KITCHEN STORIES - SIMONE TRICARICO

The Chef of the Fioraio Bianchi Caffè, Simone Tricarico talks about his choice to transform a need into taste and his relationship with cold cuts

Young but with great experiences behind him: Simone Tricarico is the chef of the Fioraio Bianchi in Milan and after a long experience abroad, to learn from great chefs such as Ducasse, Barbot, Bras, he began his Milanese career in a magical place, which tells of flowers, tradition and great character. A place that manages to mix the history of the city center with a gastronomic forward looking vision.

A place that manages to mix the history of the city center with a gastronomic forward looking vision.

Cured meats, for Simone, are an inspiration and a memory. He has great respect for those who produce them, so much that he only uses them 'in purity' when he decides to include them in his preparations, to avoid distorting their flavor and consistency.

For Salumi Pasini he gave character to radishes with a cream of lard, for a crunchy and soft aperitif full of flavor. And then he thought of a spiny artichoke stuffed with Salumi Pasini guanciale.

Why did you choose this profession?

The decisive episode for choosing this job is linked to my family: I wanted to make what for my family was just a human need, becoming something more.

The primary purpose is to feed, of course, but the second is taste. Cooking at home was only responding to the need to feed, but I always thought, from 8 to 10 years, that there should be something more.

You have traveled extensively abroad: have you often met cold cuts at the tables of the great chefs?

When I was at Ducasse, there was mainly pancetta (bacon). At Pascal Barbot a great classic was the croque-monsieur which was prepared for the staff meal. We stuffed it with an artisanal cooked ham, produced by a friend of the chef: he wanted to help him and, even if he did not use it in the starred restaurant menu, he served it to us and from time to time he reserved it for some friends who came to visit him. I remember it was very good.

What is your first memory related to cold cuts?

For me, cured meats were the equivalent of Saturday lunch, because mom bought the cold cuts from the delicatessen shop. It was one of the few moments when we all ate together.

I don't know why, but we never ate them on Sunday.Anyway, “the” cold cut, at home, was identified with Parma ham at the beginning: my dad's favorite.

How do you use the cold cuts in your kitchen?

I think cured meats should be touched as little as possible, if they have been produced with criteria. So our job must be exclusively to select the person and the product, and then to use creativity. But “touching” them as little as possible.

What are your favorite cold cuts?

I love culatello, 'nduja, perhaps because it is very similar to sopressata in taste. And then it reminds me of a condiment we made in Paris that had inside the chorizo. It is a taste of memory.

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