Tag: cook

Marianna Vitale is the cook of the year – Italian Cuisine

Marianna Vitale is the cook of the year

The chef and patronne of Sud has won the 2020 Michelin Chef Woman Award by Veuve Cliquot. The story and the vision of a Neapolitan girl, practically self-taught, who has become increasingly good, in a small restaurant in Quarto

Usually the home pages of starred restaurants are 'light', enjoyable or at least reassuring. That of Sud, the club of Marianna Vitale – winner of the 2020 Michelin Chef Woman Award by Veuve Cliquot – is practically a social manifesto. "Sud is a small idea with many words. Love and passion, fury and fatigue. Anxiety and joy, research and work. Words that are the bricks with which we have built our way of being in the world: the way of the South". We understand a lot about this southern girl, like the Sicilian Martina Caruso, who won the award in 2019. Neapolitan from Porta Capuana, born in 1980. Vitale has a decidedly unique history in Italian catering: it is true that her father was a professional cook ("who over twenty years ago prepared very modern dishes" she emphasizes) and she he would have liked to go to the hotel school. But she was not born a chef "because my mother did not agree with my idea, at that time the expectations in the family were different and it was said that it was a school only for boys" she says.

He was a tour guide

Hence a classic school path. In 2004, Marianna graduated in Spanish Language and Literature. As a first use it illustrates to foreign tourists every nook and cranny of San Gregorio Armeno and Decumani in a language that the Neapolitans find familiar for a domination of two centuries. But the passion for cooking resists, and how. To materialize, he needs a turning point that arrives in 2008 when he experiences, for a year, in the kitchen of Palazzo Petrucci at the court of Lino Scarallo. It is from him («a hard worker with a low profile, who sets himself only one goal: to restore) that he learns the basics of simple and local cuisine. Ambition soon led her to a project of her own, flanked by Pino Esposito, sommelier and husband. In Quarto, a difficult town in the Phlegraean Fields, opened the Sud restaurant in May 2009: among the general surprise, in just three years, the Michelin star arrives, again confirmed by that edition.

Creative folk cuisine

In reality, Vitale has followed a lucid course: to enhance the products of the territory, knowing very well the tradition but without being conditioned by it. She defines it as 'creative popular cuisine' because "it is not like the always quoted reinterpretation of tradition: here tradition is never abandoned, because the Neapolitan lives his cuisine as a mentality, it is rooted in him". She was very good, because apart from the aforementioned passage from Scarello, he is self-taught. "There is no real figure who has inspired me in this sense, it has always been my desire to become a cook, so I did everything to make this dream come true. I looked a lot at women like me, especially European ones, in Spain and France, and following their example I learned a lot even on my own she says. Dried pasta and poor fish are the comet stars, interpreted in intense, warm and refined dishes.

Angelina, the other club

In confirmation of its 'popular' vision, in February 2019, it inaugurated in Naples a modern diner 'that proposes Neapolitan cuisine that is fun and attentive to waste. "Her name is Angelina like my grandmother and, more than her recipes, the aspect that has always struck me is her way of managing the kitchen with little money even though she had to cook for many people, because the family was large. For this reason the menu is marked day by day and is based on simple ingredients. It is also take away cuisine, because they are dishes that you can always take with you, both at home and when you go to the beach. There is a bit of everything, from pasta dishes to macaroni omelettes, from rustic pizzas to soups and so on. And that's the one that started again after the lockdown "

It is not the first recognition

Winning the 2020 Michelin Chef Woman Award by Veuve Cliquot – as part of the fifth edition of the Atelier des Grandes Dames, the network that aims to celebrate female talent in haute cuisine wanted by the Champagne house – adds to a palmarès already full of awards: just think that in 2015 she scored a double as best cook in Italy for L’Espresso and for Identità Golose. "I have never felt like a phenomenon, it is very important to have a group like mine. Then there are prizes that are pleasing but above all give the motivation to continue and to make it clear that even in Quarto – with a thousand difficulties – good things can be done "explains Marianna, who is a of the 43 Italian chefs at the head of starred restaurants. All over the world, for the record, there are 168. The next milestone? Maybe a double Michelin star? "I will not abandon Sud and Angelina, a reality that I love also and above all for the commitment they have involved in their realization. Maybe I will be able to work in a larger or even smaller place, perhaps reducing the covers. The only certainty is that I will try to always go forward with the same goals, from there you don't change ". answers the best Italian cook. And certainly one of the most cultured and determined.

Trevi black celery: what it is and how to cook it – Italian Cuisine

Trevi's black celery, unique and versatile in the kitchen: here it is in a traditional recipe you can't miss!

It is known as the "Oil Capital" with its over 300,000 olive trees, but few know that Trevi, a charming snail-shaped village in the province of Perugia, produces a black celery of rare quality. As well as leafy vegetables.

