via Circonvallazione, 38
Little over 30, born in San Gavino Monreale, currently the chef at Ittiturismo in lagoon of Nora in Pula, a seaside location in southern Sardinia: please meet Manuele Senis, a young man with a strong charisma and determination who before guiding the kitchen of Fradis Minoris travelled around half of Europe, searching for styles, experiences and motivation that led him to be a renowned and valuable chef.
It all began with the catering school diploma in 2002, then right from the start, the summer seasons in Sardinia and then away from the island. The return to his homeland was not by chance. San Gavino Monreale is also where chef Roberto Petza was born, and Senis appeared right when Petza was moving his S’Apposentu inside Cagliari’s Teatro Lirico. So for one year Senis was under the strict guidance of Petza from whom he learnt a lot in the kitchen but most of all he learnt a philosophy, an approach to preparing dishes which he had never seen before. “With Roberto I learnt what there can be behind a dish, where to start from, the real essence of territorial cuisine, the idea of flavour, tradition made contemporary and much more."
After the year spent at Teatro Lirico, Senis’ travels became countless. He calls it “my roaming”, these intense experiences that last a few months yet leave their mark. Even his return for good (at least for now) to Sardinia, Manuele owes it to Roberto: he’s the one who offered Senis to run the kitchen of the fish-tourism centre inside the beautiful lagoon of Nora. The park’s manager had a totally sustainable cuisine in mind, which had to be based exclusively on the ingredients available in the lagoon.
Manuele accepted the challenge and today he can only say he’s satisfied. “The first few months were hard, it is not easy to only use the ingredients the fishermen bring you that day. But perhaps this is the nice thing. It is nature that chooses what you will cook. We’ve moved from the few dishes of the first season to an essential yet complete menu. I like to make people sense the pure taste of the sea, of nature. Delicate cooking, raw fish, use of sea herbs and weeds. This is my cuisine. This is what I do and what I will do in every place in which I will cook. It is also true that here, in Nora, it all comes even more natural…”
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Enrico Crippa’s Orto d'inverno [Winter kitchen garden] was one of the dishes presented at Identità Milano, in a lesson the chef from Piazza Duomo in Alba dedicated almost entirely to vegetables. This is only one of the green inspirations we collect in this double article
A group photo of the chefs of the association "Cuochi per l'Isola" [chefs for the Island], founded at the end of 2013 to help the people who suffered from the floods on November 18th 2013. Left to right we can see Roberto Petza, Achille Pinna, Luigi Pomata, Roberto Serra and Pierluigi Fais. The group is very active, with a long series of activities that have the objective of promoting Sardinia’s gastronomic heritage with attention, and encourage the new generations of professionals (photo by Pietro Pio Pitzalis)
Brazilian of Italian origins Mauricio Zillo, chef at Rebelot del Pont in Milan and Roberto Petza of S'Apposentu in Siddi, a city in Sardinia’s inland that last Sunday hosted the second edition of "Coxinas, grano duro, territorio e altro" [Coxinas, durum wheat, territory and more], an ode to the protagonists and the great raw materials from the area of Marmilla, from Sardinia and from Italy