Massimiliano Mascia and his San Domenico – Italian Cuisine

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Opportunities can count for a lot in life, provided you don't waste them. For Massimiliano the occasion was the restaurant of his uncle Valentino Marcattilii, the San Domenico of Imola, already twinned in the late 1970s and since then always at the top of Italian catering. To take full advantage of this gem, it has surprisingly chosen to start from scratch.

178585Very young, he went "to make the mess" in New York, then in Sicily, in Viareggio, on the French Riviera and, finally, in Paris, by Ducasse. "At each stage I was able to explore a different aspect of catering", he explains. All studied, all calculated. "Because today being a chef and managing a restaurant requires organization, foresight and an entrepreneurial spirit, and if you hope to be a philosopher you will not survive", he would like to clarify with a kind but determined manner. Needless to look for a crack in the family harmony on which the San Domenico's fortune rests: the dish symbol of the menu is still the ravioli egg, Valentino's masterpiece of which Max is very proud, but certain decisions are up to the youngest “today it must be confronted with costs, sustainability and the environment, an awareness that was once unnecessary, waste is no longer possible ”. Curiosity, great precision, use of the best products available in its fortunate region do the rest. "For the training of a chef traveling is essential, but it is between Romagna and Emilia that my palate was formed, it is here that the scents of food feed my memories, my creativity. This is where it really makes sense to stay ”.

178588The San Domenico restaurant in Imola (via G. Sacchi 1, tel. 0542 29000). "The restaurant is furnished in a classic style because I would like customers to feel like they were in a nice cozy house," explains the chef. Christmas is responsible for the room, another uncle of Massimiliano, who teaches his son Giacomo the trade while the kitchen brigade is made up of a dozen people.

Member of the jre for 2 years, the 36 year old Max Mascia is one of the two chefs at the head of the San Domenico restaurant in Imola. The other is uncle Valentino Marcattilii who made space for him in the kitchen in perfect harmony. A few months ago Max published the book "Il San Domenico di Imola: dishes and dreams of a chef among the stars" in which he tells himself, his work and his recipes divided by seasons. Are they difficult to replicate? "I wouldn't say, mine is a kitchen made of precision and quality of ingredients, but not impossible. And then readers are free to ask me for help or advice through facebook ".

Lamb loins and fillets should be browned briefly on all four sides, holding them with pliers so as not to risk piercing them and lightly crushing them so that the cooking is well uniform. Starting from the part without the skin avoids the risk of it bending. Also be careful not to overcook them: when you cut it, the meat inside should be pink.

text by Daniela Falsitta, photo by Michele Tabozzi
on Sale & Pepe in October 2019

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