Alessandro Dal Degan

 Credits Brambilla-Serrani

 Credits Brambilla-Serrani

La Tana

località Kaberlaba
Asiago (Vicenza)

Someone once spoke about the “cuisine of heroes”, recalling all the Don Chisciotte characters who fight against the prevailing tired cuisines they’re surrounded by, the «come here, eat a lot and spend less», the sloppy food, the dishes without any personality. We could create an imaginary map linking these heroes, for instance with a cross, joining Castel di Sangro and Siddi, Licata and Pinerolo.

As of a few years ago, one needs to add a point to Asiago too, to restaurant La Tana, a very lively establishment which for a long time was inside hotel Sporting in the centre of town, but as of December 2014 is towering in a more suitable location, in Kaberlaba, among the sweet slopes covered by newbie skiers. This is Alessandro Dal Degan’s restaurant (joined by Enrico Maglio, his dining room alter ego and always inseparable partner), a chef-herbalist born in 1981 who knows every sprout, herb or root growing on the splendid Plateau, the same plants chanted by Mario Rigoni Stern from Asiago.

It’s a short step from this to building a splendid philological cuisine that looks into the folds of one of the happiest places geographically (yet one of the most tragic, historically). Dal Degan, a long training at Gallopapa in Siena’s Chianti, was born already full of skills. He thus knew very well the foundations on which to direct his forest cuisine on the happy Plateau, using the incredible versatility of mountain pine: for instance, needles and resin which bestow a splendid balsamic note to risotto, or the broth made with the fir’s bark in infusion.

And also, the hay from Asiago, the aromatic power of dandelions, which in May paint all the plain in yellow. Or the Icelandic lichen which was already nourishing the Cimbrians, the Scandinavian people who found a similar habitat to their home one over here. A very personal and material cuisine that doesn’t disperse nor disfigure raw materials as many do these days: it remains central and well present under the respectful touch of hero Dal Degan, a Jre with clearer and clearer ideas, who is increasingly elegant and with a hand that is finally free of some little initial naivety.

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes. 
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