The new Michelin Stars assigned in this edition of the famous guide bear witness to the fact that italian cuisine continues to strive for excellence
by Francesca Ciancio
Coveted, criticised, at times even mocked, but without a doubt, powerful. It is the Michelin Restaurant Guide, also known as “The Red Guide”, the most important restaurant guide in the world. The Olympus of the three stars has been assigned to only a handful of chefs in the world, but even just one star on the chef’s coat can make a difference. Two stars are the springboard to dream about the coronation. And thus, every year, between late autumn and the beginning of winter, the date of the presentation approaches and is preceded by a star pool that generates plenty of buzz on social media and always ends in tears, for both those who rise and those who fall.
The 2022 edition takes place after many months of a sanitary emergency that deeply impacted the restaurant and catering industry, which was forced to close down many of its facilities, gradually relaunch operations that had come to a halt during the lockdown and was influenced by a strong desire to give a more human face to a profession that takes up too much time and requires many sacrifices. Awarded or not, therefore, they seem to want to indicate a new course for contemporary Italian cuisine, which changes not only in the recipes but also in the way this profession is conceived, and the Red Michelin Guide is its most important sounding-board.
If we take a look at the figures, the Italian guide for 2022 confirms the eleven 3-starred restaurants, two new 2-starred establishments, and as many as thirty-five new one-stars (of which, by the way, half is under-35 – an all-Italian record). But above all, it rewards the Italian south and assigns the only new 2-Star awards in the region of Campania: one goes to Giuseppe Iannotti with Krèsios and another to Giovanni Solofra with Tre Olivi. The latter also makes history: he is among the first to enter the Guide directly with 2 Stars. Let us begin with their story and the story of the region with most novelties: Campania. Both restaurants are located in ‘peripheral’ contexts, which once again confirms that great Italian cooking needs the healthy province to express itself fully.
Krèsios is in Telese Terme, in the province of Benevento, and it should be considered as an authentic laboratory, which produces dishes that end up directly on the table. 30-year-old Iannotti has transformed the family estate into an experimental farm with 40 citrus trees, vegetables, fruit, 200 types of aromatic herbs, and the rearing of Araucana or Bresse chickens. You need to return to the Krèsios more than once because the menus change regularly: right now, the menu features Mr. Brown, a culinary re-reading of Reservoir Dogs by Quentin Tarantino.
A RISING GASTRONOMICAL DESTINATION IS CALABRIA THANKS TO THE NEW STARS AWARDED TO ANTONIO BIAFORA’S HYDE AND TO LUIGI LEPORE WITH HIS RESTAURANT BY THE SAME NAME.
In the province of Salerno, on the other hand, in Paestum to be precise, we find Giovanni Solofra’s Tre Olivi. We are in Cilento, in the homeland of the Mediterranean Diet, which was codified here by the American physician Ancel Keys in the mid-’70s. And here the new 2-starred restaurant created the first vegetable cart in Italy, all prepared in an appetizing and healthy way. No doubt, this is a homage to the southern Italian way of cooking, where vegetables have always been a worthy contribution to every dish, even when the menu featured fish or meat.
Among the most interesting novelties – and something you should jot down on your notebook of mandatory gastronomical visits – are the restaurants owned by two chefs from Calabria, Antonio Biafora’s Hyle and Luigi Lepore’s restaurant which bears his name. Both hereby receive their first Michelin star, which draws the attention of gourmands onto one of the regions with the richest gastronomical heritage in Italy, Calabria.
INCREASINGLY INTERESTING IS THE GASTRONOMICAL PROPOSAL
IN THE ITALIAN PROVINCES, AS IN THE CASE OF NOLANO AND SOMMA VESUVIANA WITH FRANCESCO FRANZESE E GIUSEPPE MOLARO, RESPECTIVELY CHEFS OF THE RESTAURANTS REAR AND CONTAMINAZIONI.
Going back to Campania, and again to the province, we meet Francesco Franzese and Giuseppe Molaro, chefs at the restaurant Rear in Nola and Contaminazioni in Somma Vesuviana respectively. The former trained with Joël Robuchon in Paris and then with Giorgio Locatelli in London; the latter was a Proconsul in Tokyo of 3-star chef Heinz Beck and now works with an Italian-Japanese cuisine which is true integration and not just fusion.
Sardinia goes from two starred locations to five. The award for Best young Chef goes to Apulia, to Solaika Marrocco, who conquers one Michelin Star with her Primo Restaurant in Lecce. All the proposals by these chefs are distinguished by the high quality of the ingredients.
We were talking about the triumph of the Italian south and also Sardinia stages a more than respectable performance: the island goes from two-starred locations to five. Somu in Arzachena, Fradis Minoris in the province of Cagliari, and Gusto by Sadler in San Teodoro obtain their first Michelin Star. For Sadler, it is already the second star as he maintained the one already attributed to the historical establishment in Milan.
Even the prize for Best young chef remains in South Italy with Solaika Marrocco who also conquers the Michelin star with her Primo Restaurant in Lecce. Moving up through the peninsula, it is worth stopping at L’Acciuga by chef Marco Lagrimino, which brings a star to Perugia after twenty years.
In Moneglia, Liguria, chef Jorg Giubbani, not yet 30 years old, celebrates the triumph of the vegetable garden at Orto for a green culinary culture in the name of sustainability. A new star was also assigned in the Ligurian capital with the restaurant San Giorgio in Genoa, a success belonging to Danilo Scala, patron and conceiver of a monumental wine list.
THE GASTRONOMICAL SCENE IN VENICE GROWS IN ITS HIGH CUISINE PROPOSALS. AMONG THE MOST INTERESTING NAMES ARE ZANZE XVI
BY NICOLA DINATO, WISTÈRIA BY SIMONE SELVA,
AND LOCAL BY MATTEO TAGLIAPIETRA
On the Renon upland, where he was born in 1988 and grown-up, Stephan Zippl personally takes care of the kitchen of the Parkhotel Holzner. Zippl seeks contrast to balance it, and he experiments with new flavors and unexplored areas.
Even Venice stocked up on prizes, once again refuting the belief that the city of the Lagoon is nothing but a place for fixed tourist menus: Nicola Dinato’s Zanze XVI, Wistèria by Simone Selva, and Local by Matteo Tagliapietra are revolutionising cuisine in the world’s most famous city. Lastly, among the peaks of the Dolomites, South Tyrol reasserts itself as a land of extraordinary and experimental raw materials.
IN SOUTH TYROL THE STARS KEEP SHINING STRONGER,
NOW WITH THE ADDITION OF THE AWARD FOR BEST SOMMELIER TO SONJA EGGER FROM THE RESTAURANT KUPPELRAIN IN CASTELBELLO.
Under the 3-starred leadership of Norbert Niederkofler’s St. Hubertus, new starred chefs appear, such as in Appiano with Alessandro Bellingeri’s L’Acquarol, in Bolzano with the restaurant at the Hotel Holzner run by Stephan Zippl, and with Sonja Egger from the restaurant Kuppelrain in Castelbello, this year’s best sommelier, according to the Red Guide. One of the few women who have stepped on the stage of the 2022 Michelin Guide. In fact, regarding this point, we still have a long road ahead – whether paved with stars or not.
(Michelin Stars, the value of a Star – Barchemagazine.com – March 2022)