It is already hit the shelves a few weeks ago, but I realised only now that I’ve never posted it: for SETTE, the weekly of the corriere della sera, I travelled around Italy to take the portrait of the six chefs with three michelin stars, the highest score you can get on the famous guide.
it was wonderful and sometimes even more heart-warming to see the excellence of excellence in the world at work, go and take a look backstage where the kitchen brigades move in perfect sync and amazing professionalism, and (last but not least!) in almost all places I got to taste incredible meals and wonderful wines.
If Italy is (is indeed!) the best place in the world to eat well, to have been in the six best restaurants in Italy it has been one crazy experience.
To resolve graphically this job I got my smith to build the three michelin stars, in wrought iron. I didn’t do it only to “tie” the six images, but also to add a more fun and ironic atmosphere in the photograph in comparison to the usual portraits taken of famous chefs.
This is the cover:
This is the opening of the article:
Seeing we are at it I am also going to try and make a list of preference of the four restaurants where I ate, besides the fact that they where all truly exceptional.
I would have to say that my favourite was il pescatore, in the Mantova province. Just the fact that the three people that are holding up the stars are grandmother, mother and nephew it says it all on the incredible union between tradition and innovation, experimentation and security, past and future. I have seen potatoes been fried one by one. I ate and drank feeling emotions that came from my DNA (the Benedusi are originally from Mantova!) the strongest Italian essence with an international built: the look of a trattoria of yesteryear, but with an helipad.
Also “familiar” was al sorriso, in the province of Novara. Mushrooms stuffed with delicious mushrooms. Amazing risotto (I love risotto, I prefer it over pasta). Small kitchen brigade. Here as well, as at il pescatore, the chef is a woman, which makes it morenormal, more familiar. And therefore more appetising.
le calandre, in Padua. Huge culture and great wisdom in the hands of Alajmo, the chef. Searching like crazy for raw materials, spices, products. Incredible imagination, which brings new life to traditional dishes and its territory. All wonderful. Restaurant as beautiful inside as ugly outside, it is located infact on a big road from an overdose of psychiatric drugs. What a pity. But worth the visit, despite the big road..
By vittorio in Bergamo. Great restaurant (in all senses), with a traditional and unusual specialty for fish dishes. I ate a mixed fish fry that I have never tasted in Liguria. For my taste a bit too big restaurant, a little bit like the weekly meeting of the Rotary. But absolutely fantastic. If you feel like excellent fish in the great northern Italy and far away from the sea, come here.
I didn’t eat instead in the other two restaurants, the enoteca pinchiorri in Florence and the pergola in Rome.
PS: yes, they did pay me to do this job…