Tag: Paris

Eating excellent Piedmontese agnolotti in Paris is possible – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Eating excellent Piedmontese agnolotti in Paris is possible

I ate them Piedmontese agnolotti in Paris and I felt transported to the kitchen of my home in Turin. I recognized the taste of Sunday, like when my grandmother Michelina prepared agnolotti for family lunch. Proust’s Madeleine effect 100% guaranteed at the restaurant The Tastinggastronomic outlet ofhotel Castille 5 * in the chic heart of the French capital and part of Starhotels Collectionthanks to the management of chef Ugo Alciati.

At chef Alciati’s table

1 Michelin star chef at the helm of the historian GuidoRistorante from Serralunga d’Alba in Piedmont, heir to a family that wrote the history of Italian cuisine, and ambassador of Piedmontese cuisine in the world also thanks to the collaboration with the friend Oscar Farinetti of Eataly, Ugo Alciati is a true champion. He has no pierre or press office to communicate the splendid work he carries out together with his family, you can often find him in his kitchen from the early hours of the morning and he is the last to leave, he has no problem jumping into the car and driving for hundreds of kilometers to go and collect the best ingredient. As a good Piedmontese – and I’ll spare you the rhyming cliché here – chef Alciati doesn’t like self-promotion, in the sense that he will never let words precede his work. Instead, he lets his dishes speak for him – and since June 2017 they have also done so in French.

Good cuisine is an international language which first allows us to dialogue and Elisabetta Fabri, President and CEO of Starhotels, understood this immediately. When he asked the gentleman chef to collaborate for one of his hotels he wanted to bring high-level Italian style abroadAlciati had no doubts: Paris. «France is very close to Piedmontese cuisine, starting from the raw materials and small producers, everything is simpler. We bring many ingredients from Italy, but we get everything fresh from the French markets, where we find excellent quality products”, says chef Alciati. At the L’Assaggio restaurant, the menu starts out based on a more classic Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, then over time it becomes clear that the customer, who chooses to come here for a gourmet evening, is looking for Piedmont. Dishes like the Veal with tuna sauceL’Russian saladthe Agnolotti del Plinthe Guinea fowl and so on, they take space on paper and the proposal becomes Piedmont-centric – Parisian (and non-Parisian) customers say thank you.

A taste of Paris

Chef Alciati chooses to play the away match with the Torino shirt and uses the experience to his advantage by going to offer the best of the best of Piedmontese cuisine, the one that is in his blood, the one he has been able to do since he was a child curiously peering at his mother Lidia’s quick hands in the kitchen of the family restaurant with over 60 years of history. In the same rue Cambon where the myth of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was born, the L’Assaggio restaurant of the Italian boutique hotel Castille Paris maintains its success precisely because it is as fashionable as it is not at all. A concept that chef Alciati expresses very well: «Good people no lie (don’t move in Piedmontese, ed), we don’t move from our beliefs, but we are there. We realized over time that our beliefs are the new direction of catering. And by convictions I mean the careful choice of small producers and small farmers towards sustainable cuisine, the simplification of dishes towards a more understandable menu, in short what we have already been doing for 63 years. As I tell my brother, if we stand still, we are in fashion, you will see. Bubbles, air, spheres, molecules, they get boring in the long run. People want to eat well and taste good things, wants to live a memorable experience that passes through the palate of good taste. It is not enough to make elaborate and spectacular dishes, the beautiful will never be remembered as well as the good. True success lies inhave a good raw material like no otherhere’s what the first ingredient of great cuisine is: the search for excellent raw materials.

Martino Ruggieri from Puglia wins two stars in Paris – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

MR: «The goal was to reach the top since we opened and we are happy: we are already thinking not only about how to maintain the second star, but also about how to improve. This is a stage in my career, and it is important that it has arrived for me, for the team (ten people in the kitchen and five in the dining room for around twenty seats), for the future, but having always cooked in large restaurants, including the three stars, allow me to say that if the recognition doesn’t arrive, either you worked badly or you didn’t learn anything. Having said that, immediately after celebrating we started asking ourselves questions about the location and our type of cuisine because we always have to question ourselves in order to improve.”

You worked alongside Yannick Alléno for eight years: do you owe him much?

MR: «Yes. I owe Alléno everything and on stage, during the awards ceremony, I thanked him by telling him “Merci chef”. He replied: “C’est bien, well done, celebrate with dignity”. And then he added: “Yes, I helped you, but you took the two stars.” Alléno taught me a lot, on a technical, professional and human level and also helped me to have the right people at my side in this entrepreneurial adventure. I am one chef patron (owner chef), I don’t have the money of big restaurants, no investors behind it, if the restaurant is full profit, otherwise not. And this recognition was also important for the speed with which we achieved it: it doesn’t happen so often and my colleagues in Tours also pointed this out to me.”

Do you miss not working alongside Alléno anymore?

MR: «I miss the daily comparison, yes, but I’m happy to have a place of my own. I think I took this step at the right time with the correct maturity, experience and age. In this journey it was important to find an identity different from that of Alléno because when you create a cuisine for many years alongside a chef like him you need to differentiate yourself.”

What is the identity of your cuisine?

MR: «It is certainly very creative: I use bitters a lot, I like contrasts, I create a cuisine based on technique and sauces. When you come to eat with us you eat from a chef and by this I mean that there is substance, nothing is superfluous, you don’t find trends. My Italian side is pushed into memories, not in the dishes, I could say in the Mediterranean to summarize the concept of a cuisine that is nevertheless French, courageous, powerful, strong. I’m proud to be Italian, but I don’t seek Italianness at all costs.”

After Prague, the great Italian winery arrives in Paris – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

With Signorvino, they arrive in Paris excellences of Italian food and wine: even abroad, the Italian brand will maintain its appreciated formula which combines a cellar that can count on over 2,000 references and a gastronomic proposal that starts from territorial excellence, to create a menu that pays homage to the quality and flavors of the Italian tradition.

Themed events, tastings and meetings with producers are also planned in the venues of Prague and Paris as part of the “Journey into Taste” project: the complete program of Signorvino events is available on the Signorvino website.

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