Newsletter 28 del 15.02.2008
Main Sponsor Identità Golose Milano 2021

  The fourth edition of Identità Golose, international congress of fine cuisine, took place last 27-31 January at Palazzo Mezzanotte, in Milan. Four days really busy on two different stages with plenty of great feelings, positive emotions, vibrant energies. Thanks to four different newsletters, the following is the first one, we’ll tell you all about what happened in the city of fashion, design and creativity at their best.
Paolo Marchi
Founder and curator

Texts by Alessandra Meldolesi, Samuele Amadori, Andrea Pendin and Gabriele Zanatta; photo by Alessandra Botticella.

Gualtiero Marchesi, 60 years in 5 dishes
Gualtiero Marchesi great conductor of Italian cooking, set the tone of the congress together with his last soloist, Fabrizio Molteni, chef of the Albereta. After filling the gap of the last years due to his absence, the day before the opening of Marchesino the great Lombard scattered the pearls of his teaching from the stage.
M’arte, that is Culinary Art according to Gualtiero Marchesi. Protagonist of the initial film is a small room for few clients where the tables bow before the rare wood refined by water like the dish pays homage to the majesty of the material, with a service “ad personam” conceived for small groups.
His collaborator for 10 years, Molteni possesses the intelligence and taste to perform the score of his maestro. In our cooking, Marchesi explains, the idea, which shall never fail, cannot be killed by its representation; simplicity is the result of a research which leads to the respect for the materials, as for the cube of bean and pasta soup inspired by Piero Manzoni’s sculptures, sprinkled with bean soup and covered with crunchy bacon. Then Marchesi quoted Heidegger: “Art is setting truth into work”, first of all that of the materials.
Five classical dishes have been showed to the audience, giving hints for a quick fly over the philosophy defined over so many years of honored profession: two from the repertory of Bonvesin de la Riva, the ragout of calf’s kidney and sweetbreads with foie gras and hazel-nut sauce, drafted in a professional French style to get free from the homely style of Italian restauration at that time, and the great fish entrée, prepared with different ingredients according to the taste of the client and inspired by the Japanese presentation, forerunner of the nouvelle cuisine. Among the fortes of Franciacorta, the cube of bean and pasta soup, Stendhal’s red and black, another contamination with visual arts made of cuttlefish ink angler-fish and gazpacho as well as the beetroot juice whipped risotto with Franciacorta and Grana Padano fondue.
A prophetic attention was paid to supports, designed by himself: from the squared dish, to enhance the picture, to the small centered or shifted disc; always new shapes which do not waive the principle of minimalism. And a new logo: with the minus sign to indicate “less cooking”. Cooking is product and technique, plus the air between canvas and paint, last element to draw with humility.
Sadler, creative without being wicked
The only Milanese among the great chefs working in the city, Claudio Sadler is a professional who never shut himself up. Not only for his thousand transfers, all coinciding with a culinary restyling, but also for his attention to the managerial aspects of restauration, on which his intervention was focused, in a combination of modernity and tradition. “I’m not and I don’t want to be an avant-garde chef, I’m not so wicked”, began Sadler, great lover of the emotions of memory and the eating-house, who doesn’t refuse a solid and cautious development.
It is the apotheosis of an Italian taste also exported abroad, with the problems of often poor marketing and trade, with the completion of visual and artistic inducements which make the unfailing substance start off. The first dish shown on the stage was a reinterpretation of the Tyrol’s dumplings with salt cod, borage, saffron and dry hearts of palm flakes, a mix of his origins from Trentino and Japanese influences, inspired by the fish which travels by definition.
The flakes suddenly stir, as it happens in the Japanese cooking, giving a visual brightness to the dish. Second act for a modern Milanese hotchpotch, a flagship dish also in the catering field: the guinea-fowl stuffed with Savoy cabbage and Jerusalem artichoke, head cabbage and truffle fondue.
Andrea Berton and the variations of rice
Fashion cooking or cooking fashion? A chiasmus opens the intervention of Andrea Berton, a chef who exercises his gastronomic authority in a restaurant named Trussardi alla Scala not by chance. The evanescence of some fashion circles has nothing to do with the great taste substance always exhibited by this boy from Friuli to assorted businessmen, designers, low-profile Milanese citizens and mainly gourmets whose palates can be deceived with difficulty.
On the stage in the Sala delle Grida, as in the flaming red rooms looking over Palazzo Marino and the Scala Theater, immediately arrives the crunch of the Chips of rice, an ingredient liked to the Lombard and Milanese tradition which here is soft and free to fly, after 5 hours in the oven and blown by extremely hot oil. The varieties: saffron, cuttlefish ink, paprika, white cod and red beets.
