What makes me really happy is to establish relationships and this happens wonderfully in the kitchen because food is the language that connects people. In the kitchen, I become an ambassador of my country: what you eat is also the people’s identity.
I’ve been doing this job for many years and preparing delicious, beautiful dishes, or an artistic presentation cannot be everything about cuisine. Maybe at the beginning what really drives the chef is the desire to just create something good both visually and flavour-wise to give someone a moment of pleasure. But in time I realized that a date at the restaurant is an opportunity, a chance to invite guests to take a real journey of discovery, a journey in which they are not alone, but have a guide, someone to show them the right path to reach their goal. And the goal is the discovery of a soul, that of my country, which preserves ancient flavours and knowledge, which refuse to be put away among the nostalgic memories the glorious past when everything was genuine and authentic. It is a soul that wants to be the main character, wants to be interpreted, updated and revised to become and ambassador in the bold and contemporary world such as the one of the Sorrento culture.
Those who come to Sorrento have very specific expectations. Not everything can be reduced to a nice postcard and the enchanting landscape. They are indeed attractive but do not tell the whole story. To really experience the city you have to smell the scents, feel the textures, hear voices, feel on the skin the warmth of the sun and salt carried by the wind from the sea.
The journey begins in the kitchen. The ingredients are ready on the work bench, and now the quality of raw ingredients and skill. But it’s not just this. The real miracle is to infuse the soul, convey the character. It’s just what makes the kitchen a creative process, a form of art, which has in itself the colours of a palette, the plasticity of a sculpture, the harmony of music, the taste of passion.
The appetizer is an invitation, the first step of the itinerary. The protagonists are the vegetables, artichokes, aubergines, pumpkin and courgettes, tomatoes, which our grandmothers kept in oil to give us a bit of summer in winter too. So renewing the tradition becomes a thank you, an act of love. It is a statement of intent and a presentation: here is who we are and where we come from.
Pasta is the king of our kitchen, is part of our imagination, evokes positive feelings and pleasant situations of friendship and conviviality, complicity and understanding. You can use it in a thousand ways, and it represents the most authentic aspect of our world.
Second courses require technique and mastery, instinct and courage, the fundamental elements to achieve any goal. Meat, fish, may be already perfect as raw ingredients, deserving the main role, enhanced with a captivating and enveloping context.
And finally, we get to dessert. The journey has come to an end, but it does not mean that everything has already been said. Tomorrow it will be different because we will be different, and then we can discover it all over again.