Messina, inside, morning. TO Rigatoni House, Margherita Pizza And Galvano they are having breakfast sitting at their kitchen table. Margherita absently eats cereals drowned in a cup of soy drink, while she is intent on reading something from her laptop; Galvano stares at her silently through his peanut cream and blueberry jam bread, chewing slowly.
M: So, who you decided for Milan, will you come with me or do you stay here to water the plants?
G: If you want me to stay watering the plants, say so.
M: My cousin or my mother can do it.
G: So why do you seem reluctant to me?
M: Because I have to go there for work and I will practically live in the gallery, surrounded by paintings. For a change.
G: Have you ever seen me get bored?
M: No, that’s the point. I know how dangerous you would be in that city and I have no intention of knowing you for restaurants, while I will have to eat sandwiches on the fly, between a smile of circumstance and another.
G: So that’s the problem here. You are envious.
M: Can one be envious of one’s husband?
G: You seem to be.
M: Impossible. My husband is an idiot.
G: Your husband has just made a little program for Milan that will make you die of envy.
G: Aren’t you curious?
M: Of course they are. So, next time we go to Milan, you will come too and we will be well organized.
G: I don’t understand.
M: Indeed, I rephrase it. If I like your little program, as you called it, this time you stay at home and we will follow it together when we can go back. If I don’t like it, you come along too but you do it yourself.
G: And who would have decided?
M: Come on, don’t be offended and tell me what you would have in mind.
G: Do you remember that guy who claimed to only see movies with Denzel Washington?
M: Yes, why?
G: I was inspired by him.
M: Will you spend all your time watching movies with Denzel Washington?
G: No. We met that guy one evening in a fish shop. Therefore, I thought of going where they have the fish-based courses that intrigue me the most.
M: In Milan?
M: Weren’t you the one who says you should mostly use local ingredients? I say, I imagine that in Milan they will easily have the best fish in Italy. It will be cooler there than in Ganzirri, in moments. But, in fact, I don’t think he is from the place. Yes, that with climate change you can never know and now, perhaps, Lombardy has become an island.
G: Meanwhile, as I always tell you, I like to contradict myself. Furthermore, the catch will not be exactly local but something tells me that they know how to treat, respect and value it. Like, take it Iyo and Aalto…
M: Well, I knew it.
M: That you would tell me about them. You’re obsessed with those two clubs.
G: And not wrongly. Iyo is not only a choice to save hours and hours of flying in order to eat excellent sushi, but also a restaurant that must be tried, even if you have a beach house in Tokyo.
M: Beach house in Tokyo?
G: You understand what I mean. And in Tokyo the sea is there, if I’m not mistaken.
M: The fish. We are talking about fish. Where the hell do they get the fish?
G: Well, the red umbrella, for example, is from the Gargano. She is bred, of course, but organically and only on order. The eel is from Comacchio, the pink oyster Tarbouriech is from Veneto, the salmon is from the Faroe Islands, while the red prawns are from Mazara and the tuna is purchased only from certified boats. ikejime.
M: So Lombardy hasn’t become an island yet?
G: I don’t think so, no. I believe, then, that we would have noticed.
G: So, are you interested in my purpose: two Sicilians who go to eat fish in Milan?
M: You keep telling me about it and I evaluate. Also because at the moment I only understood that at Iyo and, I guess, also at Aalto they have real fish but I still don’t understand why we should go there. I mean: allomakase by Iyo, thanks to the master Masashi Suzuki, you can find the true tradition of Edomae-zushi, and at the Iyo experience, as they call it, you can also find the ideal declination in the contemporary world of Japanese cuisine; but why do I have to go there? And the same goes for Aalto or for 28 seats, a place that has always intrigued me a lot. Because? And don’t tell me to have an experience. Enough of this history of experiences. We live, therefore we experience, if we are able to be aware of them.
G: But in this way you question the whole food and wine a little bit.
M: No, I’m trying to question your obsession with this world.
G: Do you want a why? I’m curious, I feel that those restaurants have something to tell me. Everything will have something to tell us, alright. But cooking does it with perhaps the most primordial language we know.
M: With all the techniques now speak primordial?
G: Yes, with all the techniques that the kitchen has managed to develop. It’s a little bit like the quality of the sound: you take away the noise, you get to the bottom of the flavor. And, going back to fish, is there a more ancestral food for us humans? Maybe yes maybe no. It certainly has a sea of things to reveal to us and in Milan, at Iyo, you can experience the union of an essential culture like the Japanese one and a tremendously intense one that knows how to harmonize the most disparate aspects.
M: And the latter would be the Italian one.
G: At least that’s how I see it. And then it’s not about the union of just two cultures, they have people from all over the world in their brigade. Like the founder Claudio Liu and the chefs are keen to reiterate, theirs is not a fusion cuisine but a contemporary and international cuisine. In short, do you want to make an alien taste the cuisine of planet Earth? Then take it to Iyo: with the chef Giampiero Brotzu, the sushi chef Katsumi Soga and the master pastry chef Luca de Santi. Even just to make him eat with chopsticks and cutlery. And then take the alien to Aalto. Indeed, above all, from Aalto where freedom becomes a paradigm, where the chef Takeshi Iwai can tell My cuisine is not fusion, but plays with different cultures. All. Don’t you want to bring us the alien? Then bring me, at least for the sour risotto with sakura flowers and kombu and oyster ice cream quenelles.
