In the second part of our interview with Enrico Crippa, we fire some quick questions and get spontaneous responses from one of Italy’s most talented chefs. Read on to discover what the chef of one of the most acclaimed restaurants in Italy, Piazza Duomo has to say about innovation, tradition, upcoming Italian chefs and his best meal ever among others.
What is the best dish you have ever created?
The salad. When someone tastes it, they become really enthusiastic. The most curious thing is that this is a dish created by a chef but there is no cooking involved.
What do you like to eat at home?
Pasta or rice because can be done very quickly, gives me energy, I can eat it before I do sport.
Do you cook at home?
Yes from time to time. I cook as much as I go out to eat.
What is something that is in a professional kitchen and which should be in a domestic home?
I would say it is a chiller. It is a piece of equipment that brings down the temperature very quickly and which is very useful if you create a sauce and you want it to last one or two days longer or also if you want to freeze something like fish which you can then cut very accurately.
Are you for tradition or innovation?
It is good, also important to work with both. To be innovative you need to know tradition. You cannot make innovation without knowing tradition. But it is much harder to cook traditional because innovation is new, there are no measurements, it is a taste that you like or you don’t like it. But if I give you a vitello tonnato, it has to be done in a certain way. There can be no hiding.
Best dish you have ever eaten?
I was in Japan, we were going from Tokyo to Kobe in a car. We stopped in a typical place to eat eel with rice. There were many dishes but for me this was it. It was exceptional and I can still remember it.
Best meal ever?
When I was in New York for the World’s 50 Best and ate at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill. For me that was the best meal because of the approach he takes.
Best book you have ever read?
For me, the first book of Michel Bras was very interesting for me. I read very little about food but when I read, I read about food and about cycling. I also recently read the story of Eddy Merck and it was a great read because I love cycling and his story is great.
Where to eat in italy and outside
You can eat well everywhere. If I want to eat fish, I know where to go but in general in Italy, I like eating everywhere. When I am not cooking myself, I love to go to La Piola in Alba which is just below Piazza Duomo.
When I go abroad, I love to eat new things. France and Spain are close by and I can go frequently but when Zaiyu Hasegawa was here he reminded me of the kitchen, the tastes, flavours and perfumes of Japan. It has really interested me in going back.
Who are the Italian chefs to follow?
Gianluca Gorini is a very good chef but there are many others including many of my colleagues who worked with me at Piazza Duomo. Then, there are also many others which are growing in stature particularly in the south of Italy. In Calabria, for example, Luca Abbruzzino is doing great things with some hardships because it is not easy to express yourself in these areas which are very conservative. But he combines the enthusiasm from the south with great produce.
You can read the full interview with Enrico Crippa here.