Today the first service at the restaurant in the Galleria, one of the symbols of a Milan in search of redemption and Italian haute cuisine. Thoughts and words of a great chef, more concentrated than ever. «I am afraid, not afraid. Only our work will save us "
Carlo Cracco, today the restaurant on the first floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele reopens. It is important for you, your brigade and a Milan that is slowly recovering. Do you remember when it opened two years ago? A century seems to have passed.
«We were coming from a positive period, the two years in the gallery were beautiful, we felt launched at full speed. And even after the first warning, during Fashion Week, it seemed absurd to think about what happened next. In two days the world has changed. I turned off the stove on March 13, until the last day we had resisted: even if we only had lunch, and for very few. More to imagine, to delude ourselves, to think that it would have been short. It was also a way to keep the team, spirit and ideas on "
We bet that in his forty-year career it never happened that for two months in a row he didn't work in a restaurant kitchen.
"Exact. This is also why I immediately accepted the proposal to feed the workers of the Fair who built the hospital. We started with 50 meals, quickly arrived at 400. Then ours exploded online with requests, questions, new products… We started working on pastry and then on delivery: Sunday Lunch was born from the success of the Easter Lunch .
Do we explain to a person who is not a cook what you missed most?
«The moment of service, the check at the pass, the dish that comes out. It's my adrenaline and, I think, everyone who works in the kitchen
Trivial, obvious question. Why reopen today?
"Because I understood that there were people who wanted to taste our dishes, go back to the restaurant. This is the only thing that leads me to optimism for the coming months. But above all, I decided that we had to start again and not wait for the events. I think it's a question of courage, it's not unconsciousness or superficiality. It is the logic of reacting, of doing. My. In these three months, perhaps there was less talk in the newspapers and on the sites. It was better for me to do more and leave the visions alone: in our category there is always a unitary spirit that would make the difference. Not only in dramatic situations
Are you excited?
"Surely. True since May 4 we reopened the takeaway bistro, but it's a different story. I feel fear, not fear. I am surrounded by people who live this work with dedication and passion like me. The brigade is loaded, aware that the projects stopped by the lockdown will resume as soon as possible. We shared this surreal situation, thinking about the work to be done: the only solution to not go crazy or get depressed. Without rhetoric, I tried to take the very few good things into the disaster we experienced. "
For example, if they told her he would end up in the media for his delivery …
"It's true. Before, I was a cook tied to a work system that I learned as a kid. Now I understand that in catering there are no more marginal aspects. I had fun thinking about the Easter cake with the kids – Pan Mugnaga – and preparing Sunday Lunch. Will remain? Well done, yes. It is an additional service in the relationship with the customer. And e-commerce is also a push for chefs to develop. Here too, the boom of these months has made me understand its potential. Nothing is taken for granted
Apart from the application of security protocols, what has changed in Cracco in Galleria?
«We have reduced the paper, but this is not the focus. Among other things, we also did it to Carlo and Camilla in the Sawmill. In any place in the world, if the cuisine was good before a closure, it remains good, if the craftsmen do not change and therefore they are peaceful. But we will try to convey even more availability, show us more flexible, be closer to customers. In this phase, the dining room of a restaurant will become the absolute protagonist, it will make a difference compared to the past
Cracco, with the usual frankness, what do you expect from today onwards?
«To see the faces of the faithful, then a very gradual return of the public. We have a clientele for half of Italy and I hope to see it all again. But it will take at least a year before everything starts again, and maybe it will only start again when we can finally hug each other again, hug each other, laugh without fear of hurting the neighbor, participate in parties and events. I am thinking of the Salone del Mobile, the Fashion Weeks. Without getting them back, in Milan it will be really difficult. Not just for me, of course
Will we make it, chef?
«I know that the first thing to do is to exorcise fear, to recreate people trust. Restaurants are factories of smiles, they must return to being as soon as possible .
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