When I’m in the kitchen in the creative process of coming up with a new dish, I have three guiding principles: identity, heritage, and responsibility.
How would you describe your culinary philosophy?
When I’m in the kitchen in the creative process of coming up with a new dish, I have three guiding principles: identity, heritage, and responsibility. That is to say, that dish has to be firstly my creation, secondly Sicilian, and thirdly respectful of the expectations of the person who will be sitting at the table.
Who would you like to share your dream dinner with?
With Gabriella (General Manager of Il Duomo), of course, drinking Krug, which conveniently pairs just as nicely with a plate of spaghetti, oysters or Catania’s seaweed ‘u’mauro’ and sour cream as it does with caviar, lamb, fish – raw or cooked – as well as lightly sautéed or fried crustaceans. For dessert, a beautiful Perpetua cake, made at I Banchi.
If you could prepare a dinner for any four guests who would they be?
Great idea. I would invite Sicily’s own Count Tasca d’Almerita, Scipio the African and Giuseppina, my paternal grandmother. She’d sit in the middle to prevent the dinner getting out of hand. Then Garibaldi would arrive – uninvited – to explain why he came to interrupt our dinner. I imagine that, knowing the host, Garibaldi would beg for forgiveness and acceptance by bringing “tonno vitellato”, a traditional dish from the North of Italy.
What is your favourite Krug food pairing?
Pasta with sea urchin and my bottarga of red tuna, on the dunes in front of my house on the sea.