Once great chefs were known almost only for the gastronomic achievements, appreciated by a small circle of gourmets, today they have become real celebrities like Beckham or Lady Gaga. A fortune - economic and popularity - that is no longer built exclusively with skill in the kitchen, but with books and presence on TV and on social networks. Apparently Italian chefs have learned their lesson very well: in the ranking of the 10 most successful chefs in Europe, five work in Italy. Including the first, Massimo Bottura, hands, mind and soul of the famous Osteria Francescana as well as many other enlightened culinary artists such as Antonino Cannavacciuolo or Heinz Beck or Cristina Bowerman.
Massimo Bottura - La Francescana
Massimo Bottura is a leading figure amongst a new generation of Italian chefs. His work both as an innovator and restaurateur confirm him as one of the world’s most creative culinary forces. This delicious risotto dubbed cacio e pepe is a take on the classic Roman pasta dish cacio e pepe.
This dish has a history to it, revealed by Massimo on Chef’s Table. He developed the recipe after the earthquake that devastated the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy in 2012. During the earthquake nearly 1,000 wheels of the famous locally-produce Parmigiano Reggiano were affected. Local producers were in a dire state as they couldn’t unload such a large quantity of Parmigiano Reggiano in a short time frame.Massimo came to help designing a recipe that quickly became hugely popular around the world and helped local producers sell the Parmigiano Reggiano in a very short time.
Parmigiano Reggiano Stock
Put the grated Parmigiano and water in a large pan and slowly heat to 80°C (176°F). It is very important that the temperature does not exceed 90°C (194°F). When the cheese starts becoming stringy, remove the pan from the heat.
Let it cool to room temperature. Reheat it to 80°C (176°F) again and let it cool. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight, or for 8 hours. The liquid should separate into 3 densities: a creamy Parmigiano paste on top, milky Parmigiano liquid in the middle and solid Parmigiano proteins on the bottom. Separate the layers. Strain the stock and reserve the creamy paste aside. Discard the solids. Pepper Distillation: Crush the peppers and vacuum-pack them with the water. Leave it at 20°C (68°F) for 24 hours. Place the liquid in a rotary evaporator and distillate at 24°C (75°F). Put the distillation in a vaporizer and keep cool.
Place the Parmigiano stock in a pan and keep it warm. Toast the rice in a separate saucepan with a little olive oil.
Begin by moistening the rice with one ladle of Parmigiano stock at a time and stirring, as for a classic risotto. Three quarters of the way through cooking start adding a spoon of Parmigiano cream and the rest of the black pepper oil.
Leave it for 1 minute to rest in the pan, still stirring. Pour the risotto on to a plate and flatten it, then spray the pepper distillation over the risotto to enhance the pepper flavour.
Antonino Cacciavuolo - Villa Crespi
Antonino Cannavacciuolo, a very well-known face of TV, very popular also on social networks; with assets estimated at € 5.7 million. He has a number of very successful TV shows, published a range of cook books and runs a number of high profile restaurants such as Michelin-Star Villa Crespi in the province of Novarra. He recently also launched a new series called the Antonino Chef Academy, a talent show with a class of young professionals - all between 18 and 23 years old - competing to win the coveted place in the kitchen of the famous kitchen of Villa Crespi.
Cannavacciulo Recipe - Spaghetti all'olio aglio peperoncino
Spaghetti with garlic and oil are a typical dish of the Neapolitan tradition, not just a tasty and simple dish to prepare but a delicacy that unites entire generations. Who among you has never said 'So let's make a spaghetti with garlic, oil and chilli pepper on the fly? This recipe from Antonino Cannavacciuolo was introduced in his TV series Cucine al Cubo.
250 gr of packaged bread without the crust
Jar of anchovies in oil; Cauliflower water; 100 gr milk
Salt to taste. Extra virgin olive oil; Garlic Chili pepper; Spaghetti.
