March 24, 2017
Enrico Crippa trained under some of the most renowned chefs in Europe. Christian Willer, Ghislaine Arabian, Antoine Westermann, Michel Bras and Ferran Adrià are among the masters who have inspired his career. He started in the restaurant business when he was 16 and, at the age of 25, left for Japan to work for three years as Executive Chef in restaurants in Kobe and Osaka. It was there he learnt to appreciate the elegance and simplicity of Japanese cuisine.
Back in Europe, in 2003, he began working at Ristorante Piazza Duomo, where he displayed and developed his distinctive and imaginative style and during which time, 2012 to be precise, he added a third Michelin star to those he was awarded in 2006 and 2009.
He takes pride in his personal relationship with all his suppliers. The products used in his cooking are as local as it gets, everything is sourced from within 50 kilometers of the restaurant, which is why his dishes have the distinctive taste Langhe and Piedmont at their heart.
How would you define your style?
Green: My style of cooking is based around vegetables, sprouts, salad and flowers. My aim is to make the vegetables the centre of the dish. I love to create new dishes and get inspiration from our own garden.
What does perfection mean to you? Does a Michelin Star chef need to be obsessed with perfection?
I am a very meticulous person and I think my dishes should all be well defined and precise. For me, it’s not about being obsessed, it is the natural path of my own work.
Working so many hours a week, for so many customers coming from such different places, how do you manage to personalize your dishes?
I work. All the time I spend in the kitchen with my team is dedicated to personalizing the dishes. Over the years, we’ve learned how to better understand our customers and it’s very important to think and to be able to personalize dishes for them.
How important are local ingredients in your culinary creations?
We are in a very lucky region; we have all the best raw material of Piedmont. We have special meat, good wines, good cheese and local products that are very important to our kitchen. We are really keen on finding new, small local producers. My cooking is innovative, but it is improved by local ingredients.
Most of what you use in the kitchen comes from within a radius of 50 kilometers. What is the relationship with your suppliers?
The relationship with our suppliers is very familiar and respectful. We respect the work they do for always being of the highest standard and they respect our dedication to our work.
Where can we notice the regional influence that Langhe and Piedmont have in your work?
There is always a regional signature in my work and in my dishes. It could be just one ingredient or my interpretation of a classic regional dish.
This region treasures a very rich food culture. What is new that Enrico Crippa and Piazza Duomo have brought to a cuisine with such a long-standing tradition?
I think that I’ve brought my creativity and my experiences from all around the world to create a special combination of tradition and innovation.
How has Piazza Duomo evolved since it was opened in 2005?
Piazza Duomo is always growing and evolving. I can feel the evolution day by day; what we did yesterday is completely different today, a sort of daily evolution.
France and Japan have been part of your career as a chef. How do these elements feature in your cooking?
Both cultures have a great respect for ingredients, the painstaking attention to detail and color. These are the elements you can find in my cooking.
Tell us a little bit more about Japan. You describe those 3 years as fundamental to your cooking experience. Why?
My experience in Japan was fundamental for me because it was there where I discovered an extraordinary cuisine where you can see great respect for the taste of the ingredients – full of tradition. I think that in Europe we’re probably only able to sample about 5% of Japanese cuisine.
Antoine Westermann, Michel Bras, Ferran Adrià and Gualtiero Marchesi are among your mentors. How have they have inspired you?
All the chefs that I’ve met in my life have inspired me, with their creativity and ideas. They are always an example for me.
How much do nuts and dried fruits feature in your cooking?
They are among the ingredients that we use most in our kitchen, I can’t forget that Piazza Duomo is in the heart of the hazelnut region!
You like to combine them with…?
I love to combine hazelnuts with cardoon, as I do in my signature salad (Salad 21…31…41…) and with chocolate.
Photos by Lido Vannucchi, Stefania Spadoni, Fabrizio Marchesi.Comments
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