Riccardo Camanini, a flow of consciousness in fourteen acts

The chef from Lido 84 presents a real time service which becomes an incredible emotional challenge, recipe after recipe

Riccardo Camanini on the stage of the Auditorium

Riccardo Camanini on the stage of the Auditorium (all the photos are from Brambilla-Serrani)

Fourteen is the perfect number. Or was it three? No, Riccardo Camanini of Lido 84 in Gardone Riviera (Brescia), one of the chefs who has grown the most in the recent culinary scene of Italy has made his choice. In the auditorium, on the last day of Identità Milano 2019 he replicates a 14-course “fast forward” service. Not a Larry Semon style cuisine, but a real time flow of consciousness that reveals the emotional side of the chef, which according to this talent from Garda is always neglected on the red carpet of gastro-divas. Each one of these dishes for Camanini has astrong emotional power, and is a portrait of himself at this moment. A veer to the left, like the one made by Buffalo Bill in Francesco De Gregori’s song, a song the chef loves and often quotes: it’s a story about everyone’s opportunity to go off the rails, off the radar.

But with 14 dishes, there’s no time to waste. Hold tight: 

Cream of celeriac, carob and burnt almond 
The celeriac, boiled and turned into a cream adding a very neutral seed oil for a light fat component, preserves its sour, sweet and aromatic flavour which in terms of acidity and aroma reminds one of mozzarella, the burnt almond oil and the carob syrup have the same aroma of the burnt crust of a pizza.

Perch in Albufera almost vegetal sauce 
The perch is cooked “au bleau”, its texture and flavour are very similar to the “blanc de volaille”, a classic French pairing. In the Albufera almost vegetal sauce fresh peanuts replace the foie gras, and Marsala replaces the Madeira. No truffle, but an oil of dry mushrooms, and a light chicken broth.

Spaghettino Gluten Free
Ancient wheat and gluten free rice, but the Italian way. The spaghettini are served lukewarm, with some sprinkled fried crab sliced very thin, seasoned with lime kefir, tomato purée and chilli pepper... The crunchiness is given by the seasonings, not the pasta. Think about how interesting it is to have a stable gumminess in a gluten free pasta, and think of the desire not to consider this product just a fall-back for people with an allergy, a product you cannot give the same importance you’d use with classic pasta.

84 hours of cooking for pasta al dente, Marinda tomatoes and pistachios 
Read about it here. «Digestibility at a very high, exaggerated price. Tasting the pasta, in terms of texture and taste, creates a strange curiosity, and the palate cannot create a connection with the memory: an anthropological detachment of taste».

Riso in rosso, warmed up, plum, Vermouth, Sancho pepper
Risotto with tomato purée, cooled down and then warmed up in the Josper, and a little burnt. Then the juice of a dry plum, plus Vermouth and long pepper. «Many will recall this risotto, usually considered acid, obtuse and oppressive. It appeared old to me, because indeed at the time I really didn’t like the purée, it was too sour and too bitter».

Grilled broccoli flowers, duck fat, cream of fiolaro broccoli, lemon and chilli pepper (plus a trick that Gaggan taught me)
«Give a vegetable the same aroma of grilled meat. And how about Gaggan? A touch of green curry»

Rare-cooked eel 
Marinated in Marsala, salt and lemon leaves, and then grilled and slowly smoked, covering it in blood, honey, Marsala, a drop of vinegar, pepper and cooking salt, mustard, shallots. Like porchetta. Pair it with a tablespoon of blueberry juice and toasted lemon leaves.

Seppia in Bianco
A tartare of cuttlefish cut in the shape of rice grains, dried under the fridge fans, forcing it to release the water so as to concentrate the flavours. It’s served with smoked eel butter and cream of Jerusalem artichokes, which has a cleaning function on the palate, like artichoke and fennel. The smoked eel butter recalls the butter recovered from the baking tin used for the spiedo bresciano.

Perch and tripe, mustard, honey and lemon 
«It recalls the classic fried bertagnì they make on Friday mornings in the villages where I come from. We put a filet of perch and a slice of cod tripe on top, and then fry them in batter».

Blood and mulberries 
Juice of mulberries and slightly thickened blood, heart grilled in a Josper oven, rare. A brisk cooking. Ancestral aromas.

A slice of raw meat, seasoned with oil aromatised with roasted rabbit, placed on a meaty leaf of purple cabbage, marinated for one year in Groppello vinegar. Between the meat and the cabbage there’s rabbit kidney, twice-baked and overcooked with lots of rosemary. The aroma of old cellars.

Matured bré, butter, vanilla
«A cheese from my area, matured in the mountains, and only made with summer cow’s milk: the texture is similar to bitto, the strong flavour reminds of bagoss. The butter adds a pleasant fat and sweet note, necessary to the cheese because of the ageing; it’s still dry, creating a lactic contrast between a mature and a fresh note. «I learnt it from Beppino Occelli»

Grated apple, yuzu kombawa, wasabi, cooking salt 

Soaked bread, blackberry purée, vanilla ice cream
«All in one gulp, like a proper flow of consciousness, but luckily edible».

IG2019: costruire nuove memorie

Andrea Cuomo


Andrea Cuomo

Roman, now living in Milan, sommelier, he's reporter of Il Giornale. He's been writing about taste for years

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