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Green Stars: a new story for the Michelin Guide? – Italian Cuisine

Green Stars: a new story for the Michelin Guide?

The new symbol in the Rossa marks a turning point: from now on, the sustainability of a restaurant will make a difference and the cuisine will not be enough. And if in the first thirteen 'shamrocks' there are so many famous names, the future is destined for the brands of young people

For the faithful of the Michelin Guide, 2020 – forgettable in many ways – goes on file with the debut of the Green Stars. It is also a marketing choice, the right attention to a trend that has been evident for some years. But there is no doubt that a different story opens up for the most famous guide in the world: Italy also follows what has already happened in France and in the Nordic countries where the Green Stars debuted at the beginning of the year. «They celebrate and encourage sustainable initiatives in the field of gastronomy. From wherever you look at it, gastronomy is striving to improve its activities in this key, so we want to be a sounding board ", he explains. Gwendall Poullenec, international director of the Michelin Guides. «Chefs have the opportunity to preserve their territory and their community. The criteria assessed in the field by the inspectors are new .

The evaluation fees

Beyond that the first list of thirteen 'verdestellati''includes valid signs, but leaves some perplexity (however, the discourse reflects that on the normal Stars), it should be emphasized that in the assignment we do not look at the kitchen alone, but at the green style through criteria such as the self-production of raw materials, the impact energy, waste disposal, social vision. Attention to the environment alone is not enough for recognition, like the 'nobility' of the career (even if the first round is blue blood, perhaps too much), but the curators have already made it known that the selection of structures is destined to grow significantly from the next edition. "The ideas, techniques and skills developed by chefs in this sense foster awareness of an entire sector and help create an idea of ​​sustainable gastronomy that can be a revolution and a movement tomorrow," says Poullenec. And it is no small statement considering the traditional confidentiality of driving.

The visions of the big names

It was said of the first list. With many heavy names starting with two three-starred: theOsteria Francescana in Modena (in reality, the Star would be for the many merits of Food for Soul created by Massimo Bottura with his wife Lara Gilmore) and the St. Hubertus in San Cassiano (BZ) where Norbert Niederkofler developed the Cook The Mountain vision, which changed the history of mountain cuisine. Then there is Davide Oldani with the new two-star DO, in Cornaredo (MI), attentive to the training of future cooks as well as the working model for those of his restaurant. The other two-star on the list is Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agata dei Due Golfi (NA) with the Iaccarino family, a forerunner of 'organic' for fruit and vegetables – when it was hardly mentioned – in the splendid Punta Campanella company. Concept underlying the work of another southern family, the Ceraudo, which thanks to the owned farm has managed to ensure almost entirely the needs of Type it, the starred restaurant in Strongoli (CR) led by young Caterina, Michelin chef of the year 2017.

Joia, the lighthouse of the vegetable

Another place that (dutifully) received the Green Star is the Milanese Joia: since 1989 Pietro Leemann tells his vision of vegetable cuisine, designed to be in harmony with the earth and its sustainability. Stellato since 1996 is a place of worship for gourmets, even non-vegetarians. Less known, but always worth a stop, it is the closest star to Switzerland: green Lantern in Villa di Chiavenna (SO) that the experienced Tonola family – the chef is the young Roberto – manages to be self-sufficient from an energy point of view, also managing a trout farm. The production of energy, the considerable saving of plastic and two biodynamic gardens (fertilized with organic waste) are the basis of the work of the starry Lazarus 1915 in Pontelongo (PD), by the chef-patron Piergiorgio Siviero. Among the places that will be able to exhibit the double plaque outside there is Gardenia in Caluso (TO): for more than 20 years Mariangela Susigan has been collecting wild herbs and edible flowers in the mountains of the Morainic Amphitheater to use them in recipes, often archaic, which are the architrave of the menu. It also has a large vegetable garden inside the restaurant.

Castles and lofts

To close the group of 'macarons' that have repeated there is Virtuoso Gourmet – Tenuta le Tre Virtù: Antonello Sardi's sign, in San Piero a Sieve (FI), is quite clear on the vision. Since 2014, sustainability has been the cornerstone of the structure, which in the meantime has become self-sufficient for energy and has equipped itself with a certified organic farm with poultry, ancient fruit trees, olives. Tuscany has another Green Star, in that of Suvereto (LI): I ’Ciocio-Osteria di Suvereto where Fabrizio Caponi can count on the production of a farm equipped with a stone mill that grinds only organic grains. From the medieval castle to the most avant-garde structure among the thirteen awarded: House Format in Orbassano (TO) is totally sustainable. The building that houses Igor Macchia's restaurant is made with zero impact, the rural garden measures 2000 m² and recycling inspires the entire production process. The last Green Star is emblematic: it was awarded to a restaurant, formerly Bib Gourmand, much loved by gourmets such as La Crepa coffee, in Isola Dovarese (CR) which overlooks one of the most beautiful Renaissance squares in Lombardy. The garden and the vineyard are open-air pantries and there is no shortage of 'homemade' wines with cabernet and merlot blends. Merit of the Malinverno brothers, competent and passionate like few others: behind most of the Green Stars there are great families. It doesn't surprise us.

