Sunday, 12 July 2009

What to do if you think to be an “Italian Chef”

Unfortunately and for many reasons, there is a big confusion abroad regarding the Italian cuisine, that’s why we must present an authentic cuisine offering dishes normally served in a restaurant in Italy avoiding to work with that typical tricky mentality: “by the way they don’t understand what they are eating”.

It’s so easy to find in the menus some dishes classified, abroad, as gems of our glorious culinary tradition, but in effect…

1) Don’t add in the menu the “Caesar Salad”, delicious, but Mexican

2) Don’t precook the pasta or the rice for risotto, if the time to delivery a dish made with them it’s a real problem, use home made pasta which cooks in two minutes or, if the pasta must be absolutely precooked, use those shapes that resist well as penne, orecchiette, malloreddus and, after cooking “al dente”, don’t wash it under running water, but toss it with some oil and cool down at room temperature, for the spaghetti, the client has to wait!
The portions must be regular and it not a good idea to write on the menu small, medium, large, we are not speaking about under wear, as well as it happens with the diameter of the pizza… the pizza is pizza and has to fit inside a pizza plate which is only one size.

3) Don’t serve garlic bread, eventually make a absolutely normal “bruschetta”, not with butter and chopped garlic, but extra virgin olive oil and a very light scent of garlic (fettunta).

4) Write the menu with a correct spelling and avoid ridiculous names as beef tenderloin “alla Sofia Loren” or tagliatelle “alla Pavarotti”, and you cannot imagine how many others more...

5) Use only quality extra virgin olive oil and good red or white vinegar, avoid the fake balsamic vinegar and chemical treaty oils, like the truffle oil.

6) The cream is excellent... in the pastry.

7) Don’t add in the menu the spaghetti with bolognese sauce, but the “tagliatelle with ragu” and make the bolognese sauce (ragu) as God orders.
Also the “two kilometers menus” are pretty ridiculous, divided in sections as: spaghetti with tomato sauce, spaghetti with tomato sauce and basil, spaghetti with tomato sauce, basil and cream and other ten dishes with spaghetti, then penne with fresh tomato sauce, penne with dried tomato sauce, penne with pesto, and so on… escalope with white whine sauce, escalope with marsala sauce, escalope with porcini sauce… (?!?)

8) Don’t serve lukewarm bread, don’t serve bread with oil and fake balsamic vinegar, or bread accompanied with roasted garlic.

9) There is too much confusion regarding the “ tagliatelle all’Alfredo”, if it is well done, it is simply delicious: pasta butter and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (not parmesan, please).

10) Don’t put garlic every where and don’t serve Parmigiano-Reggiano with seafood based pastas or risottos.

11) Don’t use the French cuisine (absolutely excellent) thinking to do better the Italian one.

12) Avoid the red and white tablecloths and the folded paper napkins inside the glasses, the garlic hanging from the ceiling or the empty Chianti wine bottles, don’t cook the "cutlet Milanese" in the fat fryer, don’t use the pasta that cook in the oven (for example the lasagna), don’t serve the pizza with pineapple, cappuccino and latte macchiato with the desserts are really out and the grappa cannot be served chilled.

Just few suggestions:
1) Ripe tomatoes and fresh herbs
2) Bread with the crispy crust
3) Pasta and rice “al dente”
4) Seasonal products
6) Salads with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar
7) Home made desserts and ice creams
8) Typical cheeses and cured meats
9) Home made pasta
10) High quality caffe’ espresso
11) Italian chef and restaurant manager
12) Drinks list with Italian wines, grappas and liquors

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