Second chapter from rice-fields: reinterpretation of lasagna with rice puff-pastries, “a disordered experiment already tried by Cracco, Cedroni, Bottura”. A detail from Berton: a dislike for the soft and greasy consistency of the puff-pastries served by mum. He projects them into the hyper space, making their consistency thicker and combining them to ragout balls into liquid nitrogen (!) which rinses the very quickly cooked meat (15-20 minutes) to concentrate tastes.
At the end, the third reinterpretation of rice, in this case Venere rice – with its smells of yeast, bread, wood – looking like a wafer which, together with the smoked tea, gives aromatic prestige to a turbot, a fish which shakes our mouth with the onomatopoeia expressed by its name.
Scarello and the marinated deer which undergoes aerosol therapy
Emanuele Scarello is a creative chef even though strictly linked to his territory, the region Friuli. At Identità Golose he talked about meat marinades. But not the usual ones, based on salt: he decided to use honey, an important product of his territory sometimes a bit neglected in the kitchen. Honey is a complex substance: if salt dehydrates, honey reaches more ambitious targets. If it is vacuum used and at a temperature of 4°C.
Scarello chose a deer saddle divided in two halves. It took two directions: rosemary honey and Pirano (Istria) salt. Both halves were marinated for six hours. Using salt, the meat reduces and hardens, with honey it remains softer and more tasty. Using vacuum, the honey marinade can be managed, because the meat looses liquids but doesn’t get dry, as it happens with salt. Twelve minutes of steam cooking at 65 degrees. Then Scarello switched his strange device on.
“I have been doing experiments with the thermovap for some time now – the chef explains -. I started after a thermal treatment. I vaporize a distillate, instead of the classical solution. And the smell wraps the meat”.
Deer and honey are products of the forest land, that varied territory that is the region Friuli. The dish is served with a purée of celeriac and a sweet pickle of dog-rose berries. It isn’t a sweet pickle from Cremona, it isn’t so sweet and hot, but it becomes strong thanks to vinegar, according to tradition.
Before being served, the meat is wrapped in a film and vaporized using the thermovap. When opening, a mixture of water and distillate is formed. Micro drops and very strong smell, but extremely pleasant. And so the deer, and mainly us, enjoy a very special aerosol.
Corrado Assenza: notes of honey
The Corrado who presents himself at Identità Golose is increasingly more the evidence of the winning fusion with his territory, looking for a relation based on the memory of his childhood.
An ancestral dream, that of a union between the nature of the land and the tastiness of the sea, which uses very high quality fish combined to the sense variations of honey.
Different marinade times are set, starting from single flower honeys aromatized with spices, fruit or herbs to enliven the aromatic profile of the dish.
We start from the puff of sea water, using newborn red mullets slightly marinated with Mielarò, an orange honey aromatized with white pepper and ginger, combined to the kombu seaweed and an ice-cream made with fresh oregano and chili powder. Tastiness aims at the full respect of high quality raw materials.
The exaltations of tastes, equal to the variations of salt marinades, go on with the crawfish marinated with honey aromatized with saffron from Navelli, placed on a green tea canapé matched to an ice-cream made from a salad of oranges, spring onions, wild fennel, oil and completed with black salt from Cyprus.
These honeys are also suitable to cooking, starting from natural honeys of orange blossoms, resounding with the triumph of Sicily with two preparations: first a dentex and then a mackerel marinated with honey and cooked with olive oil from Noto at a temperature of 60°, daring terrific texture plays.
Davide Oldani and the one and triune tripe
In the name of poor cooking, Davide Oldani has decided to try the hundredth challenge to purse. The queen of his intervention was tripe, a sumptuous trat-d’union between very humble cooking and fashionable fifth quartering, which here is broken down into honeycomb, rumen and omasum against the confusion of the classic tripe (“where I was always looking for the thicker piece when I was young - Davide says”).
In fact, the guiding principle is separating according to the teaching of the nouvelle cuisine and modern destructuring, enhancing the strong point of the product that is fleshiness. To start with, the honeycomb with a light sauce of veal and endive, hymn to the consistency and even visual identity of the product; then rumen, smoother, enhanced by a crunchy cooking; to end up with the omasum ravioli, whose soft consistency is exalted by a natural filling.
