Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a few enlightened chefs have reinvented the art of cooking. Their dishes were prepared in a totally unprecedented way but still they were so much in harmony with the typical cuisine of their countries, that soon after they have become symbols of the countries’ cultural identities.
Inspired by some of the contemporary chefs who have best been able to collect this important legacy, Chef Domenico Ruberto has rediscovered the traditional flavors of the cuisine of his origins, that of Calabria, matching them to those of Ticino —the land that adopted him professionally.
During the process of renewing his cuisine, Domenico has defined the elements that distinguish each of his dishes.
The main element is seasonality, as each of his creations must feature seasonal produce.
Another element is quality. To find the best products Domenico traces back the ingredients all the way to their origin, which leads him to personally meet the farmers who produce the handpicked ingredients he puts on the table. This is what Domenico calls “humanization of the product”, as he believes that it is the skills and the passion of the person which determines quality, whereas one commonly believes that it is the territory alone.
Exclusivity is another key element. Some of the suppliers chosen by Splendide’s chef, in fact, are small producers that allow him to offer the highest quality ingredients, which in some cases are grown exclusively for his cuisine.
Finally, originality is Domenico’s signature on the plate: the presentation, the balanced composition of the various ingredients and the contrast of flavours make his creations unique.
To accomplish this gastronomic evolution, Domenico has traced his route orientating himself with the values that for him represent the cardinal points of culinary arts. Thus he developed a kind of personal “compass” of gastronomy.
In the compass of Chef Domenico, the North is indicated by the perfect cooking, which is inspired by the cooking methods used by Pascal Barbot, Chef Patron of Astrance restaurant in Paris, 3 Michelin stars.
The perfect cooking takes place in full respect of the ingredients; they must be gradually brought to a specific, appropriate temperature—which is different for each food—in order to preserve their aromas and leave their nutritional values unaltered.
The West is indicated by the extractions, inspired by the art of Yannick Alléno, Chef awarded 3 Michelin stars and founder of a gastronomic group that gathers 16 restaurants around the world. Alléno has reinvented the fumets, developed in the seventeenth century by Chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne, which ever since have remained the unchanged foundation of haute cuisine.
In the preparation of the fumets, all ingredients are combined from the very beginning. Contrarily, with the refined technique that he has adopted, Domenico extracts the essence of each ingredient and then afterwards finely assembles their flavours. With this meticulous process of blending flavours—which may bring to mind that of the Scotch whiskies—it is possible to create a perfect balance with the food that the extractions accompany.
The East of the compass is indicated by genuineness, inspired by Alain Ducasse—probably the most famous chef in the world, whose restaurants have a total of 21 Michelin stars. The humblest foods—such as cereals, legumes, vegetables—are the new stars of the culinary revolution of Ducasse, who believes that a natural eating habit means “to respect the planet, follow the changes of the seasons, support organic farming and take care of people’s health.”
This new gastronomic approach enhances the use of genuine products and is almost exclusively based on fish, vegetables and grains—just like the traditional cuisine of Domenico’s Southern Italian origins.
The South of Domenico’s compass is indicated by memory, as he strives to bring the flavours of his childhood back to life. With his cooking the Chef aims to create an experience that goes beyond the pure organoleptic aspects. Tasting Domenico’s dishes one has to sense his gastronomic journey, a culinary bridge between “two Souths”: South of Switzerland and South of Italy.
Along with each of his creations, Domenico puts on the table his strong desire to convey an emotion, this extraordinarily intimate sensation that invades those that experience it and that infinitely exceeds the intrinsic pleasure of eating, from which it resulted.
The result he wishes to achieve is in fact that the flavours of his creations remain etched in the memory of those who savour his dishes—just as they have remained etched in his memory, ever since he savoured them for the first time.