Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

He presented his book (“La Cucina Creativa Mediterranea”) in his hometown, Naples, on Wednesday December 13th.

This is an exciting time for the chef of the Castello di Spaltenna’s restaurant Il Pievano (Gaiole in Chianti), Vincenzo Guarino: the confirmation of the Michelin star, the amazing “Dining with the Stars” event in the Castle and, now, his book.

This is also presented on the video you see above. The book has three main ingredients: family, memory and friendship.

Chef, how important is memory in your daily work?

“The central focus of the book is family, friendship and also the values and sacrifices that are part of my profession. It’s not a classic recipe book. There are thirty recipes, but this book is mainly about friendship. Four colleagues of mine have created a menu, from starters to desserts, which is part of the book. It’s a work of real passion and illustrates who I am, who we are”.

What does high level cuisine mean to you?

“In means food quality, knowledge of the territory (in my case, Tuscany has become my second home), direct relationships with suppliers, and understanding when the raw materials are available.” And I say it again, it’s extremely important to be able to count on friends when working. I think of the meat butchering process and my collaboration with Simone Fracassi, which is based on clarity, honesty and competence. Or the research of the best cheeses made with Andrea De Magi. A mutual growth, based on human values”.

Is the Michelin Star, once obtained, more of a joy or a burden?

“At first it’s a great joy, but it can also be a real burden. It’s not easy to obtain it or keep it. I got the stars in three different restaurants, and I can say that the owners also have to believe in it, because they have to put their trust into those who work in the kitchen. This year in Gaiole in Chianti, we’ve increased our turnover by 30%, and I am honoured that we have had great success with external customers as well as from the hotel guests”.

Has Chianti had an affect on your work? And how did you affect it?

“We use locally produced food and serve it on traditional ceramic from the area. I’ve travelled around the world, even in these last few days, and I’ve been creating a fusion between the Campania cuisine (I come from a coastal area) and that of Tuscany (which has adopted me.) There is a historic dish, “La Campania incontra la Toscana” (“Campania meets Tuscany”) that represents this combination, but also the “pappa al pomodoro” the Tuscan tomato and bread soup in which we include prawns and buffalo mozzarella. It’s not easy to do it: you need technique and experience in top-level kitchens”.

Matteo Pucci