All pre-cooked cuts using special cunnings and soft cookings, to transfer the emotions of the eating-house into the rarefied world of quotation. In the end, a classic by Oldani: the white truffle perfumed soufflé, with whipped cream, an old dish of Giannino reviewed by bringing out the truffle smell under the shape of its aroma. For the future, 100% D’O furnishings are expected, from glasses to cutlery.
Enrico Bartolini and the gluttonous Oltrepò
Anti-booby chef par excellence, Enrico Bartolini confirmed to be the enfant prodige of domestic cooking. After Oldani, he too decided to test his ability with the fifth quartering, an increasingly leading passion in Italian restauration. In this case it was kidney, roasted at low temperature up to 58°C matched with potatoes, which can be siphoned at will, verbena and leeks. Then goose, a must of the territory with marinade, two kinds of cooking and finishing in its gravy (used also for the potatoes, a garniture symmetrical to that of kidney), plus the noblesse touch of the foie gras poelé in a sort of courtyard Rossini. A very traditional dish, milestone of the restaurant, the one which “better satisfies me when I eat it, because the goose expresses itself in its solid frankness. The Oltrepò is a territory still rich in surprises to discover, mainly for a Tuscan like me”, sums up the chef, millimetric master of special cookings and great lover of a cooking of consistencies.
Sultano and the ambiguous sensuality of baroque
An extra-territorial raid has been made by Ciccio Sultano, an authentic quintessence of Sicily, who attracted the regional energies towards innovation. The director Vincenzo Cascone presented a film dedicated to the origin of a recipe from the Duomo: home made spaghetti with lentils, the coral of red crayfish and mussels (plus a touch of cream out of regard for the monsù), served as hors-d’oeuvre for their iodized power. Starting with Ciccio wearing a peasant’s cap and holding a flask of red wine in a fully neorealist atmosphere, caught by surprise in his basement on the washing machine, the film tells the development of an inspiration with a Sicilian-baroque style, which is also a product of the territory against the leveling of minimalist fashions. The ambiguity of the octopus followed, with the sensuality of the burrata from Andria, a politically correct surrogate of cream: a love story sealed by the barbecue coal and the Jerusalem artichoke chips, with the matchmaker hand of many other ingredients, from chili to the salad of oranges... They met with the approval and praise of Corrado Assenza, in the shared look for a synthesis between female roots and topicality under the banner of the culture of the island.
Crippa, an award to elegance
The speech of Enrico Crippa too was devoted to meat, in its often neglected and mistreated bases, starting from browning “which we never see during congresses”. Here we have the Sambucano lamb fillet with goat’s milk, lemon and beets. Then, hare cooked with butter aromatized with juniper and cinnamon, whose almost evanescent pulp with a decided taste was softened with brandy, with the territorial touch of hazel-nuts from Langa, two sauces of beets and black olives, red chicory of Treviso, beet buds and alpine yarrow sprouts. Afterwards, pigeon on the spit with raw jam of red cabbage, reminiscence of the game of Antoine Westermann without spicy pleonasms, rather shifted outside, and the sucking-pig with wild endive, onions, Songino roots and purée of stachys, Asian vegetables already present in the gardens of the Savoy family. Starting from the bases which Gualtiero Marchesi was talking about, a combination of territories and inspirations which results in the impressionistic presentations and the niceties of thoughtfulness. Dishes which made Enrico deserve the Identità Golose award to creativity in the kitchen.
Stefano Baiocco and the anarchy of herbs
He is the young druid of Italian cooking: up to 130 aromatic herbs are planted in his garden, pursuant to the lessons of Andoni Luis Aduriz. They represented one of the themes of his speech, dedicated to the mise en place a word which, from the most expected meaning today dates back to the past, taking roots into the territory and the practices of his kitchen. A habit which is also discipline and harmony with nature, a life style.
Here is a “simple” salad of sprouts, aromatic herbs and edible flowers as hors-d’oeuvre, almost fully home produced, with a final touch of potato sawdust. The palette of petals and leaves unrolled in front of the chef was fascinating, to witness the authentic passion of the team, while the sure movement of the tongs was creating a variable and uncertain architecture (what Baiocco called “anarchy”).
Then a dish made of whitefish from the Garda, green tomato and pepper from Tasmania; dehydrated capers in a caramel made of three sugars to create a sort of coating; olive mousse with infusion of kernels presented like truffles; a cream of lemon, bonbons of puffed pasta and some flowers.
Pierangelini jr, Spigaroli and the pork quality system
They both come from quality restauration, they both are breeders of native pigs, the Sienese saddleback pig on one side and the Parmesan black pig on the other, they are linked by strong ideals regarding the quality of food and this is why immediately have been looking one for the other, to revalue together the above products.
