In the library of true lovers of haute cuisine there is a new book that cannot be missing: Three Michelin Stars, Encyclopedia of world haute cuisine with the history of the 286 three-starred from 1933 to 2020, published by Maretti. However, saying encyclopedia is an understatement, also because it brings with it an aura of boredom. On the contrary, this is a pleasant reading that, through the author's boundless culture, succeeds in making a photograph of modern, but also future haute cuisine. In fact, it was written by a man who probably could have successfully entered the Guinness Book of Records, because until 2007 he had always been on par with the new three Michelin star awards. His name is Maurizio Campiverdi, aka Maurice Von Greenfields, and it is the grandfather, or the father, that all gourmets would like to have to always go to the best restaurants.
The passion of a lifetime
First three-star restaurant at 12. "I was with dad on a business trip. We were in France, in Provence: I was stunned by the magnificence of that experience and it was like an initiation that changes the rest of your life ", says Campiverdi. Bolognese, business captain in real life, Campiverdi has a visceral passion for cooking and has dedicated all his free time to catering and travel, becoming an academic of Italian cuisine, as well as the owner of one of the largest collections of menus they have. made history. Every year, when La Rossa presented the guides, he put in the booklet all the restaurants for which "worth the trip", got organized and left. After the expansion of Michelin towards the East, by his own admission, the author had to give up, but still boasts the venerable record of 194 restaurants awarded with 3 stars visited in his life, out of 286 awards assigned in total by the guide. In the book, the tristellati that Campiverdi was unable to personally register are marked with the initials N.V. (not visited).
Three stars means experience
It is useless for the editors of the Michelin guide to insist on the centrality of cuisine, for Campiverdi it is unlikely that this is only one component, certainly fundamental, but not the only one. There are tristellati that Campiverdi defines "culinary performance", such as the Ultraviolet in Shanghai: "A show of various art", defines the author, "in which gastronomy is also involved". Not to mention that the exercise of judging a place, at any level, still has a personal component, influenced even by the mood of the moment. As Campiverdi says, to go to any restaurant, especially if it is a three-starred restaurant where you will pay a lot, "you need to be in a good mood, go there with enthusiasm and in good company". Because it doesn't take much to ruin the experience.
The dishes must be memorable
A chat with Campiverdi, for a cooking enthusiast, will never tire, because the good Maurizio has a wealth of anecdotes to tell for weeks. As he demonstrates in his book, a true bible for aficionados, restaurants remembers the chef, the atmosphere and, if they deserve it, the dishes very well. Because that's the border at the bottom: "If a chef has really hit the mark, you also remember the dishes you ate at his place".
Haute cuisine at the time of Covid
There is no doubt that the pandemic has given a coup de grace to tourism in general and with this also to the catering sector. However Campiverdi is confident that fear will give way to the desire to indulge in hedonistic pleasures. Maybe moving a little less from home, but in Italy there are 11 tristellati and you might think that it is the right time to take advantage of some vacant place in the long waiting lists. There are also, Campiverdi points out, who are offering discounted menus to attract customers. This is the case of Niko Romito with his 20Reale20 menu for twenty years for € 150: "An opportunity not to be missed".