Changing with the Times

This salone edition required a lot of walking.  After wandering through narrow pathways and intercity art installations, I arrived at Del Cambio Restaurant in Piazza Carignano.  Early to class I decided to sit in what they refer to as their Pharmacy.  A cozy area with apothecary styling providing  take-away confections, pastries and beverages presented as tonics of old.  The multi-functional space serves as a breakfast stop, a quick lunch pick up or as a gathering spot for the infamous aperitivo hour.

Drawn like a fish to water, I seated myself at a windowed counter where the entire bustling kitchen was in view.  An eclectic crew worked seamlessly cleaning and preparing, only aware of onlookers as necessary.  The culinary aquarium effect was embellished with details such as an ear tattoo, birkenstocks and an array of scars.

For our class, we checked in at the restaurant’s main dining room.  The friendly staff provided us with aprons, folders, note taking supplies and ushered us into the kitchen.  Pristine countertops and an attentive cook set the stage for Chef Matteo Baronetto.  Soft spoken, passionate and professional, Chef Baronetto walked us through his culinary beliefs, the foundation for his kitchen and the recipe we would be preparing for the day.

Chef Baronetto embodies the simplicity I adore in Italian cuisine.  They have a knack for taking ingredients as they are and making them the best versions of themselves without too much alteration.  The skilled hand that creates elegance and decadence from a few simple ingredients such as an egg, flour, eggplant and fat is deserving of praise.

The student roster was a mix of bloggers, food enthusiasts, home cooks and other various professionals.  Each pupil was shown how to stretch pasta to the perfect thickness to wrap a frozen egg yolk.  Our chef explained how he slow roasted his eggplants (435F for an hour) before making them into the puree we would be using.  We each fried a dough encased yolk and sampled the final dish.

I fell in love with the recipe instantly.  I took mental notes as to the advantages of such an inexpensive yet incredibly versatile set of ingredients.  The presentation was striking with a lovely attention to detail.  Through sight and taste it was the perfect conveyance of what I believe Chef Matteo Baronetto tries to accomplish with his restaurant concept.  It was simple yet sensory provoking.

The website states a beautiful sentiment about change and respecting origin.  “Here everything remains as it is and everything is renewed.  The future has an ancient heart but it is not a museum.  Quite the opposite.  It is a place to live with all 5 senses.”

The wonderful class wrapped up with a round of autograph signing, a quick question session, reluctant returns of aprons and inspired brains leaving the restaurant happy with the experience and hungry for more.  As for me…I set off in search of my next class.

Stay tuned…


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