Reportage "The Future is Theirs" at Identità Milano 2022: Christian Mandura

The chef and patron from restaurant Unforgettable in Torino presented his format of contemporary dining and his work on vegetables

19-05-2022
by Davide Visiello
Christian Mandura on the stage with Carlo Passera

Christian Mandura on the stage with Carlo Passera, who presented his lesson
(All photos are from Brambilla/Serrani)

To whom does the future belong? To them, to young people. And despite how they are often deemed to be scarcely inclined to work and sacrifice, they continue to grow well. Very well in some cases, as with the young people who participated in Identità Milano 2022 in the section “The Future is Theirs”.

«Our idea of dining is born from a need: to focus on vegetables and reduce the use of meat and fish to side dishes». The revolution of Christian Mandura starts here. The chef and patron from Unforgettable in Torino, a brand new Michelin star, was born in 1990 and describes his restaurant with these words: «We were seeking to offer not just a simple dining experience but a totally contemporary format».

Mandura presents two ideas. The first is Asparagus à la Bismark, usually made with eggs and Parmigiano: «Instead of Parmigiano we grated a sweet almond, and instead of the eggs, we used roe, caviar». On the base of the dish there's a concentrate of bitter almonds made with armelline almonds blended with the asparagus peel: he uses white Venetian asparagus: «For the sweet finale». The vegetable is first blanched for 3 minutes and then seasoned with vine seed oil aromatised with chargrilled aromas, so as to add flavour without adding salt.

«It's a very elegant dish, aesthetically, given the black and white contrast, and in terms of taste, thanks to the mainly bitter vegetal notes and the strong sapidity of the caviar».

The second recipe is a super concentrated Parmigiana di melanzane: «We won't use salt. The flavour is obtained by concentrating the sugars of the aubergines, first baked at 180°C for 50 minutes, and then pressed and left to strain overnight». The resulting juice will be reduced like a veal jus for 6 hours, the water will evaporate leaving a nice spicy taste.

They will add to the jus the dried and blended peel of the aubergines, which will give some toasty notes of coffee and chocolate. «The sauce is a classic version made with beefsteak tomatoes, concentrated and then blended so that it's silkier, and then smoked with cherry wood». The dish is finished with some aged pecorino whose natural spiciness will mix with the spiciness of the aubergine. Playful part of the dish: it's a stripe you must lick. «The dishes must be first of all good and then they must convey an idea». Concepts and taste curated by Christian Mandura.

 

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso