A virtual and playful challenge takes place between Pinerolo and Venaria. The former is the historic Piedmontese capital of the cavalry; the latter boasts the unparalleled Reggia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each boasts a starred chef, as recently confirmed by the 2022 Michelin Guide: Christian Milone from Trattoria Zappatori* and Alfredo Russo from Dolce Stil Novo alla Reggia*. In the context of “Eccellenze del Piemonte in vetrina” (Showcasing Piedmont’s Excellences), they both tested themselves in pairing products and culinary traditions from around Turin with white truffle from Alba and wines from the same area.
This area indeed offers a wide and precious variety of products. Turin is the best for chocolate and pastry, as well as for Vermouth; the plain is rich in dairy and vegetable farms and medicinal herbs; the hills produce important wines; the valleys offer amazing cheeses made in alpine dairies, refined fruit such as marrone chestnut from Valle di Susa, particular cured meats like mustardela, salame di turgia and salampatata from the Canavese area.
For Milone, a pupil of three-star chef Enrico Crippa from Alba and creative chef, the truffle tartare remains classic, while agnolotti del plin must have an out-of-the-box pairing with Andezeno onion, Orbassano red celery, rice and Bra sausage. Piedmontese beef sirloin is surrounded by potatoes with alpine butter and chard. The “99% hazelnut” dessert pays tribute to the Langhe area. The wonderful show of wines includes: Erbaluce di Caluso Docg Spumante, sparkling Freisa di Chieri Doc, Pinerolese Doc Ramìe, Caluso Docg Passito.
In keeping with the magnificent Reggia di Venaria hosting him, in his kitchen Russo mixes his extreme respect for the past with the elegance of new and stimulating textures. Russian salad – a classic for Piedmontese mothers – becomes creamy thanks to a mayonnaise mousse. Vitello tonnato is old-style, but accompanied by citrus fruit caramel. Eggs dress up with a Toma di Lanzo cheese mousse with white truffle. Lime-scented tortelli stropicciati are filled with white meat and parmigiano. Sanato, the softest calf meat, is baked in an herb crust and coloured by an emulsion of salsa verde sauce. And because we save the best for last, as pre-dessert we have a delicate and typically Piedmontese, yet tangerine-scented panna cotta paving the way for a zuccotto made with Turin’s Bicerìn and served with a light Chantilly cream. A triumph of subalpine flavour, accompanied by Piemonte Brut Rosé, red Monferrato and Nizza superiore wines.
“Eccellenze del Piemonte in vetrina” is a project supported by Regione Piemonte and included in the programme of the 91st edition of Alba’s International White Truffle Fair. It is organized by VisitPiemonte - Regional Marketing and Promotion, Alba’s International White Truffle Fair Organization, Local Tourist Agencies in Piedmont and the Regional Enoteche (Wine Centres).