The experience of Fulvietto Pierangelini – son of Fulvio – and the talented genetics of Massimo Spigaroli have led to the creation of excellent pork products, starting from a project which neglects no detail, mainly during the important phases of breeding and pork butchering. Industrial precautions have to be implemented to keep high quality during every phase, which follows the standard life cycle without upsetting nature.
Sienese saddleback pork can’t take stress, which can be easily found in industrial breedings, and needs lower percentages of salt not to jeopardize the textures.
This breed needs more than three years of breeding to reach the suitable weight to produce quality pork products, compared to one year for the industrial products.
On this occasion, an entire leg of pork has been dismantled and for each piece the best use has been explicated . The culatello, cut and tied up, has been prepared for seasoning, which takes place only in winter, analyzing the cellar for the crucial bio-diversity of noble mildews.
Ivan Musoni and the anthological salami
Ivan Musoni (left) works at the crossroad of four regions. And the salami from Varzi originates rightly from this combination of cultures, a product which has different kinds of meat inside: ham, cooked pressed neck of pork, bacon, shoulder, throat and loin of a pork which is a bit out of rules because of its size. A noble salami, because ham is eliminated to obtain it and other parts of the animal disappear. Really an anthology of pork.
To prepare this wonder of Oltrepò, meats are dismantled from the leg, which is opened. The lean part is reduced into cubes to be then thinly minced. Wastes become sausages to be grilled and cotechino (kind of spiced pork sausage for boiling). The fat is selected and introduced into the salami paste. It represents 22-23 per cent of the salami.
The shoulder is the most complex part to clean, because it is the richest in tendons. Then there are all the other cuts, more or less fat. In the paste, an infusion worked with wine and garlic and pepper shall be introduced, a curing whose quantity is extremely variable. Then the real working starts, with the cubes of meat which are mixed with salt. Then the infusion washes the pork. Twenty minutes of work. Now the cured paste is introduced into two “stitched “hoses.
The obtained product is a soft salami, which will be slowly treated by the mildews. And after a few months it is ready to melt in our mouths. Be it muleta (two months of seasoning), cucito and cortegiano (one month).
Tepedino and Leoni, or the ethics of fish
Present fish frauds are increasingly based on imitations coming from abroad, improved to meet the great demand for fish with mostly bred specimens. All this for money. Marcello Leoni from the Bolognaise restaurant Il Sole in Trebbo di Reno prepared 2 dishes: a broth perfumed with turbot, made with the skeletons and skin of the fish to profit by the “smell”, and faked spaghetti with wedge shells, whose sensorial essence is incorporated at low temperature, avoiding to use flour thanks to transglutaminases.
According to Marcello “it is important to be able to distinguish a fish from another, for a consistency of purchase and a true relation between consumer and seller.” With the help of the expert Valentina Tepedino (picture) it is not difficult for a chef to distinguish a fish from another, starting from a simple morphological or chromatic test. Moreover, some false myths about freshness have to be destroyed, focusing not only on the eye and grills but also on the fish mucus which is very often washed away by the sellers. Getting informed and being able to choose means also giving a contribution to struggle against the loss in sea bio-diversity.
Guffanti Fiori and Bartolucci: a general view over Lombardy
Lombardy is a land of great dairy traditions. And Carlo Guffanti from the GuffantiMassimo Bartolucci, maître of the two-star restaurant Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio (No) tell them with great passion. Grana Padano, Provolone, but also the renowned cheeses streaked with green mould such as the strachitun or the multifaceted goat’s milk cheeses, such as those from Valcuria. Not to mention the stracchini and taleggi (soft cheeses) as well as the béchamel sauce. They present a béchamel sauce aromatized with rough brandy and bran. Not bad at all. And also the renowned mountain cheese, such as bitto or quartirolo. A general view which rebounds between the coasts of the lakes of the two. Weather conditions are a first element to be taken into consideration to create a good selection: if you have a good garden available, be careful where the sun shines…
Between lunch and dinner, they suggest to bring the whole cheeses back to a cool place, to avoid any trouble. Having a very rich trolley isn’t easy, it’s a hard work to be kept in mind. The paratura consists in eliminating the aged layer of the cheese: the whole cheese will be much more attractive to the client. We know that eye comes before taste. Tasting menus are recommended as well as the “guided” tours, going from low to high, from insipid (so to speak) to tasty.
Guffanti-Bartolucci choose the artisan products, with the raw milk in the front line.
Finally, the matchings. The two suggest St. Thomas beer, perfect with both important cheeses and those streaked with green mould.