Real Italian restaurant: what is it?
Products in Italian cuisine occupy a central place.
“I suggest that all restaurateurs prepare, first of all, healthy and healthy food for people to be at their best,” says Nicola Batavia, who arrived at the conference, the Italian chef of the Birichin restaurant. – I’m not only a chef, I’m also the owner of the restaurant, and I know that the restaurant business requires a lot of money, but you need to weigh the investment and cooking good tasty food, correlate the expense of money, profit and satisfaction of visitors.
Nicola Batavia knows what she is talking about: he has two restaurants – Birichin in Turin and Casa Batavia in London. Of course, he understands that it is not always possible to use Italian products in Russia only for economic reasons.
“Therefore, the products may be local,” he says. – But certainly very good quality. Take, for example, a simple dish: spaghetti with tomatoes. The pasta for him must certainly be Italian, but good quality tomatoes, of course, can also be found in Russia – the chef should already take care of this. Therefore, when I go to an Italian restaurant outside Italy, I order simpler dishes, realizing that complex chefs cannot be cooked in the way that is done with us.
Another Italian chef, who arrived at the conference, Bruno Chingolani, emphasizes the pure importance of the products. He is the owner of the Dulcis Vitis restaurant in Alba (Piedmont).
“Kitchen is an expression of a certain philosophy,” Bruno explains. – In addition to business, it should have an understanding of food, because the taste of each dish connects us with memories and emotions. I still remember the aroma of my mother’s dishes made with homemade products. In my restaurant, I not only prepare traditional dishes with the right products, but strive to build an emotional connection with the guest. Otherwise, he will not understand what Italian cuisine is.
Irina Novoseltseva, the herald of the Order of the truffles and wines of the city of Alba, a member of the Italian Sommelier Association, the organizer of wine and gastronomic tours, spoke at the conference about what Italian cuisine is and how important local products are for it. Material about this can be found in the next issue.
Turin, Alba, Barbaresco – St. Petersburg
The conference in St. Petersburg brought together representatives of three Piedmontese cities – Turin, Alba and Barbaresco. I must say that Piedmont is not a tourist Mecca today, but it is a Mecca for enogastronomic tourists who go for wine, the white truffle festival and other tasty food – all this is presented in all three cities. It is interesting that half a century ago, vegetables grew in certain areas of Piedmont – for example, on the territory of Barbaresco. Today, grapes grow there: people were engaged in agriculture, and then they tried something else and now produce some of the best wines in the world.
By the way, a unique regional wine collection has been collected in Barbaresco – one of the few places in Italy where wine from all producers of the region is collected.
“Barbaresco has a good location: our city is close to both Milan (the capital of Lombardy) and Turin (the main city of Piedmont), as well as France,” said Alberto Bianco, mayor of Barbaresco. – Therefore, it is easy for us to go to any place – to relax or to shop. Barbaresco and St. Petersburg are very similar, so when I am here, it seems to me that I’m at home (smiles). Our territory this year was marked by UNESCO: we have the best grape varieties that are used to make excellent wines, as well as a lot of cheese and meat. In addition, we have a growing white truffle, which is known throughout the world.
– People want to know more about food, they are interested in it, so those who have money invest it in restaurants. Russia, like China and India, for a long time belonged to third world countries. Today they are one of the first in the world because they realized that they will go much faster and further with the Italian restaurant business, ”Nicola Batavia emphasized.
Nikola noted the attractiveness of the Russian restaurant market for foreign investors and praised the prospects for the development of national cuisine in Russia and, in particular, in St. Petersburg.
“Italian cuisine is one of those created with a soul,” he said. – And in St. Petersburg they are just trying to convey the specifics of the national cuisine, and not adapt it to changing consumer tastes.
It is important for the chef in Russia to understand the philosophy of the Italian chef
Of course, the evening of the first day was supposed to end at the restaurant, and this restaurant was undoubtedly the Piedmontese restaurant Basrbaresco: Bruno Chingolani and Nikola Batavia held a gala dinner “White Truffle Evening” for the guests of the establishment.
And the next day turned out to be purely practical. Conference participants visited the newly opened Milanese restaurant Brera Bar & Restaurant, meeting with the charismatic Italian chef Fortunato Uzzolo.