Le Strade della Mozzarella, aka The Streets of Mozzarella, will be coming to New York on May 16th but before it crosses the Atlantic let's take a look at Day 2 of the food festival held in the charming Southern Italian town of Paestum. In case you missed it, here's our recap from Day 1.
European chefs shined at LSDM, from celebrated Italian chefs to chefs like Ana Roš, Oriol Castro, Alexandre Gauthier, Karl and Rudi Obauer and Daniel Berlin, just to name a few.
An Irishman in Paestum: Mark Moriarty between pasta and mozzarella
The winner of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 comes from Dublin: his knowledge of pasta and mozzarella isn't much, nonetheless, his creativity was stellar. His dishes were some of the most interesting served on Day 2 of Le Strade della Mozzarella, even though he's just 24 years old.
After reinventing Italian minestrone - with gnocchi made from mozzarella, bread and Parmesan cheese - Mark used mozzarella and pasta in a dessert. He used traditional Italian ingredients and created a stunning polenta topped with mozzarella gelato and fried pasta dough. The dough is first cooked, dehydrated then fried which, Mark admits is "sacrilegeous to Italians."
Pizzaiola rice and dessert with Teff: Andrea Berton
"A chef reaches his full expressive maturity to 40." This is how Fiammetta Fadda introduced Andrea Berton during his second time around in The Streets of Mozzarella.
At his restaurant Berton, the chef has found full freedom and his greatest achievements. His complete artistic maturity is expressed in three dreamy dishes.
Following the style of his now famous tasting menu based on the stock, the chef prepared a soup using mozzarella brine as a base. The warm broth was served with mozzarella pearls, cream of broccoli and fried fish tails.
His second dish (pictured up top) was a very special type of risotto: the rice was cooked in buffalo mozzarella broth and was topped with chopped olives, powdered capers, fresh tomato and oregano. If you are dying to taste this dish head on over to Berton where it'll most likely be on the Spring menu.
His third dish was a sweet and savory dessert made with Teff sprouts, peas, amaranth and buffalo mozzarella cream.
Ana Roš and her 'Scorfanella'
After Antonia Klugmann, there was just one more female chef present at Le Strade della Mozzarella: Ana Roš. The Slovenian chef left her restaurant Hiša Franko (Kobarid/Caporetto) to talk about mozzarella. If it were up to Enzo Vizzari from Italian publication L’Espresso, Ana would be considered the best female chef of Italy.
Her dish was conceived after one day of reflection: she came to Paestum with a different dish in mind but decided to change it last minute. She followed her initial idea of preparing a thick fish soup based on mullet and redfish.
She opted to cook redfish at a low temperature in a sea of mozzarella: the result is a milky fish texture that incredibly resembles mozzarella. Redfish is called scorfano in Italian, thus this dish could officially be called scorfanella (scorfano and mozzarella).
The dish was garnished with sweet and sour onions - which speaks to the chef's signature style - 'burnt' red mullet and smoked mozzarella skin. The finish touch? Wild garlic.
From El Bulli to Le Strade della Mozzarella - Disfrutar
Disfrutar, a Spanish word meaning to enjoy, is also the name of a restaurant where you can find true happiness.
The Michelin-starred restaurant is a collaboration between El Bulli alums Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch e Matéu Casañas who found their roots after working at the legendary restaurant. First they opened Compartir in Barcelona (whose name means 'sharing') on the coast then Disfrutar in Barcelona. "After playing around with gelatin and some we decided to return to the cuisine of 'sharing'," explained Oriol Castro.
Oriol came to Le Strade della Mozzarella to talk about his experimentation with mozzarella brine water. He uses it to 'macerate' tiny pieces of mozzarella for 12 hours then serves it along with basil water.
The chef demonstrates that every part of mozzarella can be used for making everything from soups to dessert.
Pasta Pies with Tte Costardi Brothers and Elisa Bellavia
The Costardi Brothers met with "long lost sister" Elisa Bellavia, the maitre'd at Vercelli, to talk about the elements of a great restaurant. For Elisa, it begins with being honest with the client. "We should never be actors, the maitre'd should accompany guests to the table but never linger."
While Elisa engaged in a Q&A with the crowd, the Costardi Brothers prepared a delicious savory pie featuring a rice and eggplant crust and a filling of pasta, mozzarella and rice.
Stretched Buffalo Mozzarella? Franco Pepe Is A Fan
Buffalo mozzarella and pizza: a sublime pairing for the palate but one that poses a few complications for pizza makers.
"Pizza cooks in 30/40 seconds but it's not enough time to allow the mozzarella to melt," explains famed pizzaiolo Franco Pepe. His solution? Sfoglia di Bufala, a type of stretched cheese made with the same ingredients as mozzarella but containing 30% less liquid. This, in turn, allows for easy melting and gives chefs the chance to play with flavor and texture.
Chef Davide Scabin Closes Paestum with a taste of Turin
Chef Matteo Baronetto da Del Cambio was the opening act at LSDM and fellow Turin chef Davide Scabin closed the festival.
The chef of Combal.Zero brought with him a full menu based on three classic Italian ingredients: mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
One of his creative dishes was his version of "mozzarella in carrozza" (a type of fried sandwich stuffed with mozzarella) which featured a twist: he added a cutlet made from Fassone beef. It all came together with an aromatic tomato sauce.
For dessert? A sweet Caprese, with coffee, marshmallow, dehydrated tomato and frozen basil.
All images: ©Roberta Abate per Fine Dining Lovers