via Prenestina, 27
As ill-tempered as a lamb, as free-range as a chicken, earthy like a garden turnip: we like to see Salvatore Tassa like this, like a portrait of Arcimboldi painter. He calls himself a "country kitchen", but he shares with nature a great fantasy, an uncontainable energy blowing up everything, slipping right into the tube of the sax. His favourite instrument.
Born in Bradford, Great Britain, he soon came back with his parents to Acuto, in Ciociaria region. Here he began an atypical training, handling a garden or poking his nose into the pots of the family restaurant. Cooking, however, remained his passionate brackets between the roar of motors, art exhibitions and concerts. Salvatore preferred studying as a surveyor, and then as an architect. Then came Frédy Girardet, who made him buy out the family restaurant and participate to the Tartufo d’Oro contest in Gubbio, in 1990. Surprisingly, he won it. Today, Colline Ciociare still guests all his youth passions: the piano, the paintings by emerging artists, a sophisticated architecture. Everything blending into a magical melting pot.
But his true Copernican revolution lies in "vegetal cuisine" (not vegetarian, mind you). It means reversing the hierarchies of a cupboard, between a side dish and a main course, between the pan-fried and what goes to enrich the flavor, with an evangelical and even leftist approach, we would say. «For example, the mackerel will not be with the onions, but with onions and mackerel: the fish will have to emphasize the sweetness of the vegetable in order to highlight her flavour nuances, acidity and her slightly pungent notes». More than a territory cuisine, it’s a earthly cuisine: a green revolution launched from overcharged trenches, those of a garden-workshop built on 4,000 square meters.
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
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Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana (Modena, and much more) on Monday 27th September, Identità Milano. Photo Brambilla/Serrani
Photo by Carlo Passera
The dishes from the new menu at Osteria Francescana, which celebrates the great Italian cuisine of the past few decades. Massimo Bottura presents it with these words: «It's a tribute to the greatest Italian chefs from the 50s to our days. Artisans but most of all friends who inspired us and will continue to do so with timeless recipes»