marchi, when opening the works with Cinzia Benzi, pointed out how this was for Identità «a very important edition: for the first time we will have an international guest, a great French ice cream maker and much more, Alain Chartier, M.O.F Glacier, but we’re also very pleased to listen to an entrepreneur of Chinese origins like Claudio Liu, who with Iyo and Aalto has created in Milan some fine gastronomic realities dedicated to Japan, and then decided to hand the pastry making to an Italian pastry chef like Luca De Santi. We’re happy to have strengthened our partnership with a publication like Reporter Gourmet, which is streaming this event live».

Mayor Massimo Olivetti with Claudio Ceroni and Cinzia Benzi

Mayor Massimo Olivetti with Claudio Ceroni and Cinzia Benzi

Claudio Ceroni, president of MAGENTAbureau, started his greeting by saying that «the third edition of an event is, often, the one that strengthens the work done, showing its highest value. Today we want to be positive and look at the future, despite the hard times we’re going through, ready to take some further steps ahead. Senigallia for a day is the Italian capital of gelato, thanks also to the online streaming, and we’re grateful for the welcome of Mayor Massimo Olivetti». Who, in his speech right after that, thanked Identità Golose: «We’re happy that you have once again chosen Senigallia for this event. Our city offers some great culinary excellences, which also work in the field of gelato, but I’d like to add that, given it’s a summer destination and a sea town, Senigallia has surely a closeknit relationship with the topic analysed in today’s masterclasses».

The Principessa machine

The Principessa machine

In this third edition too, a crucial partner of Identità Golose for the organisation of Identità di Gelato was the revolutionary Motor Power Company’s Principessa machine. This brought a significant technological and conceptual evolution to the world of fine gelatos, in Italy and abroad. Andrea Morini, Sales Manager at Motor Power, recalled how the philosophy from which this technology is born is based on some principles that are as current as ever: «Low environmental impact, zero water consumption, minimal energetic impact». The Principessa creamer is the protagonist of all the lessons of the day, as it is used to make all the gelatos presented on stage. It only needs to be attached to a simple plug. 


Moreno Cedroni opened the morning session. With 38 years at Madonnina del Pescatore – to which one must add also Anikò and Clandestino in Portonovo – he surely was one of the first to turn Senigallia into the culinary pilgrimage destination it is now. The first part of his story focused on the challenge taken this year by the creative couple formed by Cedroni and his right arm Luca Abbadir: end the meal with a savoury dessert, upturning the order that has sweets end the meal. We thus start with a pre-dessert, which is a bit of a joke, dressed up as a sweet to end the meal.

Ganache with 70% gran cru Belize chocolate – with strong bitter notes -, mixed with blackberries preserved in sugar and vinegar – with sweet, sour and bitter tones – covered with powdered lyophilised raspberries, served with fermented, dried and blended parsnip, and lyophilised tomato, and then finished with puffed amaranth and flakes of crackling sugar (all to eat with your hands!). But this is not the real finale. For this, Cedroni and Abbadir go back to the origins, with a micro-portion of spaghetti with clams, the first dish at Madonnina in 1984 (made current with a shell of plankton, oysters and lyophilised clams sprinkled on top, as if it were cheese). 

Then comes the moment of Peanuts, the comic gelato, preannounced to the audience with a comic strip by Schultz which hints at the ingredients. Another play, halfway between a joke and a riddle. Peanuts is a gelato that recalls American PBJ sandwiches, one of Charlie Brown’s beloved snacks, and a source of inspiration for Luca Abbadir. This is welcomed, below, by a sauce of black currants and peanuts cooked in the pressure cooker, whose texture reminds us of chickpeas. Then again black currants: some fermented in sugar, water, vinegar, and others fresh. Tahina, with its scents of toasted sesame, adds a touch of bitterness. The back and forth between sweet, sour, and bitter is guaranteed. Is the last touch the peanut-colada sauce, with the peanut butter replacing the coconut, and the black currants instead of the pineapple and rum? Not exactly. Because the last real blast – of acidity – comes from the formic acid that comes from one of the ingredients mentioned in the initial comic strip: ants. 


Mauro Uliassi did not participate in Identità di Gelato because of a last-minute personal engagement that did not allow him to join the event in Senigallia with his young and talented pastry chef, Mattia Casabianca, like in 2021 at Rotonda a Mare. Casabianca was born in Senigallia and trained abroad with masters like Michel Roux and the Rocas. He’s at the helm of the sweet side of Uliassi since 2018. However, he already has broad shoulders and did not hesitate to take the stage, and presented, through two different compositions, his work with gelato. «An element – he said – that in the past few years has acquired more and more space and importance in restaurants: I really believe that thanks to fine dining you can better understand the features of every gelato».

As usual, the menus at Uliassi are born from the collaboration of the restaurant team, in that sort of creative ritual that is the Lab: «This year - Casabianca explained later – the main inspiration is Latin America, with Mauro’s strong desire to dedicate the menu to Brazilian percussionist Rogeiro De Oliveira, who passed away a few months ago». We start with a pre-dessert, made of a gel of cocoa pods, sorbet of cocoa pod mucilage, ganache of cocoa grue, cocoa beans, fresh almonds, purée of apricot, mango and coffee oil. At the base of this recipe there’s the desire to enhance a little knows fruit, considered a waste, from which one obtains cocoa. 

After that, the dessert that ends the Lab 2022 menu of the restaurant overlooking the Spiaggia di Velluto. It’s a corn gelato served in a cannolo, with rice, coconut milk, crystallised corn, pineapple osmosed with rum and fresh mint leaves: «In this dish - Casabianca explained – the protagonist is corn, which is used in two ways. The fresh corn is juiced. The toasted one is boiled in milk and then reduced, to add a toasty note to the dish: in this way our gelato will have different intertwined taste profiles. And then again we have more corn, which is first dried and then caramelised. And in this case too, the flavours we find in the dish have a connection with Latin America: rice, coconut, pineapple, corn, rum, mint...».


The morning ended with the energy and determination of an entrepreneur from Romagna: Jessica Galletti. Her philosophy and that of her ice cream shops Il Jelato di Jessica, includes a daily work to research the "small but good", in fact excellent. A limited range of ingredients that make this food open to all sorts of possibilities. Take coconut sugar, with a low glycaemic index (which makes it suitable also for people with diabetes), or the totally gluten free production, or the rich choice of lactose free recipes.

The new frontier of contemporary ice cream is for sure accessibility, on top of the quality of the ingredients. Of these, we appreciate for instance the roundness of the mascarpone, prepared with milk from free range cows (and thus rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 and lighter thanks to the Beta-casein A2 protein) and the richness of the raw chocolate from cocoa beans, already high of vitamins and minerals. The other crucial elements in the philosophy behind Jessica’s gelato is the fact she limits resource consumption, another essential condition of contemporary ice cream making

«Thanks to the advanced technology of Principessa Motor Power it was possible to reduce the consumption of electricity and water – she adds -, and more. Because this machine has also impacted other important variables of our work: production times – reduced thanks to the Motor Power technology – and the freshness of the final product, giving us the possibility of preparing smaller quantities of freshly made gelato». 


Senigallia offered us a beautiful day, with a warm sun made fresher by the light breeze: so much so that during the tasty lunch break between the morning and afternoon masterclasses, we almost felt like we were walking on the deck of a ship. Bound to: Blu Senigallia, suspended between sky and sea.

An interlude that pleased the eyes and – as usual for us – delighted the palate: starting from the flavour of the genuine leavened products made by two more excellences from Senigallia, starting with Alessandro Coppari’s pizza, from Mezzometro, who presented a very innovative product, Magnifica Rotonda, a pizza that you can taste at home, with no loss in terms of quality or taste and nose compared to a freshly baked pizza. He presented it in three variations, the classic Margherita, Prosciutto, with cooked ham, and for lovers of spicy, a rich Diavola. The dough is easy to digest, the ingredients are selected carefully, and there’s the intense aroma of wheat, thanks to the use of the finest flour, ingredients that we can also find in the bread and focaccia from Francesca Casci’s artisanal bakery from Senigallia, Pandefrà: the bread, Miscuglio Evolutivo 100%, is born from a mix of old varieties from the Marche, while the focaccia, made precious by the oil, is a soft and golden cloud.

Of course, there was also gelato: pistachio, the most beloved flavour ever, made by master ice cream maker Palmiro Bruschi, World Ice cream champion in 1994 and a great professional of ice creams, and Paolo Brunelli in partnership with Agrimontana: a sphere of rich pistachio from Feudo San Biagio, with a nice sapid note, served on a wafer of cantucci and a gel of vin Santo.

And then again, some festive and bright glasses of bubbles from Consorzio d’Asti e del Moscato d’Asti Docg, which are also the official bubbles of Identità di Gelato, interpreted in a thirst-quenching cocktail with a ginger extract.

Content by Silvia Cittadini, Marialuisa Iannuzzi and Niccolò Vecchia

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso

Passione Gelato

Storie dal mondo del gelato di qualità


Identità Golose

This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad

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