There were many aspects that made me curious when I received the invitation to the tasting of a fish-based menu cooked by Michelin-star chef Davide Pezzuto organised by FLAG Costa blu in collaboration with the Italian Food Blogger Association (AIFB) and I cannot list them following a specific order (yet, can you imagine the thrill of tasting a Michelin-star menu?), therefore I am going to share my curiosity hoping that it is equally interesting for you and being aware that our food choices can contribute to keeping the levels of employment and the quality of the coastal environment of the Adriatic sea.
Michelin-star menu: all the taste of fish from the Adriatic sea
The first element of interest was indeed FLAG Costa blu, i.e. the Consortium committed to enhancing the fish products and land of the province of Teramo, since 80% of the fish eaten in Italy comes from abroad or is farmed.
Second, a fish-based 5-course menu. You can imagine that in the gourmand city of Parma, strongly attached to its food traditions, tasting fish recipes cooked by a Michelin-star chef is not very common.
Third, the fact that chef Davide Pezzuto works in the first “Diffused restaurant” in Italy, D.One: knowing various diffused hotels, I was very curious to discover how the concept could be applied to a restaurant. Indeed, the restaurant is housed in the various buildings of the village where it is based, thus giving new life to the whole place: a great example of social and environmental sustainability.
And last but not least, the chef himself of whom I had read characteristics that have always attracted me: simplicity of ingredients and creativity in their use.
I must admit that I did not expect that all courses, except for one, would contain gluten considering that fish is naturally gluten-free, but, as usual, this is an irresistible stimulus to try to reproduce the recipes tasted in a gluten-free version.
Tasting the Michelin-star menu
- Small puccia bread with octopus and vinaigrette made with Pera d’Abruzzo tomatoes
- Cannolo with tuna tartare, caramelised onion and wasabi flavoured mayonnaise
- Sea gravel with seaweeds, prawns, spiked squids and clams
- Granetti pasta in a juice of mantis shrimps, Burrata cheese and barberry
- Synopsis of fish soup
Would you like to know what my next challenges will be? Certainly the pasta courses, namely Granetti and Sea gravel, even though you will have to give me some time for experimenting!
Granetti is a type of pasta similar to Fregola in shape, but it is varying in the piece sizes and prepared with a mixture of flour and semolina kneaded with water. Chef Davide Pezzuto proposed this pasta shape with a juice of mantis shrimps, Burrata cheese and barberry cream, but I can already tell you that I will try this pasta with the classic sauce made with fava beans, onion and guanciale, which is certainly easier for me!
Sea gravel with seaweeds, prawns, spiked squids and clams is a dish that the chef proposes also in his restaurant menu and it is wonderful to look at and to eat: every ingredient has a name and a story to tell. First of all, gravel. Gravel refers to the bread dumplings coloured with squid ink, tomato paste and plain bread that give rise to bread dumplings that look exactly like the cobs you find on the beach. This effect is achieved by rolling the dumplings in order to round the corners and make them identical to the cobs smoothed by the waves.
Sea gravel with seaweeds, prawns, spiked squids and clams
The name in dialect of spiked squids means “noisy” because they cause a great mess when moving in very large schools. Clams are the ones from the Adriatic sea and are called “paparazze” in the local dialect. This word was used by film director Federico Fellini in “La dolce vita” as the surname of the photographer in the film to associate the opening and closing of the camera lens to the valves of this shellfish, hence the name “paparazzi” now used in English as well.
Last but not least, fish soup: an ever changing nectar because made with the fish caught on the day, hence a true gift from nature. The special feature of Davide’s proposal is certainly the use of lime zest to cover the edge of the serving cup, a trick to smell the lime aroma, but not its taste that would make this delicate dish a bit bitter.
Do you know what? This tasting really stirred my desire to discover the amazing food of the Abruzzo region!