The essence of a people’s culture can undoubtedly be delineated in their diet, in the ingredients they use and in the methods of preparation.
Following this principle, between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, some enlightened chefs reinvented the art of cooking, proposing to the world dishes prepared in a totally new way, but in such symbiosis with the typical cuisine of their nations that in some cases they became a symbol of cultural identity.
Inspired by some of the contemporary chefs who have been able to take advantage of this important legacy, our Chef Domenico Ruberto has rediscovered the traditional flavours of the cuisine of his origins, i.e. Calabria, combining them with those of Ticino, a region that has adopted him professionally.
THE FOUR CORNERSTONES
During this journey through the rejuvenation of his cuisine, Domenico has defined the elements that distinguish each of his dishes.
1. Most importantly, we must consider seasonality, as the main ingredient of any dish must be a seasonal product.
2. For Domenico, quality, or rather the exacting search for the best product, translates into a journey back to the origin of the food, which leads him to personally meet the growers, breeders and producers of the ingredients he brings to the table. In this way, moreover, the concept of geography, whereby only the region is imagined in order to identify a product, is transformed into a philosophy that he defines as the humanisation of the product, since the person who has determined its quality is re-established as the focal point.
3. Exclusivity is another key element. Some of the suppliers chosen by our chef, in fact, are small producers who allow him to offer the highest quality foods, grown exclusively for his cuisine.
4. Finally, originality is Domenico’s signature on the plate: the presentation, the balanced composition of the different ingredients and the contrast of flavours make his creations unique.
DOMENICO’S GASTRONOMIC COMPASS
In order to accomplish this gastronomic evolution, Domenico traced his path orienting himself with the values that for him represent the cardinal points of the culinary art, thereby developing a sort of personal gastronomic compass.
In Chef Domenico’s compass, North is defined by perfect cooking, inspired by the cooking methods used by Pascal Barbot, Chef Patron of the Astrance restaurant in Paris, 3 Michelin stars. Perfect cooking is carried out in full respect of the ingredients, which must be gradually brought to the most suitable temperature, which is different for each food, in order to preserve the aromas and leave the nutritional values unaltered.
To the West, you will find the extractions, for which Domenico is inspired by the art of Yannick Alléno, a Chef awarded with 3 Michelin stars, founder of the gastronomic group of the same name that is composed of 16 restaurants worldwide.
Alléno has reinvented the concept of funds, perfected in the seventeenth century by Chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne, which has remained the almost unchanged foundation of haute cuisine ever since. The creation of the fund requires all the ingredients to be united at the beginning, while the sophisticated technique that Domenico has adopted involves extracting the essence of each of the elements individually and then finely assembling their flavours. With the extraction, it is possible to reduce the product to its essence, bringing out the characteristic notes of the elements of the soil that nourished it. The delicate process of combining these flavours, reminiscent of that of malts for Scotch whiskeys, allows you to create a perfect balance with the accompanying dish.
The East of the compass is indicated by naturalness, for which Domenico was inspired by Alain Ducasse, the most famous chef in the world whose restaurants boast a total of 21 Michelin stars. The most humble foods such as cereals, legumes and vegetables become the new protagonists of Ducasse’s gastronomic revolution, which maintains that eating naturally means respecting the planet, following the rhythms of the seasons, supporting organic farming and taking care of people’s health. This new philosophy promotes authentic, simple products and makes almost exclusive use of fish, vegetables and cereals, just like traditional Calabrian cuisine.
To the south of Domenico’s compass, there is memory, that is the reinterpretation of the flavours of his childhood. With his cuisine, the chef wants to provide an experience that goes beyond the dish, which when tasted must convey the feeling of a journey through his entire gastronomic journey, a bridge between Domenico’s two souths, southern Italy in his Calabria and the southern part of Switzerland in Ticino.
With each of his creations, Domenico brings to the table his strong desire to transmit an emotion, this extraordinarily intimate phenomenon that overwhelms those who try it and that infinitely exceeds the intrinsic pleasure of eating from which it has sprung.
The result that our chef aspires to is that the flavours of his creations remain impressed in the memory of those who savour his dishes, just as they have remained impressed on him since he first encountered them. The result to which our chef aspires with daily perseverance is that his creations remain impressed in the memory of his guests, just like the young Domenico when he experienced a new flavour for the first time.