The journey of Carlo Cracco. First stop, Galleria

The chef presents Sea salad world tour and Riso e latte: two recipes to be enjoyed in the restaurant openong in the autumn

by Sonia Gioia
Carlo Cracco with Luca Sacchi and Paolo Marchi

Carlo Cracco with Luca Sacchi and Paolo Marchi on the stage of Identità Golose 2017

«When I enrolled in catering school, I had no idea of what happens in a kitchen, but I knew cooking would make me travel. That’s why I made this choice». This is what Carlo Cracco revealed while opening the last day at Identità Golose, edition 13, on an intimate note. After all, for the "masterchef" the great belly of MiCo is like home. We have proofs. Above all, the iconic-picture of IG 2017: a group photo including some hard-to-recognise Cedroni, Scabin, Bottura, Uliassi, Marchi, Cracco, Leemann. It was 2006, these young men were to make history. Who knows if the young chefs called this year to take part in the new La nuova cucina italiana section won’t be the next.

Back to Cracco. The backstory  – desire, cooking, travelling – confirms and reveals the near future, as the chef is getting ready for a new departure. Show biz lights are turning off, doors to the restaurant in Via Victor Hugo are closing almost simultaneously. Next stop, Galleria in Milan – the city’s belly, the real one. A choice that will redefine more than just the private geography of the famous Cracco. Five floors, three of which will host kitchens, café, pastry shop, restaurant. And a dream: «Writing a new page in history», capable of leaving a mark on a global scale, though Carlo Cracco doesn’t say this.

Sea salad world tour

Sea salad world tour

Here’s why a distance of just two tram stops – from Via Hugo to Piazza Duomo – requires a courage ticket and a recklessness one. And a touch of creativity that will lead great classics of the Cracco-philosophy into the future, starting from the Sea salad world tour prepared by the quick hands of sous chef Luca Sacchi. A sui generis ceviche made with amberjack, using fish scraps in the shape of wafers (of purple prawn, scallop with its coral, and squid with its ink). What makes it special, however, is the two gelatines, made with as many infusions. The first of nasturtium, pea sprouts, wild fennel, achillea millefolium. The other is made with sansho pepper and wasabi. A handful of corn, bottarga and scallion to finish the dish [it is a known fact that if you want to be cool, there has to be scallion, cit.]. «These two gelatines make the difference, they add water to the recipe: they feel like the sea». Cracco’s journeys are not within the perimeter of a courtyard, but a trip across the planet, an adventure in time and space.

Like the one enjoyed through Riso e latte. Vivid memories, cerebral flavours. Childhood and Christmas. The two main ingredients appear in the shape of an arancino stuffed with mascarpone and zabaglione, a comforting heart, almost liquid and super delicious. Before serving it, they dip the arancino in aromas: orange, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, juniper, anise, cardamom, covered with a boiling layer of salt that extracts the aromas with explosive power. This is the second last step before the arancino is dished out on a stylised caramel snowflake. «And since every snowflake is notoriously different from the other, I can make a mistake in every dish» - the sous chef’s sagaciousness deserves a place in the hand luggage. Before starting a journey, a touch of 2.0 comfort food and a concession to mistakes is a perfect fit in the suitcase. Happy travels, Cracco & Co.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


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