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05-10-2015

Scabin and the impossible tagliatelle

At Identità New York, pasta for 150 people, a miracle accomplished also thanks to his friend Cracco

The sixth edition of Identità New York ended on Saturday at Eataly’s Scuola, with applauses full of sincere admiration for Vito Mollica’s lesson, an extraordinary journey across memories, ancient wisdom and contemporary inspiration – I was almost about to book a trip to Basilica. Vito is from Basilicata and he’s a real person, nothing to do with the stereotype of the snobbish and presumptuous chef, which for some years now has been appearing like mushrooms after the rain, also thanks to television and social networks. Some twenty likes are enough to make one emerge.

Davide and Barbara Scabin, in Italia he runs Combal.zero in Rivoli, above Torino, she runs Blupum in Ivrea

Davide and Barbara Scabin, in Italia he runs Combal.zero in Rivoli, above Torino, she runs Blupum in Ivrea

Vito was brilliant and so were Davide Scabin and Carlo Cracco united by the tagliatelle during the gala dinner on Friday inside Eataly’s Birreria, when they were joined in the kitchen by Mark Ladner (a meat main course) and Vito Mollica (the dessert). This is how it went, and it’s worth pointing this because it was a nice moment of friendship that reminded me of what’s written in Boing’s reception in Seattle: "Given its shape, the dimension of its wings and its weight, a bumblebee couldn’t fly. But he doesn’t know this so he flies". See, when the Piedmontese chef confirmed he was to prepare Tagliatelle Bolognese for 150 people, everyone thought him mad. Including Massimo Bottura who’s a bit of a superior court on the subject: "In Emilia, no one would do it because no one would even think about it". Think about something this crazy, that is.

Mistaking cooking time and service, everything, would be easy. Yet he didn’t think about it and flew very high also thanks to the beautiful gesture of Cracco Carlo, who was to prepare an extraordinary Zuppa pavese as entrée, and just told him: "As soon as I finish, I’ll help you, I want you to make a good impression" and this is what happened. One put his madness, the other channelled it in precise tracks so that the evening wouldn’t derail.

Scabin always takes risks that go against every logic. Not that his colleagues didn’t give their best shot without using a safety net, but when you’re playing away from home, it’s always best to avoid three strikers and opt for an extra defender at first. There’s always time to change. Not Davide, he attacks right away. There’s nothing you can do about it, it’s in his nature.

He once made a huge mistake. One afternoon in Finland, he decided to cook salmon in a hole in the earth, under burning embers, the filets wrapped in a cover, with earth and leaves on top covering everything. Unfortunately he didn’t guess the cooking time and the fish was almost raw. I told Albert Adrià, who was also there, above the Arctic Circle, I was sorry for Scabin, and the Catalan chef said: “This is Davide, he won’t make a soup”. Indeed, he goes for the impossible. And this is why I admire him and I also admire someone who’s ready to help him and won’t leave him alone.

Meanwhile we’re on the eve of the second edition of Identità Chicago, again at Eataly Chicago, a metropolis in complete sport alert because on Wednesday the Cubs are in the playoffs with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the baseball World Series. They haven’t won since 1908, more than a lifetime.

A souvenir photo of the gala dinner at Eataly New York’s Birreria. Left to right, Davide Scabin, his sister Barbara, Paolo Marchi, Carlo Cracco, Lidia Bastianich, Vito Mollica, Mark Ladner and Domenico di Clemente

A souvenir photo of the gala dinner at Eataly New York’s Birreria. Left to right, Davide Scabin, his sister Barbara, Paolo Marchi, Carlo Cracco, Lidia Bastianich, Vito Mollica, Mark Ladner and Domenico di Clemente

Tomorrow, on Tuesday 6th, at Eataly's cooking school, there will be two lessons with two chefs from Chicago Andrew Zimmerman of restaurant Sepia and Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish & Oyster, on top of Italian chefs Cristina Bowerman of Glass Hostaria in Rome and Heinz Beck of La Pergola, also in Rome. And in the evening, the eight handed gala dinner, while tomorrow there will be the tasting of wines selected by the Merano WineFestival.


Primo piano

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by

Paolo Marchi

born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
instagram instagram.com/oloapmarchi

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