The Michelin Guide awards a dead man

Chalet Mattias is still starred even though Peri passed away in August. A striking K.O. for Scabin

10-12-2015
by Paolo Marchi
A happy photo of Mattias and Manuela Peri, husband

A happy photo of Mattias and Manuela Peri, husband and wife, owners of Chalet Mattias in Livigno, a restaurant that first received the Michelin star in 2009 and kept it even in the 2016 edition presented on 10th December in Milan. Which is striking as Mattias died because of a sudden illness on 7th August, when the editorial staff was still working on the guide
 

It is true that when speaking of stars, and not chef hats, forks or votes, thinking about the paradise of taste every time the Michelin guide announces its news comes automatic. This time, however, they went beyond that. And I’m not referring to the failing of one of the most important talents Italy has ever had, namely Davide Scabin and his Combal.zero in Rivoli, moving from 2 to 1 star but to the confirmation of a chef whose life was stolen by an illness. On page 603 of edition number 61 Chalet Mattias in Livigno (Sondrio) not only keeps its star but it is given for its cooking too. Too bad Mattias Peri passed away on 7th August. And the justification given for other acknowledgements appointed despite closings or changed chefs won’t do in this case. The team guided by Sergio Lovrinovich completed the 2016 publication in mid September, three months ago, five weeks after Mattias died. Of course, the fact the website is functioning as if nothing happened is of no help. And everything happened close to the 15th, when holidays prevail on work. Yet how can it be that nobody in the Pero offices, soon to be left for the new ones in Milan, keeps updated through Google and the like?

So not all that glitters is 100% gold in the numbers for 2016. The starred restaurants go from 332 to 334, but at least seven stars have no light. Palazzo Petrucci in Naples, Antica Osteria del Teatro in Piacenza, Cecchini in Pasiano di Pordenone, Oliver Glowig and All’Oro in Rome, Locanda del Pilone in Alba, and of course Chalet Matthias in Livigno, all have closed, lost a chef, moved or are about to do so. Yet they’re all still in the guide with their star.

Two new-stars, separated at birth and awarded by the Michelin Guide in the same edition of the guide, the 2016 one, presented in the morning and celebrated in the evening in the Milanese headquarters of Mercedes Benz on Thursday 10th December. Left, holding a glass of champagne, Andrea Ribaldone, originally from Milan, now in Alessandria, patron-chef at I Due Buoi in the centre of Alessandria, and resident chef at Identità Golose during the six months of Expo. Right, Filippo Gozzoli who in just one year accomplished what Nobu could never do in 15: bringing a star to Armani in Via Manzoni in Milan. To the Italian cuisine restaurant, of course. For the group founded and guided by Giorgio Armani this is a big media hit

Two new-stars, separated at birth and awarded by the Michelin Guide in the same edition of the guide, the 2016 one, presented in the morning and celebrated in the evening in the Milanese headquarters of Mercedes Benz on Thursday 10th December. Left, holding a glass of champagne, Andrea Ribaldone, originally from Milan, now in Alessandria, patron-chef at I Due Buoi in the centre of Alessandria, and resident chef at Identità Golose during the six months of Expo. Right, Filippo Gozzoli who in just one year accomplished what Nobu could never do in 15: bringing a star to Armani in Via Manzoni in Milan. To the Italian cuisine restaurant, of course. For the group founded and guided by Giorgio Armani this is a big media hit

Of the 334 restaurants, in any case, there are 8 three-stars (all confirmed) and 38 restaurants with two stars (they used to be 39) while 288 restaurants have one. In terms of two stars, Mosaico in Ischia obviously lost one since Nino Di Costanzo had already left at the end of the summer of 2014 but too late for the restaurant not to appear with two stars in the 2015 edition.

The case of Davide Scabin is different. When Micheal Ellis, an American in Paris one can automatically say given his nationality and residence, spoke about the downgrading of the chef from Piedmont and Combal.zero, a very surprised "ohhhhh" resounded in the room. When I called him on the phone, Davide said just a few words: «Let me gather my ideas, right now I wouldn’t know what to say. Thank you, my friend». Indeed it burns, when something touches you so deep inside. Second time to get pissed off after the review on the latest edition of Guida Espresso, when what hurt him were the comments on his lifestyle, not his dishes, since the votes were still very high, 19/20. Now the inspectors have crossed out his very cooking.

As for the one stars, putting closings aside, there have been 13 crossing outs because the cooking no longer meets the Bibendum standards: La Gallina in Gavi (Alessandria) after only one year, as if to say they made a mistake last year; Gimmy’s at Aprica (Sondrio); Al Vigneto in Grumello (Bergamo); La Passion in Vandoies (Bolzano); Kleine Flamme in Vipiteno (Bolzano); La Badiola in Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto); Paolo Teverini in Bagno di Romagna (Forlì Cesena); The Cesar in Ladispoli (Roma); L’Enoteca in Macerata and Poeta Contadino in Alberobello (Bari), a decennial glory in Apulia which has clearly reached its terminus.

