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Piazza della Scala, Milan, a night to remember: three pair of hands cooking at Trussardi alla Scala restaurant during Identità Golose 2014. Among them barely sixty years of age and lots of talent. We are talking about Luigi Taglienti and the two Thai chefs Dylan Jones and Bo Songvisava: a couple in life as in in the kitchen of restaurant Bo.lan, in Bangkok.
The couple arrived with a suitcase full of secret ingredients, daring airport security controls. Taglienti put on display his Ligure background by adding Mediterranean touches here and there to the dishes.
We can't forget, however, that with its versatile nature rice was definitely the protagonist of the night.
Confini - Borders
There are no borders according to Taglienti's playful "is it or is it not?" dish, only mental limitations. Looks like lettuce, but, instead it's dehydrated rice: so beautiful that you almost don't want to eat it your hands as the chef suggests. A refined chip cluttered with green cardamom, goat drops, and primrose.
Riso organico di Gaba, ananas e gamberi soffiati - Organic Rice from Gaba, pineapple and puffed shrimps.
The complex combination of sweet and spicy helps tone down the peppers. After looking at the primary ingredients, we can't help but ask Bo is bio is common in Thailand: "Still not: it's a battle we still need to fight".
Mandillo al pesto - Ligurian Lasagna with pesto
In Liguria, where Luigi Taglienti is from, "Mandillo" means handkerchief: exactly how you would define the dough underneath the bright green pesto. Underneath it all, another surprise: dried cod, dried in open air, it shakes your palate, especially after you've started with the comforting Italian pasta and pesto.
Lombo di manzo, curry alla foglia di Khii Lek, mostarda verde e fritto alla curcuma - Sirloin with curry and Khi Lek leaves, green mustard and fried turmeric
A complex and articulate dish that comes in different tastings and bowls. We are a bit intimidated: will it be too spicy? Yes, it is. You can feel the sirloin, the fried garlic, the citrusy notes, and you can't stop eating it. It's amazing.
Tartufo nero e tiramisù - Black truffle and tiramisù
Taglienti keeps playing with words and food. The truffle dessert is all dressed up wearing pieces of black truffle. Inside: Italy's most precious jewel, tiramisù.
Tea al fleur del siam e biscotto al riso affumicato - Flower of Siam Tea and Smoked Rice biscuit
Dylan and Bo's last dish is anything but traditional: 5 fundamental flavors and a smoked dish. To accompany it all, slices of rice that look like butterflies.
Italy vs Thailand? No, there is no match, it's just a good opportunity to share. Bo says "You are lucky because each region in Italy is full of recipes and tastes", and Taglienti adds "I always come out richer from these events. I got to know new aromas and flavors, same as Dylan and Bo: a contemporary kitchen should always be ready to learn from other cultures".