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Enrico Crippa

Enrico Crippa
a close-up of Enrico Crippa

Enrico Crippa

One of the most talented and renowned cooks in Italy, Enrico Crippa is the chef of Piazza Duomo, a restaurant located in Alba, a gastronomic paradise with some of the richest and most interesting ingredients in the country. This corner of Piedmont is renowned worldwide for the variety and quality of its products such as the Fassona meat, the famous white truffles from Alba, chestnuts, mushrooms, rabbit, and many other rich ingredients that have helped to create Langhe's fame in Italy's gastronomic landscape.

Born in Carate Brianza in Lombardy in 1971, Crippa is a dedicated chef who has had the chance to absorb knowledge from such distinguished professionals as Ghislaine Arabian (Ledoyen), Michel Bras (Laguiole), and Ferran Adrià (elBulli). His first experience in the restaurant business came at the age of 16 in the historic Milanese establishment of trailblazer chef Gualtiero Marchesi, arguably his greatest mentor.

In 1990's, Crippa was awarded first place in the Concorso Artistico di Cucina (Artistic Cooking) competition, repeating the feat once more in 1992, the proof he needed to know he was on the right path. At the age of 25, he left Italy for Japan, where he worked both in Gualtiero Marchesi's restaurant in Kobe, and the luxury Rihga Royal Hotel in Osaka. It was the opportunity for him to learn techniques and the important relationship that Easterners devote to food: from this Japanese experience, he has developed a profound appreciation for the simple, elegant philosophy that guides the Japanese tradition in the kitchen.

Back to Italy, he finally opened his first restaurant, Piazza Duomo, in 2005, in partnership with the Ceretto family, pioneers in the Piedmont's winemaking resurgence. In the kitchen, Crippa presents his rigorous perfectionism in a cuisine based in practicality, infused with culture and intuition, and executed with technical competence. Within one year, Piazza Duomo had been awarded its first Michelin star, followed immediately by a second one, and then the third one in 2012. In line with Ceretto’s philosophy in wine (making wines that translate the top crus in Langhe and Roero) the restaurant also seeks to create inventive modern Italian dishes with the freshest produce.

With a dozen tables, taking advantage of the rich ingredients of the region, from veal to biodynamic vegetables harvested in the chef's own farm, all prepared in the Crippa style, always trying to create something out of the ordinary - as is the case of his signature Salad 21, 31, 41, 51, which references the varying number of seasonal products, and doesn’t require any cooking, dressing or preparation, just a selection of ingredients (among leaves, vegetables, herbs) that changes according to the season and a stunning platting. They come from a private garden owned by the restaurant, and Crippa and his team head there in the early mornings to pick the flowers and many other vegetables for the dishes they prepare at the restaurant.

In Piazza Duomo he works only with local products, in direct contact with his trusted suppliers: most of what he uses in his kitchen comes from a radius of 50 kilometers. The local products are what guide his hand on creating outstanding recipes, like the Langa beef, for example that, for being lean and not marbled, is perfect for the local traditional hand-cut carne cruda (raw meat) or the exhaustive selection of Piedmont wine producers. His work focuses on harmony based on the finest ingredients and presented in the most elaborate yet precise manner, something that has become his trademark. Crippa has been the president of the Italian Academy des Bocuse d’Or since 2017.

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