Massimiliano Mascia, chef of the restaurant San Domenico in Imola, is the interpreter of a constantly evolving local cuisine, with new techniques at the service of tradition
text and pictures by Paolo Picciotto
San Domenico is restaurant with a long-standing tradition, always attentive to raw materials, boasting a high attention to detail and impeccable hospitality, all coordinated by the chef, assisted by a close-knit and extremely capable team, both in the kitchen and in the dining hall.
«DISHES LIKE THE EGG IN SAN DOMENICO RAVIOLO WITH MOUNTAIN BUTTER, SWEET PARMESAN CHEESE AND TRUFFLE ARE ICONS THAT ARE CONSTANTLY ON DEMAND AND NEED NO MODIFICATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE PERFECT AS THEY ARE. PRESERVING THESE DISHES WITHOUT VARIATIONS AND INCLUDING THEM IN THE DAILY MENU IS A SIGN OF RESPECT FOR CUSTOMERS WHO CONTINUE TO ORDER THEM».
Massimiliano Mascia has travelled around Italy and the world to broaden his horizons, working alongside Gianfranco Vissani at Ristorante Vissani and Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenée.
Two Michelin stars for a restaurant whose roots are firmly planted in the great cuisine of the past, but which never fails to look beyond thanks to the inventiveness and creativity of its chef, Massimiliano Mascia. Founded over 50 years ago and based on a brilliant intuition by Gianluigi Morini, Nino Bergese and Valentino Marcattilii, it is still a family run restaurant where Massimiliano, Valentino’s grandson, embodies the new generation.
There are other untouchable dishes on the menu, such as the goose liver Mattonella with apple puree and Port wine jelly with pan brioche, the veal with bacon and vodka sauce, the Fiorentina cake made with cocoa short-bread biscuits and egg-free cocoa cream.
Today, the San Domenico comes with completely renovated kitchens thanks to a project involving Italian companies and master pottery makers from Imola. One of the main innovations will be the chef’s table where guests can enjoy their dinner while watching the kitchen brigade perform their magic live. The other option for those in search of privacy and tranquillity is to eat in one of Italy’s most precious wine cellars
Max’s dishes include the porcini mushroom and ovule salad, reduction with Carpano classico and truffle, oysters, celery root broth with hazelnut butter and celery leaf oil, mackerel fillet, topinambour puree, red beet and stale bread soufflé, risotto with quail, beetroot and coffee powder, and the coffee bar and salted peanut praline.
(Massimiliano Mascia, Ongoing evolution – Barchemagazine.com – December 2022)