The talented Carlo Cracco is one of Italy’s most famous chefs thanks to his television shows. In 2017, he will open his brand-new restaurant in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
YOU’RE AN ADOPTED SON OF MILAN, A CITY WHICH HAS GIVEN YOU SO MUCH.
Milan welcomed me when I was just 20 years old. I’d just finished culinary school and my dream was to work with Gualtiero Marchesi, who had a restaurant in Via Bonvesin Della Riva at the time. After that, I travelled a lot in Italy and abroad, but my aim was always to come back and put down roots here. Milan is a very welcoming city – it helps you to grow and gives the opportunities to put your plans into practice like nowhere else.
WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF MILANESE COOKING?
First and foremost it’s the way it has embraced outside influences. Over the years, Milan has been able to draw on the best of everything it has come into contact with. Secondly, despite what many people think, the region around Milan is one of the largest, most abundant agricultural areas in Italy, with plenty of biodiversity and a unique ecosystem. Finally, Milan has done well to build up a reputation and win respect abroad. Few other Italian cities are as well known for their cooking as Milan is. Just think of cotoletta and risotto alla milanese.
WHICH TRADITIONAL DISH DO YOU LOVE COOKING?
Risotto alla milanese with saffron and veal bone marrow. It’s always on the menu at the restaurant and I often cook it at home too, because it’s my kids’ favourite.
AT THE END OF THE YEAR YOUR RESTAURANT IS MOVING TO NEW PREMISES IN THE GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE.
It’s a very ambitious project and may well be the most important moment of my career. It will be a three-storey space with a bar/bistro on the ground floor, the restaurant itself on the first floor and then a multi-functional space for events and cultural happenings on the top floor. I’d love for it to become a focal point for the city because I would really like to give something back to Milan and say thank you for everything the city has given me over the years.
WHAT KIND OF PLACES DO YOU LIKE TO VISIT IN YOU FREE TIME IN MILAN?
I do the shopping for the family on Saturday mornings in the stores and delis in my local area. I go to Fratelli Galantino in Via Solferino for fruit and vegetables and the Macelleria dell’Annunciata for meat. I often go out for a traditional Sunday lunch – something simple and very local. If the weather is nice, I’ll go by bike and always stop off on the way back to visit the stunning Abbazia di Chiaravalle