Riccardo Canella

Photo PA Joergensen

Photo PA Joergensen

Born in 1985 in Mestrino, Padua, after catering school in Abano Terme he works for many years with pastry chef Luigi Biasetto, next to his chief of operations Ivan Centeleghe, who was also head pastry chef at Gualtiero Marchesi in the early days in Erbusco. «At 19 I was at Albereta, beside Fabrizio Molteni, who’s one of the greatest professionals I’ve ever met, technically speaking», recalls Canella.

At 23, the turning point at Le Calandre: a 3-month internship and then 3 months with the Alajmo family in Rubano, which is 3 km from his hometown. Massimilianotaught me a lot. He has a playful and very personal way of approaching cooking. He’s against superfluous things, he goes straight to the point. His dishes are not born from an idea but from an emotion». 

Then Riccardowas offered to work for 3 months in a bistro in a Norwegian fjord south of Oslo, «It was a beautiful house in the middle of the woods. I’d prepare lots of salmon with dill. I put aside the money I would have spent in the first 7 months of work in Copenhagen». He arrived at Noma as an intern in September 2014; «At the time, I had another passion: I played the drums with my twin brother, who worked with the synthesizer. We did experimental music. I recalled something Gualtiero Marchesisaid: «I first started working seriously in the kitchen when I stopped playing the piano».

«At first it was traumatic at Noma. I had to overcome the prejudices against us Italians. They say we’re indolent and don’t want to learn English. And they’re often right». He’s so good that on the 28th December 2015 boss Rene Redzepi calls him: «Would you like to be a sous chef next year? I like your palate and leadership very much. You could be a chef de partie in all the restaurants in the world». The last day of the service of the pop-up in Sydneyhe made my promotion official in front of 60 people. «A moment I’ll never forget».

Until the first location for Noma was closed (on the 24th February 2017), Canella was sous chef in the service kitchen: «I was in charge of all the garnishes for the main course. I had t make sure that the quality of the raw materials was perfect. If the test kitchen makes a dish 10 times, Rene then tasted it and my task was to finish it and replicate it always in a perfect way. I’m a kitchen manager: I must have a global vision f everything, solve problems fast». Gift he’ll use again once Noma 2.0will open, which is expected to be in the early 2018 in a different location.

How about the future? «Like every chef, I’d like to open a place of my own. Apply all I’ve learnt to the fabulous Italian raw materials».

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes. 
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