Tag: story

Culinary harmony, when music tells the story of Gualtiero Marchesi – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

Culinary harmony, when music tells the story of Gualtiero Marchesi

What if Gualtiero Marchesi had he not been a cook, but a musician? This alternative vision is suggested by the format Culinary harmonya special dinner in which its historic dishes are expressed through the music proposed byAlinde Quartet. The debut took place on the evening of 94th anniversary of the birth of the Maestrolast March 19, in the only restaurant in the world that brings his authentic gastronomic works to the menu, the Gualtiero Marchesi Terrace at Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

At the table I was lucky enough to be in the company of co-protagonists of this important piece in the history of Italian cuisine: on the one hand the Maestro’s son-in-law and right-hand man, Enrico Dandoloand on the other i Mr and Mrs De Santis, owners of the hospitality facility and family friends. There are many unpublished anecdotes that paint a portrait of Gualtiero Marchesi much more human than what the books want us to believe – for example, those evenings concluded with chocolate ice cream and Crêpes Suzette despite diabetes, described affectionately by Mrs. De Santis (also a great fan of La Cucina Italiana).

Investigating the human side of great figures enriches official portraits with even unexpected nuances: hearing from Enrico Dandolo as he knew Simona Marchesi (volunteering in the Red Cross was a prisoner) and he asked the Master for her hand is exciting to say the least. Enrico was indispensable for 27 years alongside his father-in-law, going from computer scientist to his right-hand man, to put it simply – after all, it was he who computerize the Marchesi restaurant at La Rinascente first, then at the Fondazione. «He came to the office in the morning with a new idea, when there were 100 others still to be developed!, Like the (mis)adventure of Marchesi signature sandwiches for McDonald’s in 2011he says smiling, aware of the great treasure that together with his family he is destined to protect and disseminate.

Seeing your eyes shine Simona Marchesi in the memory of his father he is engaging as are the words he chooses to describe him with disarming sincerity: a harmonious, sweet, affectionate, refined, elegant, always light-hearted, optimistic, humble, simple person with brilliant creativity, very determined and courageous, above all a man free from preconceptions, open and very curious about life, in search of beauty – a man of intellect in search of essentiality. And yes, adds the Master’s daughter, perhaps cooking was not his ambition, but a way of expressing his need to search for beauty and therefore to make the dish immortal through the sublimation of the cuisine used: «as he himself maintained, the cuisine of truth, the cuisine of form, the cuisine of matter. Attracted by art, music and adventure, Gualtiero Marchesi felt the need to develop his inclinations and passions, so he cultivates his artistic talent through frequenting artists, painters, sculptors and musicians. He even starts studying the piano, ending up marrying his teacher, Antonietta Cassisaa wonderful pianist, daughter of art, who becomes his muse.

The true story of pineapple pizza – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

And the name of the pizza? Cans of canned pineapple, particularly popular at the time, were approximately 80% produced in Hawaii. The widespread diffusion was due to the passion for culture tiki exploded with the return of soldiers from the Pacific Islands during the Second World War. Yet, although pineapple in syrup was among the most popular ingredients of the time, Hawaiian pizza was not appreciated from the first moment.

It was probably the criticism that decreed its success, which pushed the most curious to try it: after the initial uncertainty, everyone went crazy for the sweet-savory combination and the pineapple pizza began to travel to the United States. Panopoulos sold the place in the 1980s and never patented the Hawaiian pizza, which today can be found on the menus of pizzerias around the world.

Pineapple Pizza: Do Foreigners Really Love It?

In Italy we are convinced that Hawaiian pizza is the favorite in the USA, but we are very wrong. As emerged from a 2021 YouGov survey, the toppings most loved by Americans are spicy salami, sausage, mushrooms, extra cheese and onions. On the contrary, in top 5 of the most hated flavors Pizza with pineapple appears, although not before other even less appreciated toppings such as anchovies, aubergines, artichokes and broccoli.

In the United States, therefore, pineapple pizza remains somewhat divisive, as it does in the rest of the world. A couple of examples: in 2017, the president of Iceland said he wanted to ban the use of pineapple on pizza, followed by Gordon Ramsay who confirmed that he despised her in a tweet and on TV.

Italian pizza chefs, however, are less fundamentalist than expected.

Pineapple pizza can be good

In the Bel Paese the meeting between sweet and savory is certainly nothing new, especially when it comes to fruit and cured meats. Ham and melon is a great classic when it comes to Italian appetizers, not to mention the figs and raw ham that we put together on the pizza. So what’s our problem with pineapple? Three great Italian pizza chefs have thought about overturning every prejudice, and over the last few years have proposed their interpretation of the pineapple pizza.

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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