via Stella, 22
Giuseppe Palmieri is the antithesis of the celebrity sommelier. However, he too knows how to scratch. Plush, accurate, under the choreography of white gestures there’s the sanguine lure of the origins, and the rebel tension of the organoleptic revolution. On his trays there are no nitrogen cocktails or pretexts for the litany of tasting. The success of Osteria Francescana, in fact, lies in his being multifaceted: he knows how to speak to everyone in their own language, technical or amateur, cutting edge or classic, cosmopolitan or dialectal, tasty, brainy and more. It’s like a prossemic egg, that rules and weighs both measure and style of service.
It’s funny to think how his assault to the gastronomic skies started off so far South, in the city where he was born, Matera. Irresistibly attracted to food, Giuseppe left his town with a friend, looking for a job, when nothing, apart from his stomach, could foresee his talents. His suitcase by his side, he made one more call from a public phone while he was on the way, and here came the positive reply: the first stop was on lake Garda, then on the coast of Romagna. But the turning point was in Villa Crespi, where he spent two years familiarizing with excellence. In 1995 at Pinocchio in Borgomanero his enlightenment was uncorked: Barolo Bruno Giacosa 1985, the power of a caress. Nothing would ever be the same.
His serving technique is gradually refined. Giuseppe puts it to use in a small relais in Lucca, where, for the first time, he’s maître, then at Locanda Solarola, where the karmic encounter with Massimo Bottura, a Sunday aficionado, takes place. “I was curious and ate at his place. It was an unforgettable experience. At the end of July I asked him for a job, on September 12th I started. The cellar was already vanguard, thanks to Massimo’s choices. Great North American wines, great French ones, outside the predicted AOCs. As of 2001 there was also natural wine, which for me is the wine, thanks to the harmony with the food itineraries, the dreams cultivated by people who make difficult choices. I owe everything to Massimo: I have an inextinguishable debt of trust, horizons and most of all mental palate”.
Born in Matera in 1975, Giuseppe Palmieri is a self-trained in wine and service. After the important experiences at Villa Crespi and Locanda Solarola, in 2000 he arrived at Osteria Francescana in Modena, where he found harmony with a very young Massimo Bottura, of whom he is today the maître and sommelier. Their parallel and tireless growth underlies the miracle of an Italian finally winning paradigm in the world scene.
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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All the Young Stars awarded in the 2019 Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose, presented this morning at Terrazza Gallia in Milan
A journey back in time for Massimo Bottura. From the 19th of June, when he won in Bilbao, in Spain, to the 13th of June 2016, when he was first in the 2016 World's 50 Best Restaurant in New York