Two K.O.’s in Milan too, with Trussardi alla Scala that Andrea Berton brought to two stars, then one with Luigi Taglienti and now, after Luigi has also gone, zero. Idem in the Navigli area. The separation between Maida Mercuri and Matias Perdomo, and the arrival in the kitchen of Vittorio Fusari was of no help. Lost the star, but I believe Mercuri isn’t angry, since she declared she feels more at ease with the new management, which is less unpredictable and expensive than the menu of the Uruguayan chef.

As for the thirteenth lost star, one needs to go to Oviglio, Alessandria, in a Piedmont that has only Andrea Ribaldone smiling happily with his new star at I Due Buoi in Alessandria. The patrons of Donatella announced in spring they would give back their star and were satisfied. But not because when a chef asks the Red Guide obeys, rather when one changes car, giving up on a formula one racing car, it’s a given fact it will run in different competitions. You’d never go to Monza with a rally car. The stars are in a way property of Michelin, as Marco Bo, communication manager, clearly pointed out when he said «if you don’t want to stay in the guide, you just need not to give us back the form we ask to be filled with the classic useful info». The release, in other words. Still, announcing to the press that you show the door to the most important guide in the world is more impressive.

And now the good news. Despite the change in the kitchen, the stars have been confirmed at Inkiostro in Parma (chef Terry Giacomello); Magnolia in Forte dei Marmi (Cristoforo Trapani); Locanda del Notaio in Pellio d’Intelvi (Edoardo Fumagalli) and Venissa in Venice where the work of Antonia Klugmann is now continued by as many as four chefs: Andrea Asoli, Michelangelo Doria, Sabrina Joksimovic and Serena Baiano.

Five new one stars in the 2016 Red Guide, two of which are smiling in this photo. To the left, 30-year-old Antonia Klugmann of Argine di Vencò in Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia). Right, Martina Caruso, in her twenties, from Sicily, chef in the family hotel Signum on the Aeolian island of Salina

Five new one stars in the 2016 Red Guide, two of which are smiling in this photo. To the left, 30-year-old Antonia Klugmann of Argine di Vencò in Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia). Right, Martina Caruso, in her twenties, from Sicily, chef in the family hotel Signum on the Aeolian island of Salina

Among the news, the stars that go to Cristian Torsiello of Osteria Arbustico in Valva (Salerno); Lorenzo Cuomo of Re Mauri in Salerno; Mario Affinita of Don Geppi in Sant’Agnello (Naples); Massimo Viglietti, already starred years ago at Alassio in Liguria, now at Enoteca al parlamento in Rome; Antonia Klugmann at Argine di Vencò in Dolegna del Collio (Gorizia), the third restaurant she’s enlightening with here pure elegance, but the first completely of her own; Silvio Salmoiraghi of Acquerello in Fagnano Olona (Varese); Filippo Gozzoli of Armani in Milan, offering the first star to Giorgio Armani as Nobu never managed to do so in the city of Expo; Antonio Guida of Seta inside the Mandarin Oriental in Milan, a half smile as he was dreaming of two as at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole (Grosseto): Yoji Tokuyoshi, previously with Massimo Bottura, now at Tokuyoshi in Milan; Andrea Ribaldone, already the brains behind the kitchen of Identità Expo, starred at I Due Buoi in Alessandria; Cosimo Cassano and Daigo Takeshi of Bacco in Barletta; Andrea Cannalire of Cielo in Ostuni (Brindisi); Martina Caruso of Signum in Salina (Messina); Giovanni Santoro of Shalai in Linguaglossa sull’Etna (Catania); Andrea Mattei of Meo Modo in Chiusdino (Siena); Peter Brunel of Borgo San Jacopo in Florence; Emanuele Mazzella of Vespaia in Norcia (Perugia); Alessandro Dal Degan of La Tana in Asiago (Vicenza); Giuliano Baldessari of Aqua Crua in Barbarano Vicentino (Vicenza); Alessandra Del Favero and Oliver Piras of Saga in San Vito di Cadore (Belluno); Davide Bisetti of Oro in Venice; Federico Belluco of Dopolavoro in Venice; Thomas Ebner of Dolce Vita Stube in Naturno (Bolzano) and finally, in terms of one star, Mario Porceli of Alpenroyal Gourmet in Selva di Val Gardena (Bolzano).

Now the most impressive promotions: two stars go to Gourmetstube Einhorn inside hotel Stafler in Mules, Bolzano, in Alto Adige, chef Peter Girtner, and two to Giancarlo Perbellini in Verona with Casa Perbellini, a jewel jumping from zero to two, and was not even mentioned in the 2015 edition because the separation from the family in Isola Rizza, where his ex wife Paola remained with the ex sous chef Francesco Baldissarutti came late. So much so that the “historic” Perbellini had two stars for one year, now one after the update. Yet Giancarlo also had another restaurant of his awarded, Dopolavoro on Isola delle Rose in Venice.


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