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Including a young creative mind, with strong techniques and international experience, in the kitchen of a place with a long tradition and a strong connection with its region can lead to two opposite results: a loss of identity, or a positive short circuit, leading to wider perspectives. The case of Francesco Sodano atIl Faro di Capo d'Orso, Sorrento, is to be included in the second group.
He was born in 1988 in Somma Vesuviana. A promising young man, who was directed to very important experiences after high school, thanks to his parents, who are teachers in catering school: with Oliver Glowig at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese in Rome, and then at Oracle in Los Angeles, and then in London at Galvin at Windows and London Hilton Park Lane, Annabel’s club in Mayfair, and Enoteca Turi (on top of an internship at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck). He then returned to Italy at Quattro Passi in Nerano, «but I also worked in restaurants seating 200 people at lunch and as many in the evening». But the most significant training experience was «with the person I consider my true master», that is to say Anthony Genovese, at Il Pagliaccio in Rome.
He arrived atIl Faro di Capo d'Orso in March 2019; in fact, he returned there, because he had already worked here years before, when Pierfranco Ferrara, third generation of the same family, after Luigi Ferrara first created this fine food place in 1935, was at the helm of the kitchen.
Sodano is part of that new wave of cooks who are shaping the New Mediterranean Cuisine, that happy mix – of extraordinary potential – of local/traditional roots and other influences. He shows a wise use of textures, acidity and smoking, fermenting and even oxidation; and this while presenting dishes that recall typical flavours, but overcome this typicality in terms of elegance, thanks to superb aromatic notes and technical virtuosos that are never idle.
This article is curated by Identità Golose, the publication that organises the international fine dining congress, publishes website www.identitagolose.com and the online Guida Identità Golose, on top of curating many other events in Italy and abroad
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