Two hundred years of agricultural tradition that has found fertile ground in this area washed by the Clitunno river, not far from those sources celebrated by the writers of the "Grand Tour".
Today among the "sedanari" there are many young people like Michele Spellucci, experience as a musician behind him, who returned to Trevi to cultivate 35 hectares of which half a hectare of black celery (Slow Food presidium): "I started sowing 3 years ago on small plots called canapine, because they were once used for cultivation of hemp , explains Spellucci.

«It is a so-called“ rock ”area, gravely, draining, with a high content of clay and silt. Also for this reason the vegetables are generally sweeter than the others . And even more beautiful to look at since black celery, which weighs up to 2.5 kg per piece, is wrapped in straw paper and protected from the weather and the sun's rays. Every year the Trevani "sedanari" compete in one of the oldest festivals in Umbria, generally on the third Sunday in October.

Of the celery of Trevi, as it happens for the pig, nothing is thrown away: the external coast is ideal for velvety, the internal one for the pinzimonio, the extracted oil ends up in an excellent craft beer and with the dried powder at low temperature of the leaves bread and biscuits are flavored.

The single dish par excellence is Black celery stuffed with Trevana, substantial and tasty. Here is the recipe for Gherardo Mugnoz of the "Taverna del 7".

The recipe: black celery stuffed with Trevana

Ingredients for 4 people

2 celery
400 gr of mixed minced meat (veal, pork, Trevi sausage)
100 gr of grated Parmesan
8 eggs
Extra virgin olive oil
Sunflower oil
Salt and Pepper To Taste.

For the ragù
250 gr of peeled tomatoes
400 gr of mixed minced meat (as above)
Carrot, onion, olive oil for the sauté


Clean the black celery being careful not to break it, remove the leaves and the hardest outer ribs. Boil for about forty minutes and let it cool. Separately, prepare the filling with the mixed minced meat, an egg and a handful of grated Parmesan.

Stuff the celery, tie them with kitchen string, pass them in flour and egg and then fry them in sunflower oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper, remove the string, arrange the celery on a greased baking dish and brushed with meat sauce and finally season with the meat sauce and plenty of Parmesan. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
In combination, the chef recommends a good one Rosso di Montefalco 2011.

recipe and secrets to cook them to perfection – Italian Cuisine

recipe and secrets to cook them to perfection

Crunchy, sweet and consistent. The perfect sautéed courgettes in our opinion.

The sautéed courgettes they are a classic side dish that can accompany any dish.
But what is the perfect recipe?

Excellent zucchini in a pan must answer some requirements:
– they must be crunchy and don't let go
desserts and don't love
consistent in the right place
– must not absorb too much oil
Of course, it also depends a lot on the tastes because someone likes zucchini cut into thin slices that almost become a cream in cooking, while others prefer to keep the pieces large enough.
We advise you to cook little and with a lively flame because they keep their taste and consistency.

The recipe for sautéed courgettes

First choose some courgettes that are not too large and elongated shape.
The spherical ones are more scenic and lend themselves better to be stuffed instead of cut and cooked in a pan.
The best zucchini are the small ones and with the courgette flower, the fresh ones of the season of course, but you will also get good results with the slightly larger and dark green zucchini.
After having them wash and cut into four parts lengthwise by removing the ends, remove the seeds, but do not throw them away because they are used to flavor soups and soups. You can also leave them, but during cooking they will soften a little and lose water.
Prepare a sauté with a finely chopped onion and extra virgin olive oil and then cook them courgettes cut into cubes more or less the same size.
If you don't eliminate the internal seeds, cut the courgette with washers thick enough.
Someone adds the garlic to the onion and others the shallot, others cook the courgettes only with the garlic, but it depends a little on the result you want to get. Onion is always the best choice in our opinion.
At the beginning of cooking, keep the heat lively and sauté the courgettes continuously until they are browned.
At this point you can lower the flame and continue the cooking with a lid, or eat the zucchini still very crunchy.
At the end of cooking add salt and fresh parsley cut with a knife, but also basil and mint in summer.

Water yes or no?

Someone adds zucchini water to soften them during cooking.
It is not done and it is not necessary unless you prefer it very soft consistency of this side dish.
The courgette simply cooks with a little oil in a non-stick pan releasing its own liquids therefore do not add anything else, neither water nor broth, nor wine, unless it is specifically requested by some particular recipe.

Ideas with sautéed courgettes

With this side dish you can prepare many other recipes such as one zucchini omelette or also a first course based on pasta, cereals or couscous or you can stuff it a pocket of meat or a roast or accompany a baked fish.
Always with the sautéed courgettes you can complete a risotto, maybe adding some shrimp, or making some meatballsand or cottage cheese perfect for children.
And for an aperitif, an appetizer, a picnic or an improvised snack a savory pie quick and easy with brisè pasta, ricotta and courgettes.
If you want to serve them as a side dish by enriching them a little. you can cook them along with aubergines in chunks or a carrots and potatoes, both in the oven and in a pan.

In gallery discover some ideas for using sautéed courgettes in your dishes.

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