Donato Ascani

Glam di Palazzo Venart

calle Tron, 1961
30135 - Venezia - sestiere Santa Croce

How good is Donato Ascani? «He's very good. He makes incredible dishes, I don't even know how he does it», Enrico Bartolini told us. An important endorsement for the resident chef at Glam. One may think this is natural, since Ascani is in the restaurant of Palazzo Venart in Venice, summoned by Bartolini himself … But words so full of enthusiasm, especially from a bright, intelligent and skilled man like the Tuscan chef from Mudec, are not so easy to witness.

Ascani is indeed a pure talent. Born in Fiuggi, in Lazio, in 1987, he attended catering school because cooking was in his blood: his father cooked for caterings, his uncle in a trattoria. His curriculum includes Fabio Tacchella's Antica Pesa, then an osteria in Parma, Alma, as chef's assistant. Marco Soldati and Luciano Tona must have realised immediately what a gem he was: so much so they sent Ascani first to Enrico Crippa, at Piazza Duomo, where he stayed for 4 years; then as second of Paolo Lopriore at Tre Cristi in Milan. When the chef from Como left, he became for a short time the chef of the place, until Bartolini called him.

Ascani shapes creativity, pulls out ideas, he's a virtuous with a plus, his obsessive attention to detail. «Venice is an exceptional market for any chef. It's so stimulating! There are many vegetable gardens, markets full of delicacies. The catch is a discovery each day: sea bass, beautiful squid, anchovies, sardines, mackerel... The fruits! The vegetables! I have worked for years with that, with Crippa. Here we have nothing to envy him. We often get supplies from the producers of Sant'Erasmo, while our herbs come from Cavallino. Hence castraure, swiss chards, lovage...», because Ascani is the kind of person who goes shopping for the best products each day.

His cuisine is indeed born from a natural impulse, from this constant interaction: «My menu is instinctive. It's often based on the daily shopping. My dishes are born by chance, from a memory, a story, a meeting». Inputs that strike an open mind. The result is a triumphant journey among aromas, a masterful summary of region and world, often looking at the East to enrich the Venetian culinary roots in an embrace that is twice accurate, both for the palate and historically, as Venice has always been the door of the West to Asia.

Ascani is also a predestined. He unites in a surprisingly fertile way Venice, the town open to the world that adopted him, Lazio which emerges here and there, as in his love for poor cuts of meat, while putting aside the heaviness of Roman tradition. And then there's Bartolini's balance, his capacity of making fine dining understandable. And, with him, also Crippa and Lopriore, that is to say the contemporary essence of Marchesi's heritage, the alfa and omega of a common and different journey which now has at Glam its credible meeting point.

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Carlo Passera

journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief