Carlo Cracco Expo Milan

Carlo Cracco Expo Milan

Carlo Cracco Expo Milan

Elaborate dishes, slow cooking and expensive ingredients? Forget it. The most acclaimed chef of the moment, Carlo Cracco, when he’s hungry eats bread and salami or a piadina, and as for his kids (all four of them), he cooks them lasagne. But the bottom line is clear: respect what you eat.

You wrote a book on Italian regional recipes: A qualcuno piace Cracco (Some Like Cracco). So what would you serve at your restaurant to a visitor from abroad, here in Milan for Expo Milano 2015, who has never eaten real Italian cooking?
I would say a good risotto, perhaps with saffron. As a final touch I would add some grué cocoa and coriander sauce.
You are one of the Ambassadors of Expo Milano 2015 and Roberto Maroni has appointed you the Ambassador of Taste for the Lombardy Region. What were the first “acts” of your new role?
A little while ago, together with the other ambassadors, we were at the first official meeting with all of the foreign delegations to discuss the next steps to be taken to promote our territory.
Your best known book is titled Se vuoi fare il figo usa lo scalogno (If You Want to Be Cool, Use Shallots) Here is a riddle for you. Complete the sentence, thinking about the theme of Expo Milano 2015 Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life: “If you want to be cool …”
If you want to be cool, respect what you eat!

Which of the foreign Pavilions pique your curiosity the most and which will you be visiting as soon as the doors open for the Universal Exposition?
I expect a lot from Japan and the African countries.

A third of the food produced worldwide is wasted. Can you give some practical advice to reducing waste in the kitchen?
Get proper training, beginning with children, on how to eat and how to do the shopping. All that’s needed is a little attention when buying food and a few secrets to use up leftovers.

You have become a new Dad again: what is a good recipe for children?
My children love lasagne.

You  are always cooking for others, but what is your daily diet?
I am never without bread and sausage in the fridge at home.

We saw you on the cover of GQ with a stunning nude model who is holding a fish. Has becoming a sex symbol created problems?
I don’t think I’m a sex symbol.

What is your guilty pleasure when eating?
A piadina romagnola.

Do you ever go on a diet?
I always try to limit myself.

What is your favorite “ethnic” ingredient?
Fresh turmeric.

Which spice is essential in the kitchen?

I really like contrasts because often two flavors together such as capers and licorice can be really explosive for the palate.
In your opinion, what will this Universal Exposition leave us? 
Greater awareness and the desire to do a good job, trying to promote it as much as possible around the world.
The man who loves eggs
Columbus’s egg? No, Cracco’s egg.  (L’Uovo di Colombo – Columbus’s egg is an expression used in Italian,  referring to  finding a simple solution to a seemingly impossible problem) It’s a simple ingredient that the chef loves and it is the focus of one of his  most famous dishes. In the recipe, the yoke is marinated and then lightly breaded and fried, accompanied by a light Parmesan fondue. In one of his most unusual books, La quadratura dell’uovo (Squaring the egg)  he offers four recipes to experience the simple egg in a new form, that of a square.

Who is he?
Those who know him simply as the tough judge of Masterchef Italy should also know that Carlo Cracco has worked hard all his life to carve out a place in the history of great Italian cuisine. A Vicentino globetrotter, he was born in 1965, and as a graduate in hotel management landed himself a place in the kitchens of Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan. But his calling was to see the world and he followed his instinct: first working with Alain Ducasse in Monaco, then Alain Senderens in Paris, and finally in Florence, at the Enoteca Pinchiorri, winner of 3 Michelin stars in 1994, after having learned the best of world cuisines, felt the need to go home, back to his first teacher, next to Gualtiero Marchesi at the Albereta di Erbusco, in Franciacorta. After two years he felt ready to fly solo, running the first of his own restaurants, Le Clivie Piobesi d’Alba (Cuneo), which in one year won a star. In 2001, a new Cracco-Peck chapter began in Milan, winning two Michelin stars for three years running, and becoming his own restaurant, then named in his honor. After much work back in the kitchen, a new era begins with Cracco as the unstoppable showman: as author, TV presenter, testimonial for a variety of products; and as Ambassador of Expo Milano 2015, enthusiastically promoting the themes of the Universal Exposition, talking about respect for ingredients, haute cuisine and sustainability.

Source: Expo Magazine -4th  december 2014

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