Martina e Luca Caruso

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani


via Scalo 15
98050 - Malfa, Salina (Messina)
+39 090 9844222


When you’re born on an island it’s destiny. When you’re born in an archipelago connected with another island this destiny is amplified in a word called isolitudine. Had Gesualdo Bufalino, who created this neologism, met Martina Caruso, he would have noticed her dreams. Few words, naturally reserved, a great passion. The isolitudine of the young chef born in 1989, already with a star, is the soul of her dishes. Navigating in her sea, contaminated with incursions from the rest of the world. From the seaside village of Malfa, Martina often left to discover the world and Italy.

In London at Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian, in Rome at Open Colonna and at Pipero al Rex and Vico Equense at Gennaro Esposito’s Torre del Saracino... This in order to refine her technique before taking the place of her father Michele, a self-trained chef, at SignumMartina thus explored flavours and took inspiration she then wisely mixed with the ingredients from her Salina. In Martina’s vision, capers become an ice cream for a sandwich, a breaded and fried mullet is perfectly dipped in ginger broth poured on raw diced mullet, paired with a black olive from Sicily cut into small pieces. «Tasting new things is my lymph». Then the isolitudine prevails and extra virgin olive oil is always to be found in her kitchen.

In the vocabulary of the Caruso family – Martina runs the business and on top of her parents Michele and Clara, there’s her trusted brother Luca, born in 1980 and full of talent – another word that’s always present is “change”. «I love change, I often change the menu». A way to satisfy regular clients and follow the evolutions – which have granted her a Michelin star already and a nomination as best young woman chef in Italy – which she constantly refines during internships, training, meetings. The new frontier was Peru, from which she brought back local salt, fermented corn, peels of cocoa beans, chonta and quinoa. It’s hard to know if they’ll find a place in one of the new dishes. For sure she’ll include the winter vegetables which so far she’s never used in the seasonal kitchen of the restaurant Martina which is open from April till October. «I’m working on the perfect preservation of winter agricultural products». Because you cannot beat isolitudine.

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Mariella Caruso

A journalist from Catania, now in Milan, she was born in 1966. «I travel, meet people and tell stories on Volevofareilgiornalista» and on numerous other publications