Tag: story

Fillet Wellington: the story of a noble dish – Italian Cuisine


An ancient and precious dish based on a delicate fillet cooked rare wrapped in a chest of shortcrust pastry and then served with fine ingredients such as foies gras, truffles, champignon mushrooms.


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The Duke's fillet
Arthur Wellesley, the heroic winner of the battle of Waterloo awarded with the prestigious title of Duke of Wellington, he did not have an easy character, as evidenced by many cooks in his service, fired because they were unable to satisfy his particular tastes. Until someone had an inspiration that met with unexpected success: he presented him with a captivating fillet wrapped in a golden cloak of puff pastry. The elements to satisfy the surly general were all there: fine meat, delicate champignon puree, a touch of Foie gras and of truffle. A truly sumptuous dish, which presented itself with the long and tapered shape typical of the whole fillet and a golden brown color: characteristics that made it similar to one boot. A casual reference to the boots worn by the general? Although there are no documents confirming it, the fact is that the dish has gone down in history as a Wellington-style fillet.

A dish for important occasions
Courses and appeals in the kitchen like all famous and somewhat elaborate recipes, this one too has had over the years periods of splendor and others of oblivion. For many reasons, not least the high cost of ingredients and the method long and complex. But recently the dish has returned to our tables, as the protagonist of important menus.

A new version of the recipe by Gordon Ramsey
Also thanks to the famous English chef Gordon Ramsay who brought it back into vogue with some little ones retouching, without however affecting its taste and refinement. No foie gras and truffles, as the original formula provided, slightly spicy mustard and a curious variant: some chestnuts additions to mushroom cream. Plus some chef's trick, like sprinkling with a little bit of coarse salt the dough to make it more crunchy. Attention to temperature and ai cooking times – the fillet inside must remain "al blood"- and a rest of at least ten minutes before arriving at the table: in this way the fibers of the meat are compacted and the aromas are concentrated in a sublime bouquet.

January 2022

Miriam Ferrari

Posted on 20/01/2022


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La Crêpe Suzette, the story of a sweet mistake – Italian Cuisine

La Crêpe Suzette, the story of a sweet mistake

A very lucky mistake, but certainly delicious. What is that? There Crepe Suzette, this is how the famous French crepe with the secret ingredient was baptized: the liquor.

Born within the the principality of Monaco, as well as having its own princely origin its story is truly bizarre. In fact, it is said that these crepes were born by mistake in 1896, at Café de Paris of Montecarlo, from Henry Charpentier assistant of Auguste Escoffier, the greatest chef of the time. It seems that Charpentier had been entrusted with the important task of preparing a crepe for Eduardo VIII, Prince of Galles. The strong emotion made Henry a bit clumsy enough to accidentally drop some liqueur into the pan of crepes which naturally ignited in contact with the gas. From this mistake, which, however, we can consider almost miraculous, an amazing dessert was born which Henry also served to the prince. Charpentier's Lecrêpe appealed to Eduardo VIII so much that he even did not hesitate to ask for an encore. Thus the Charpentier crêpes took the name of Suzette, in honor of daughter of a friend of the prince who was at the table with him.

As they say, not all evils come to harm, indeed, in this case a masterpiece has been created: a delicious and refined dessert, ideal to offer even after a formal dinner, or simply to indulge in a moment of unique sweetness. A classic French crepe served with a caramelized butter and sugar sauce, orange zest and lemon juice, with the final addition of the "secret and amazing" ingredient: Il Grand Marnier, liqueur used to make flambé, born in 1880 and composed of various Cognac, essences of orange and other ingredients.

For the French, crêpe has always been a symbol of alliance and friendship, a sweet pride for the French patisseries. It is the afternoon snack shared with the best friend, it is the reward after a long walk, it is the sweet that you prepare with love for your boyfriend on Sunday morning. It also seems that there is a nice custom in the days of Candlemas he was born in Shrove Tuesday of Carnival to make a wish while the crepes are turned, just as if they were a food full of hope and that gives so much affection. Have you ever tried?


But do you know that there are precise rules for preparing them? Keep in mind the "canonical" flight crêpe, which floats elegantly in the air and then falls back into the pan. You have understood? Here: the secret is the precise movement of the wrist. It is easy to learn, but beware, it does not go wrong with the measures. The crepe should rise at least six inches from the pan. The trick for a successful insured

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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.

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