Take the bread and blend it using a blender, meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and dip the anchovies into it until they melt, creating a cream. Then add the bread giving it a tasty crunchiness. Then proceed for the cauliflower cream, boil salted water and cook the cauliflower in small pieces. Drain it and then add it to the previous preparation. Sauté and season with more oil and salt, then add the milk and, once mixed, blend.The cream that must come out must be compact but not excessively thick, if it appears too little creamy it is good to add a little water. Cook the spaghetti in salted water, fry the classic garlic, oil and chilli in a pan. When the pasta is ready, toss it in a pan (al dente) with a little cooking water and chopped parsley. To prepare the dish, add a base of cauliflower cream, then the spaghetti with their sauce and finally the crispy anchovy bread.
The other Italians in the ranking are Heinz Beck in fifth place (German, but historic chef of the three-star restaurant La Pergola in Rome), Cristina Bowerman of the Glass Hostaria in seventh, Massimiliano Alajmo of Le Calandre in ninth.
Heinz Beck - La Pergola Rome
A breathtaking view of the Eternal City is revealed to guests at one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants, La Pergola. Under the guidance of Heinz Beck it has become a temple of international gastronomy, historically the first and, still today, the only three-star Michelin in Rome.Heinz Beck's signature dish is a perfect example of the chef’s quest for a lighter way of cooking, is the other-worldly fagottelli “La Pergola,” Beck’s riff on carbonara. The chef fills the freshly-made pasta with a mixture of egg yolk, Pecorino, cream and pepper instead of adding a heavy sauce at that end, and once cooked, finishes the tiny pouches with a simple mixture of olive oil, guanciale and zucchini.
5 Egg Yolks; 60 grams Pecorino cheese; 80ml whipped cream; white pepper;160 gr flour; 80 gr semolina; 2 egg yolks; 1 egg.
Dressing: 35g Tellcherry pepper; 100 gr Zucchini; 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 25ml white wine; 50ml veal stock; 40 gr Pecorino.
Beat the yolks in a double boiler and add little by little the grated Pecorino cheese to eggs.
Add the white pepper, the salt, let cool and incorporate the whipped cream.
Put the mixture into a sac-a-poche (pastry bag) and keep cool in a refrigerator for 1 hour.
Mix the flour with the semolina, add the egg yolks (keep 1 egg white aside), one egg, a pinch of salt and water enough to obtain a solid dough.
Work the dough for a long time and form a ball; wrap it in plastic wrap and cool it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll out thinly the dough and cut into 7cm squares with the help of a squared mould.
With the help of a spoon, spread the filling over the dough and close it in the shape of a cigarette.
Press the dough with fingers, fold and cut out the “Fagottelli” with a toothed wheel.
Cut the Roman bacon into julienne strips, dice zucchini and skip all in a pan with a little Extra virgin olive oil.
Sprinkle with white wine, bring it to a boil and add the veal stock.
Cook “Fagottelli” in abundant salted water, add to the sauce and whisk it with Pecorino cheese, Extra virgin olive oil and add Tellycherry pepper.
Cristina Bowerman - La Hostaria
Author of a book, the soul behind the bistro Romeo Chef & Baker, mother and chef of the Glass Hostaria in Rome. It is inevitable to wonder how Cristina Bowerman does so many things. And to do them all well: the restaurant, opened in 2005, won its first Michelin star in 2010.
The merit of a precise cuisine in every detail, from the choice of raw materials to the presentation of the dishes. In which the hand of Cristina emerges, clear and unmistakable: among the best known Spaghetti Pastificio dei Campi, goat's milk rennet, friggitelli, bottarga and Lariano bread or Mezzelune stuffed with amatriciana, crispy bacon.
She has a creative personality which shows in the creation of her dishes such as a carpaccio of tongue, pickled vegetables, ciauscolo sauce and mustard ice cream to a confit turbot with squid and cardoncelli cappuccino. On the other hand, one of the "10 rules to dare" in her book is "Find the strength to be different".