M: How did we go from that story of the two Sicilians in Milan to that of the alien? One thing at a time, please.
G: All right. Let’s not talk about aliens and let’s talk about me.
M: And your narcissism.
G: I didn’t mean it that way.
G: No, I was referring to the other places I would like to try.
M: You are right to use the conditional.
G: You talked about earlier 28 places.
M: Yes, in my opinion, it is a really nice place, attentive to the sea, as far as social matters are concerned. The renovation work was in fact entrusted, in collaboration with the NGO Liveinslums Onlus, to some inmates of the Milan-Bollate prison, as well as the realization of part of the furnishings. Then I like the chef a lot, Marco Ambrosino, of Procida. When I used to tell you that going to restaurants is no longer just an experience, I was thinking of Marco’s cuisine. In this there is a story, yes, but not the classic one of experiences or emotions. These come later. He puts himself at the service of a message. For Ambrosino speaking of sustainability does not make much sense, because, in the end, the catering is truly sustainable? It is a question of reducing waste to the bare minimum and Marco’s is practically nil. With just one fish you can almost make a menu: the central part, the fillets, for the main course and the scraps for the others. Or a more prized fish for the main courses and a poorer one for the appetizers. On the other hand, as he himself is keen to say, in the Mediterranean there are a sea of edible species but we always eat the usual ten. Here is where a meal becomes training.
G: So that’s why, from 28 seats, you have to go through the kitchen to access the room.
M: Yes, the place was born and that’s how it was conceived. Then, the menus, which change six times a year, are themed. What will begin on September 21, for example, will be on preservation, in salt and in honey. While, two months after this, the main topic of the next menu will be feeding in navigation, on ships, therefore with a lot of fat and a lot of spices. Ah, and they have one mostly natural paper, as well as a dessert to try absolutely: ricotta, pollen, citrus peel ash and bottarga.
G: How do you know all these things?
M: Well, what I didn’t tell you is that I’m trying to hand the catering of the opening night of the show to them.
M: While the closing dinner a Langosteria.
G: I want to go by Langosteria Bistrot.
M: You always look like a child when you do that.
G: I’m serious.
M: Me too, you’re very sweet.
G: Anyway, I was saying: I want to try the bistro version of Langosteria, which now seems to me a piece of living history of Milan. And also from Langosteria Café. Then from Wicky’s.
M: Which is another Japanese-inspired restaurant.
G: Yes. But Wicky Priyan he is Sinhalese and his cuisine also tastes international to me. I know, he has a dish on his menu called Sheep salmon: salmon carpaccio, aged Sardinian pecorino, ginger consommé, shiso ume powder, chives, extra virgin olive oil. Or anchovies marinated in champagne. Or i Maki Sicilian gold, four maki of red prawns from Mazara with yuzu cream, gold leaf and black sturgeon caviar. Yes, I admit that the fish from Milan that intrigues me the most speaks very oriental, as well as procidano.
M: I see it.
G: So, have I convinced you? Can I come to Milan too?
M: Not now. In the meantime, I am going there alone, because I will do nothing but work. Then, when I’m freer, we’ll be back.
G: But can’t you extend the trip?
M: Why do you make me repeat the same things over and over again? As soon as I finish there, I have to go back to Sicily. Besides, don’t worry about me. I have already told you about the catering and you will see that I will console myself with pantaste from The Tasteria, which as you know, are also in Milan, and with the delivery of Bentoteca. They will do bentō based on fish, right? And maybe I’ll accompany him to one of Valeria Mosca’s hard-boiled ones, le Selvatiq.
G: I can’t stand you. In fact, I hate you. I hate you.
M: What was that talk about envy like?
G: I don’t follow you.
M: Didn’t you say that I was going to die of envy?
- Iyo Experience: Via Piero della Francesca 74, 20154, Milan
- Iyo Omakase: Piazza Alvar Aalto / Viale della Liberazione 15, 20124, Milan
- Aalto: Piazza Alvar Aalto / Viale della Liberazione 15, 20124, Milan
- 28 Places: Via Corsico 1, 20144, Milan
- Langosteria: Via Savona 10, 20144, Milan
- Langosteria Bistrot: Via Privata Bobbio 2, 20144, Milan
- Langosteria Cafè: Galleria del Corso 4, 20122, Milan
- Wicky’s Innovative Japanese Cuisine: Corso Italia 6, 20122, Milan
- La Tasteria Gourmet Sicily: Via San Fermo 1, 20121, Milan
- Bentoteca: Via S. Calocero 3, 20123, Milan
- Selvatiq: Via Vincenzo Bellini 11, 20122 Milan