Niko Romito, the 2021 Chef Mentor according to the Michelin Guide – Italian Cuisine

The chef wins the award which confirms his commitment to training the young talents of tomorrow. Because as a self-taught he created the school he would have liked to have

Niko Romito has won three Michelin stars, self-taught, in just seven years, breaking a kind of record. His training curriculum is quite short: catapulted into the kitchen for life's cases. He did not go to college and instead of spending years climbing the military hierarchy from the rank of commis, he sat at the university benches. It could have been the worst testimonial of professional training never seen, and instead he created "the school he would have liked to have". Since 2011, the Niko Romito Academy, in football terms, is a nursery of under 35 where you train for a career in Serie A. After exactly 10 years, the commitment to training the chef is rewarded by the 2021 Michelin Guide: the prestigious Michelin Chef Mentor Award 2021, offered by Blancpain.

The Romito system, from haute cuisine to fried chicken

Niko Romito is not a guy who is easily satisfied, thinks big, and with great meaning, scalable and multiplicable in always different catering formats. The kitchen of his Reale restaurant in Castel di Sangro (AQ) is part of a system that goes far beyond the few tables set in the middle of the Abruzzo hills: it is a laboratory of ideas, techniques and research, to be then spread in other forms, without changing the substance. Romito speaks of "drip, A process by which the technical work and the reasoning made at Reale percolate into the rest of the system that brings its brand, towards replicable formats and products that, while expressing a philosophy, have a life of their own. Each project is based on the application of techniques and concepts developed by Romito al Reale, rethought to adapt to a donut like a fried chicken: in the Romitian universe, haute cuisine, widespread catering, higher education and products for domestic consumption coexist. There are Spazio restaurants, those of the Bulgari Hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai, the Alt taste station, the Bomba street food format and the Nutritional Intelligence project in partnership with La Sapienza University and the hospital menu production chain.


The Academy, the forge of human capital

How to handle all this? In Rivisondoli, 688 inhabitants in the province of L'Aquila, since 2011 young promises of catering have occupied the classrooms of theNiko Romito Academy. Sixteen students per course, thirty-two students a year, which generates human capital (Romito is a failed economist) for the group's restaurants and projects, and at the same time spreads an approach with building its own culinary language. After six months of immersive training we leave for a six-month internship, in one of the great's satellites widespread project by Romito. The rates of occupation post graduate students are Bulgarian majority. Hence the decision to entrust him with the prestigious award, with this motivation: «Niko Romito is an example of tenacity and energy and proposes a cuisine whose fundamental trait is the purity of flavors. The young chefs who work alongside him or who attend his school assimilate his philosophy, capture its essence with the aim of giving continuity to his method by customizing it to become great chefs and, in many cases, even young entrepreneur chefs! ".

But what wonderful surprises from Michelin! – Italian Cuisine

But what wonderful surprises from Michelin!

All confirmed the three stars of Italy. Eleven were and eleven are. From Norbert Niederkofler to Enrico Bartolini and Enrico Crippa, Nadia Santini, Mauro Uliassi, Massimo Bottura, the Cerea brothers, Heinz Beck, Massimiliano Alajmo, Annie Feolde and Niko Romito.

What satisfaction and what satisfaction to see that friend Niko Romito, chef director of the month of November, took the special award like Chef Mentor of 2021. And he deserves it all. As much as Norbert and Massimo the green star, a tribute to their sustainability in the kitchen and in the heart.

And then there is Davide Oldani, the friend and the director of our August issue. Here is the long-awaited red star, the second, well deserved. On the phone with Evelina, he told me that he was completely in the dark. For those who have followed the live stream, they were exceptional at organizing the surprise. From Petra Loreggian, the presenter who faked a technical misunderstanding to call the swimmer Federica Pellegrini and Davide Oldani on the stage and Marco Do, head of communication at Michelin Italia, also casually acting. When our chef realized that he was given the star … He was moved like a child on the first day of school. Without words. And it's hard to take David's words away! Bravo, our most sincere compliments and good Evelina and Camilla, and mother Maria Luigia.

And good at Matteo Metullio who, with the heart of a lion, left a restaurant where he already had two stars in South Tyrol, to take the reins of Harry's Piccolo in Trieste and conquer two, once again. "I'm happy because it was a choice I made for the family." IS Antonia Klugmann rejoices with him. «It is the first time in history that Trieste has had two Michelin stars. I'm happy for my city and I'm proud of Matteo . The guys too, many very young who deserved 26 new flaming stars, five in Tuscany, and then scattered throughout Italy. The only drawback: it was a pity that there was no woman. Girls, step forward!

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