Gualtiero Marchesi

Gualtiero Marchesi

via Vittorio Emanuele II, 23
Erbusco (Brescia)
T. +39.030.7760562

Gualtiero Marchesi died on December 26th 2017 at the age of 87.

Unanimously considered to be the best Italian chef of all time, Gualtiero Marchesi is also a fine gastronomist and writer. His theorisations, disseminated in dishes, books and conventions, have dotted the cultural life of the sector as exciting injections of intelligence: since he turned his pans eastward, anticipating the Japanese fashion of contemporary chefs, to the concept of “global cuisine” as a syncretism of influences, to today’s motto “less cooking”, aimed at countering baroque temptations with a severe return of the product to the central position. Always one step ahead.

This is probably thanks to an unusually training: son of wealthy Milanese restaurant owners, after catering school in Lucerne, Marchesi was destined to live a lazy “dolce vita”, when suddenly the bell of vocation rang. He was 38 when he left for Roanne, heading for the legendary restaurant of the Troisgros, brothers, founders of nouvelle cuisine. «Then on day he went, saying: ‘I’ve got it, soon you’ll see that I’ve got it’», says Pierre Troisgros today. And the proof wasn’t long in coming. After founding the Milanese restaurant in 1977, in via Bonvesin de la Riva, the first Michelin star came after a year, followed immediately by the second. And as soon as 1985, the much sought-after macarons were three, the first to uphold the national flag.

Gualtiero Marchesi’s revolution is first and foremost aesthetic: the focus is on natural forms, like in the famous cuttlefish with ink; very sensitive graphisms (see gold leaf on yellow risotto, because «the typical is also mythical», to quote Thomas Mann); food design ante litteram (the consistencies of pasta). Examples of what he defines cooking with your head as opposed to your belly; timbric as opposed to tonal (based on the separation of tastes, the cult of simplicity and subtraction); often resting on the solid support of Japanese tradition and streaked with games based on quotations with other art forms. Italian cuisine suddenly awakens from the slumber of the trattorias: we can hear the sirens of professionalism and the advancement of renewal. Nothing will ever be the same again.

In 1993 Gualtiero Marchesi moved to Erbusco and in tandem with Vittorio Moretti he opened L’Albereta, which he still runs today, along with Marchesino in Milan, in piazza Scala. Since 2004 he has also been dean of Alma, the ambitious International School of Italian Cuisine. The great chef is the noble father of a nest full of chefs of excellence, who have taken in hand, each on their own way, the guiding threads of his teaching. His kitchens have been manned by Enrico Crippa, Paolo Lopriore, Carlo Cracco, Pietro Leemann, Davide Oldani, Andrea Berton and Paola Budel; but there are also his spiritual disciples, like Massimo Bottura and Claudio Sadler. Avant-gardes, restlessness and ferments on which his lesson shines like the North Star, because, as he likes to repeat, paraphrasing Picasso, «I drag everything with me and stride ahead. It’s the movement of cuisine that interests me».

Has participated in

Identità Milano, Shanghai


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