Accursio Craparo


via Clemente Grimaldi, 41
Modica (Ragusa)

Aesthetics and semiotics experts can well be busy with the dichotomy classicism versus baroque, watershed categories between different seas of ink. This south-western vertex of Sicily, Promised Land of an extraordinary cooking, seems able to metabolize this contrast too. Especially Modica, where the plentiful baroque architectures, soft and white like wedding cakes, lay their foundations into the Greek and Roman mines, inexhaustible tank of gold objects and avant-coup. Accursio Craparo, a Sicilian born in Sciacca, landed there in 2004, while the cuisine was falling down lured by its endless return: «Now we all are trying to regain tradition, even though that of Sciacca is a bit different, based on fish rather than meat, on sheep’s milk cheeses rather than cheese from Ragusa.

On the contrary, Modica is exuberant, baroque, and joyful. Safeguarding contrasts, I preferred working by taking away. Towards the essence of the ingredient, eliminating excess. Therefore lightness, cleanliness, simplicity and technique: that’s what I look for in a dish». In between, a triangular formation like his Sicily: the nature of Pietro Leemann (new world culinary word), the perfectionist ludos of Massimiliano Alajmo (very young and already teacher of younger talents, as a great accelerator of Italian cuisine), the in-genuous poetry (that is endogenous as close to genius) of the anarchic-revolutionary Corrado Assenza.

More than a guide, a personality of self-importance, able to have the territory speak trough the mouths of farmers and artisans. Like a choir-master. Teachings that through the soft gymkhana among his cerebral sinuses distilled a Sicily that didn’t exist. Bright, vibrating, vague as a real classicism can be, which has the slight violation become the main principle of beauty. Talking with fishermen. Searching among the memories of childhood. Drawing “outdated” products from a remote past with the sharp chisel of taste.

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Alessandra Meldolesi

Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini