Star chefs from TUTTOFOOD 2023's partner association tell how they see the holiday table, from childhood memories to local traditions to new ideas gathering from traveling the world.
They are all star chefs. But above all, they are Ambassadors of Taste: whether established or emerging, membership in the influential organization - partner of TUTTOFOOD2023 - confirming their ability to bring traditions together with innovation. Even on the holiday table. We met with some of them to let them tell us how they will interpret this combination in this year's Holiday Season.
Speaking of meeting traditions Aurora Mazzucchelli, chef at Marconi Restaurant (Sasso Marconi), can certainly have her say: "I am half Bolognese and half Sicilian, and my memory of holiday tables is divided between Christmas Eve dinners, Southern-style, and Christmas lunches, Emilian-style. In both, everyone brought their own recipes, and so tortellini in broth could be paired with fish and panettone with Sicilian desserts. In my proposals I try to bring the same combination. But I also love a lot the contemporary as in my reinterpreted eel with celeriac, lacto-fermented orange and pomegranate or the dessert of pine nut risolatte with flower powders, raspberry puffed rice, fig leaf extract and passion fruit."
The reinterpretation of a seafood menu is one of many pièces de résistance by Paolo Gramaglia, chef at President in Pompeii. "I travel a lot all over the world and particularly in the Middle East, where I have experienced many times the differences, but also the contaminations, between the two shores of the Mediterranean. I could tell you about the Arab-Neapolitan contaminations in fish: on the last trip we offered a grouper, or a sea bass, baked with a cup of citrus potato with our Vesuvian citrus fruits, mixed instead with turmeric in a sort of union of the sacred and the profane, of West and East, as well as pairing Arab dishes with a very classic spaghetti with tomato sauce."
Regarding the holiday dessert, a very special story comes from Tuscany and, to be precise, Pitigliano. "In Tuscany, and particularly here in Maremma, we have our own tradition for the holiday table. For example, we eat lamb even at Christmas,"says Valeria Piccini, chef at Da Caino (Montemerano). "For desserts, this year I want to reintroduce a dessert from this land that is unique for so many reasons, the Sfratto di Pitigliano. It is unique because, although it is a Christmas cake, it comes from Jewish tradition: it is so called because it is shaped like the stick that landlords might once have used to 'evict' Jewish tenants. Then for the ingredients: they are 'cookies' with a filling of chopped nuts, honey, spices, and orange zest and covered with a thin shell of unleavened dough. The honey and thin sheet make it difficult to process, adding to its character."
And who among us has not thought at least once about making a themed menu for the holidays? One who can certainly do it in style is Chicco Cerea, a three-star chef at Da Vittorio restaurant (Brusaporto). "A special feature of my holiday menus is that each year I choose a leitmotif inspired by literature. This year it is Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Ingredients and preparations inspired by Anglo-Saxon tradition will complement the great classics on our menu, such as cabbage or pork belly risottos or turbot chops with the cosmopolitan touch of pak-choi, or celeriac tatin, fermented vegetable juice and black truffle."
The Ambassadors of Taste are partners at TUTTOFOOD 2023, at fieramilano from May 8 to 11, 2023, where they will organize engaging cooking shows that will enhance the exhibiting companies' proposals in original and innovative recipes. Find out here how to be featured as an exhibitor. To participate as a professional visitor, go to this page.