Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
We start the new year with Michelangelo Mammoliti aka the herbalist chef we met in August in the Roero wine district, a Unesco World Heritage site. Back in the summer, when we visited Osteria La Madernassa in Guarene, we got to know how he works, his cooking philosophy, about his French training and his love for local herbs and flowers, but over the Holidays we finally got the chance to savor his cuisine. And ho boy, what an experience! Our senses went on a trip we can hardly find the right words to describe because Michelangelo has the rare gift to give his food many dimensions, making of his menus a culinary composition, rather than a mere meal.
We arrived at Osteria La Madernassa with some expectations because we already knew him, had already tried his herb infused olive oils and had visited his herb garden around the osteria, however, even knowing him and seeing him at work, we couldn't simply imagine how his dishes could be shaped, how his flavors could be balanced or layered and how meaningful both the names and the display of his food could be.
Like any shy guests visiting a high level restaurant in one of the world culinary lands, we picked a table in the sunlight and prepared to take gorgeous pictures; in fact, we knew Michelengelo, like the famous Renaissance artist, takes watercolor classes and puts a painstaking precision in anything that concerns the restaurant, not just the food. Every detail counts from the table cloth fabric and the silverware design people will use to eat his masterpieces, to of course, his kingdom: the kitchen or la cucina in Italian!