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Ciccio Sultano

Ciccio Sultano

Duomo, Italy
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Chef Ciccio Sultano lives and breathes his Sicilian culture, the love for which is the driving force behind his culinary inspiration. His first professional experience in the kitchen was working at a pastry shop near Ragusa. Chef Sultano views the culinary craft as a noble art of transforming ingredients and, with each creation, he honours this rich heritage.

A talk with Ciccio Sultano

Can you tell us about your journey as a Chef?
I was greatly inspired by the books of the famous pastry Chef, Vincenzo Corallo. During my training, the magazines Grand Gourmet and L’Arte della Cucina Moderna by Henri Paul Pellaprat also had special meaning for me. The transformation of ingredient – wheat to bread, olive to oil or grape to wine – is an ancient gesture dating back to the era of gods and goddesses. Sicilian food is culture and tradition, representing the innovation of yesterday. I have learnt the most from immersing myself into the multi-secular history of Sicily. When I opened Duomo – my first restaurant – my idea was to channel both popular and bourgeois Sicilian gastronomy into one, contemporary and international cuisine.
How do you care for the planet from your kitchen?
When I select the ingredients of my recipes, I try to do so responsibly, which is a value I share with the House of Krug. To me, Krug is a family and these 10 Chefs and I are a team of Krug Lovers. This year for the 2020 Single Ingredient, I thought about a recipe that would be eco-friendly by choosing local ingredients to salvage from what might otherwise be discarded from your refrigerator or pantry: dry bread, pieces of cheese and onion. The ingredients are simple, but with a great Champagne, reconcile the most elegant of paradoxes.
Can you share any fun facts about the onion?
Here in Sicily, we have an extraordinary onion that takes its name from the town of Giarratana. The cipolla di Giarratana is a gigantic sweet onion that can weigh from 500 g to 2 kg. We enjoy it raw, cooked, boiled – it is a real culinary catalyst.
Why do you enjoy cooking with the onion?
The onion, plays an important role in Italian recipes as a flavour enhancer. There is so much power in the onion and all its facets. I see it as a supporting actor, a real stuntman. Furthermore, I like to think I identify with the onion. My homeopath even tells me I share its sulphurous character; I like to lead but I do it with love to create an environment where people enjoy what they do rather than follow orders.
You have been a krug lover for many years, what stands out in your memory?
A recent memory comes to mind around last year’s single ingredient. I participated in a beautiful event for Krug x Pepper in Italy for the opening of my new venue, Cantieri Sultano Ragusa. It was a natural choice for me to share this milestone with Krug, as I embody the House’s guiding principles: identity, heritage and responsibility. It was wonderful to host friends from the House in Sicily and I am so glad to be contributing an onion recipe to this year’s book.

Cipolla al formaggio ragusano

Cipolla al formaggio ragusano

  • STARTER
    2 servings
  • timing
    2 hours
  • preparation time
    60 minutes
  • Cooking time
    60 minutes

INGREDIENTS

STEP 1.

2 x 150 g onions

10 ml extra virgin olive oil

 

STEP 2.

125 g freshly grated caciocavallo

30 g chopped parsley

100 g extra virgin olive oil

PM salt and pepper

100 g cubes of bread 

sautéed with oil, 

rosemary, garlic

50 g fresh ricotta

 

STEP 3.

125 g rind of mature Ragusano

cheese DOP

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT

STEP 1. COOKING ONIONS

Cook the onions in tin foil for 45 min in the oven with extra virgin olive oil. Once ready, empty them, leaving only two external layers.

 

STEP 2. FILLING

Mix together the caciocavallo, parsley, oil, salt, pepper, cubes of bread and ricotta. Fill the onions with the obtained stuffing and cook in the oven for 15 min.

 

STEP 3. THE BROTH

Cover the rind of the Ragusano with water. Turn on the flame to the minimum setting and bring to boil. Let it boil for 30 min. Turn off the flame and let it cool in the fridge. Filter and reduce to half. Add salt if needed.

 

SERVING INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the broth on the bottom of a soup plate (not too deep) and lay down the onions just out of the oven. If the onion is not caramelised enough, use a blowpipe torch.

PAIRING NOTES
The pairing of Krug Rosé 23ème Édition with an onion-based dish is ideal for the intensity expressed in the Champagne through the Pinot Noir and Meunier, but, most of all, for the mineral richness and savoury notes that contrast with the sweetness of the onion.
Krug Rosé 23ème Édition

The Rosé Champagne for Bold Gastronomic Experiences

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