Identità Golose 2022: Day One Highlights

The 17th edition of Identità Golose, the three-day S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna-sponsored haute cuisine chef congress, began in Milan today. This year’s theme is ‘the future is today’, and a host of international and Italian chefs and bartenders presented their food philosophies, dishes and drinks to assembled enthusiasts.

Here are some of the highlights from day one:

Eneko Atxa and Matteo Manzini: the soul of Azurmendi

Eneko Atxa and Matteo Manzini on stage at Identita Golosa 2022

Eneko Atxa, chef of three-Michelin-starred Azurmendi in Larrabetzu, in the Basque Country, was introduced on stage by Ryan King, editor in chief of Fine Dining Lovers. Joining him was executive chef Matteo Manzini from Italy, who has been working alongside him at Azurmendi since 2013. “Gastronomy is a universal language: we have a lot of responsibility, but I am calm because at my side there’s a person like Matteo who’s been with me for a long time,” the chef said.

Manzini presented a 360 degree vision of their gastronomic project, which revolves around different formats of the Azurmendi experience; eight restaurants around the world. “Our version of fusion cuisine that blends Japanese and Spanish instances, with creations such as Joselito oyster”.

After an evocative video that showed Azurmendi‘s work and its location surrounded by nature, Atxa explained the details behind their work, beginning with the sustainable and ecological aspect of catering. “We have photovoltaic panels, we collect rainwater, we use recycled materials for most of the furniture, we compost,” explained the chef. Atxa then shared details of the ‘seed bank’ he has created, collecting more than 400 seeds that make up the native Basque flora. “We have strengthened ties with our producers,” he added. And then there is no shortage of sustainable practices in the restauraant, such as the creation of soap bars made with the oil used in the kitchens, which are given away to the guests.


The future is theirs: Davide Marzullo shares his story behind Trattoria Contemporanea

Davide Marzullo on stage at Identita Golose 2022

Davide Marzullo, the young Italian chef from Trattoria Contemporanea in Como, enthusiastically shared his culinary philosophy using simple, sustainable and km-zero products. Ingredients reflect their territory, but use techniques that the chef and his staff have absorbed from experiences garnered around Europe. “I’m Davide, the cook. And at Trattoria Contemporanea we cook Italian with a sensitive European influence,” he said.

Marzullo presented two dishes. The first was a fresh and creamy vegetarian dish made of leek heart, nori seaweed with a goat cheese sauce and fennel oil. The second was a pie, and tribute to his time spent in London. Potatoes, champignon mushrooms, stewed oxtail enriched with raspberries, onion Genoese and a buttery and crumbly Wellington pastry.

“A few years ago I was obsessed with the aesthetics of the dishes, today I think it is the palate that must be in first place,” said Marzullo, one of the most inspired and inspirational young chefs of recent times.


Follow the talent, the experience at the S.Pellegrino stand

At the S.Pellegrino stand – a tunnel where you can be guided by the talent and values of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy – a three-step experience full of messages took guests on a journey of the attributes of what it takes to excel as a chef. At lunchtime a surprise dish was created by S.Pellegrino Young Chef finalist Alessandro Bergamo.


The Izzo brothers and Piazzetta Milù

The trio of brothers – Emanuele, Valerio and Maicol Izzy – took to the stage with two traditional dishes using techniques learned in the most important kitchens in the world. The first course was an extraordinary ceviche made with pezzagna fish which told stories of Peru and Mediterranean perfumes on the plate. The second proposal riffed on the iconic Neapolitan marinara pizza, turning it into a pasta dish: the unforgettable pacchero. 


Pierluigi Fais from Josto, Cagliari (Sardinia): sustainability is a path

Pierluigi Fais on stage at Identita Golose 2022

“We believe in a critical approach to meat consumption. We also say that in our butcher’s shop, eat little meat and when you do, make sure it’s good,” said chef Pierluigi Fais.

‘No pigeons were mistreated in making this menu,’ is the ironic phrase that appears on the first page of Josto’s menu. Chef Fais thinks that in addition to the pigeon, other thought provoking things can be served in a fine dining kitchen.

Speaking of sustainability, fine dining must also approach this concept, which is why Josto uses hogget, an underrated meat that certainly favours the territory. ‘Sheep’ was the title of today’s speech by chef Fais. He removed a cloth from the counter revealing a three-week aged hogget, as dozens of smartphones appeared. The chef deboned the sheep with exceptional delicacy and skill. Many people didn’t like the strong flavour of hogget, but if you remove the fat, explained the chef, the part responsible for this pungent taste, its meat becomes sweet and delicate like any other free-grown beef.

The chef presented two dishes – boiled hogget 2.0 and tartare, concentrating on the concept rather than the technique. “Don’t be afraid of hogget tartare because it is a very clean animal that eats only grass,” said the chef.

Boiled hogget 2.0 was prepared in a bowl, which was then roasted and garnished with the aromas and herbs that that the sheep would have eaten during the course of its life. A mayonnaise with a hint of mustard was also added to this dish. The tartare proved incredibly delicate and very tender with the interesting addition of peeled almonds and hibiscus, which gave that touch of tannins necessary to make it a great dish in its simplicity.


Alessandro Dalmasso and Massimo Pica, world pastry champions

Pica and Dalmasso on stage at Identita Golosa 2022

The pastry proceedings were opened by world pastry champions Massimo Pica and Alessandro Dalmasso (coach), gold medalist at the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie 2021 in Lyon. Describing their compeition experience at Lyon, Dalmasso said: “The set-up has to be tried and tested because the race lasts 10 hours. They abandoned their jobs and their families for seven months in their quest. My dream was to beat France and we did it.”


Paolo Griffa and Titti Traina: the playful pastry shop

Paolo Griffa on stage at Identita Golose 2022

Paolo Griffa, chef of the Michelin-starred Petit Royal restaurant inside the Grand Hotel Royal and Golf in Courmayeur, presented his playful pastry shop, together with in-house pastry chef, and life partner, Titti Traina. “Playful pastry creates the wow effect, but in reality it uses something in a different way that we are used to always seeing,” explained Griffa.

Together they presented the ‘banana splash’ – a banana-shaped dessert made with ice cream, chocolate, raspberries, caramel and whipped cream – pignatta, and an upside-down cheesecake served inside a cloche to create the ‘wow’ effect.

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