Paulo Airaudo at Identità Milano 2019. All photos are from Brambilla-Serrani
When Paulo Airaudo, the Italian-Argentinian chef from Amelia (and now an Ambasciatore del Gusto), arrived in San Sebastian, he was well aware of his cultural and gastronomic heritage, and of his goal of presenting a personal and different cuisine, preparing what he loves most. It was a brave challenge in a city famous all around the world for its often very traditional cuisine. This gamble, however, soon granted him lots of praise and in just a few months he conquered the first Michelin star. To do so he uses the eccentric perspective of a foreigner, a different point of view on the tradition of the Basque Country: he uses the same ingredients, many of which come from small local producers, to present something original. At Amelia, for instance, 80% of the dishes come from a 1-square-metre grill, a cooking technique the chef holds very dear because it preserves flavours and elements without changing them and allows, thanks to the fire, to keep a direct, immediate connection with the ingredient.
Airaudo and, in the background, Niccolò Vecchia, who presented the lesson
Sardine, beetroot and crème fraîche
Rum ice cream, cream of avocado and caviar
At the moment Amelia is a very intimate place, with only 8 tables seating 18-20 people maximum per service. The staff includes some 20 people from all around the world. There are some changes coming up, however: Airaudo has found a new location where he will continue his idea of restaurant offer. It will be ready by the end of 2019. Dining room and kitchen will be joined in the same space, so as to get the guests involved and bring them at the heart of the experience.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
Born in Naples, now based in Lucca, she started off as a literary critic before focusing on wine and food (her passion). She loves travelling and the friendly atmosphere of a dining experience