The Sicily of the people, the new recipes, the pleasure of surprising without style exercises: the great chef of La Madia 'signs' the bistro of the refined Ariosto Social Club. To tell the Milanese and travelers about his great cuisine of the past
«Once upon a time people used to come to Milan to look for work. Today a Sicilian like me comes to communicate his own culture, to tell the roots of a people rich in values, traditions and contradictions. As an ambassador. Starting from seasonality, from a domestic gesture . Pino Cuttaia has landed in Milan and is an enrichment for the Italian capital of food: he will not leave The Sideboard, the Michelin two-starred in his Licata, from where – with courage and effort – he built a second (successful) life after the first one that saw him as a worker on the assembly line in Turin. The place is called Uovodiseppia, exactly like its most iconic dish and like the pantry-laboratory not far from the restaurant in Sicily. But under the Madonnina, we go much further: from breakfast to dinner, every moment of the day will be good to taste the proposals studied by Cuttaia. "I will build an alchemy between my Sicily and Northern Italy, some recipes will have inspirations, techniques or ingredients from the North, such as saffron risotto with mullet and fennel ragout which, in the end, is nothing more than a decomposed arancina "says chef Cuttaia.
Practically in the center
He has chosen a decidedly particular place such asAriosto Social Club, at 22 of a beautiful Milanese street, four metro stops from the Duomo. "It is a great pride for me, as a Sicilian, to be able to count on a chef of the caliber of Pino Cuttaia. His arrival represents an important step in completing the new project". To speak is Emanuele Vitrano Catania, dynamic entrepreneur of Palermo origins for years operating in the world ofhotellerie Milan with the Brera Hotels Group. Together with the café-bistro, the structure hosts twenty luxury apartments for short-term rentals, furnished with Italian design pieces that can be purchased by guests; a lounge with kitchen and terrace for private events; a state-of-the-art gym with highly specialized personal trainers and tailor-made courses, one boutique with original clothes, objects and accessories by Italian artisans (mostly women) personally selected by the writer and owner of the store Valeria Benatti. For those staying at the Ariosto Social Club, an extra pampering: the possibility of having the dishes served by the kitchen team directly in the privacy of their own apartment. Not bad, really.
Two recipes for Milan
Let's go back to Cuttaia. In the bistro which is open all week (from 12 to 14 and from 19 to 23.30) will serve a menu with its classics. We mention the Arancina of rice with mullet ragu and wild fennel (in the opening photo), the Macco di fave with cuttlefish dumplings, the Smoked cod with pine cone, the Cornucopia of cannoli wafer with Cammarata ricotta … But it has also thought of two unpublished dishes, in homage to the city that awaits him curiously. The first is it Spaghetti "Milanese style" with onion mollication: few people know that it is part of the Sicilian tradition, that is a spaghetti based on wild fennel that goes back to pasta with sardines. "When there was no fish, people used to ask" how do you make pasta today? And the answer was "Milanese style" to evoke the fact that there is no sea in Milan. In this dish I added anchovies and a little masculino, a smaller anchovy, referring to the Catania variant. There is also the toasted bread, which is toasted and represents the cheese of the poor, "explains the Licata chef.
Poetry and simplicity
The second is theEgg cutlet, a daily food that dresses up as a party. «The cutlet is the most typical and well-known dish of the Milanese tradition and I could not neglect it. In the mother's kitchen, the egg, a daily ingredient, dressed up for a party when it was breaded like a cutlet with breadcrumbs, garlic and parsley. Thus, the same aromas of the meat were released from cooking, even if it is not, making you feel the atmosphere of Sunday "says Cuttaia. Two recipes in which there is the essence of the two-star chef, made up of poetry and simple ingredients, often basic but that he knows how to interpret like few others in Italy. "There is only one ingredient that I cannot do without and that is memory" he tells us for the umpteenth time. And if you look at him perplexed, thinking that after all it is almost impossible not to find chefs without a minimum of memory, he focuses his thoughts more on a smile of his "It's a ballast if you don't compare yourself, but when you do it with the contemporary you draw energy from it: you travel and come back to have new eyes with which to look at the landscape and your ingredients in a different way. Using perhaps the same but with different gestures, the innovation is in the recovery of the gesture ". This is why, while enjoying the dishes (re) tasted in Milan, we must once again thank – as well as the author of the dishes – the mother and grandmother of Pino Cuttaia.
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