Once upon a time…
There was a man living in a small village of a small region of a small country.
His name is Oscar Farinetti. He came from Alba, near Turin in Italy. And he created the biggest Italian superstore in the world.
It was a utopian idea: “to make high quality Italian foods available to everyone, at fair prices and in an environment where people can shop, taste and learn”.
So it is not just a shop, but a place that would put everyone at ease and where everybody could have an informal approach to high quality food and drink.
Before starting, our man received a lot of criticism by people who were believed he would have failed, but he always went straight on his way telling them, using Alba’s dialect, “A sun gavami ‘n balin” that it means “I took off a whim”.
Even today this looks like as an impossible dream, but he made it, and now 10 years have passed from that day: the 27 of January 2007.
Just in 2006 Turin has captured the attention of the world because of the Winter Olympics, and one year later became the mother of Eataly’s empire.
Farinetti chose a former Carpano’s vermouth factory and, after an impressive restructuring work, he transformed it in the first Eataly, the company’s flagship site.
And here we are today: Eataly is celebrating all around the world his 10th birthday and I am here, in Turin, ready to live it.
The weather is really cold, but no one cares. Everybody is waiting to taste the unique dishes created by 10 starred chefs, and not only, invited here from all over Italy. Here we have:
- Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Modena
- Moreno Cedroni, La Madonnina del Pescatore, Senigallia
- Enrico e Roberto Cerea, Da Vittorio, Brusaporto
- Pino Cuttaia, Ristorante La Madia, Licata
- Gennaro Esposito, Rostorante La Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense
- Philippe Léveillé, Miramonti L’Altro, Concesio
- Luca Montersino, Golosi di Salute, Monticello d’Alba
- Alessandro Negrini e Fabio Pisani, Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia, Milano
- Claudio Sadler, Ristorante Sadler, Milano
- Ciro Salvo, Pizzeria 50 Kalò, Napoli
- Davide Scabin, Combal.Zero, Rivoli
- Luigi Taglienti, Ristorante Lume, Milano
Each dish cost 10 euros and it can be combined with one of the 10 fine wines selected by the chefs.
6,45 pm: it is time to enjoy the Eataly’s experience!
Decorations are colourful and everywhere, meanwhile a group of musicians is playing.
The first chef at work is Massimo Bottura. As a lion in his territory he transmits a very strong sense of competence and professionality. He jokes with Eataly’s equipe before starting the service.
He prepared “Compromesso storico”. This dish is like Massimo Bottura: strong with a strong taste. A traditional plate from central Italy known as “tortellini con la panna”. It is normally made with pasta stuffed with meat and “pangrattato”. The chef here also added a little bit of sausages and added at the normally plain cream a little bit of gravy. The tortellini are boiled in broth.
Next to him there are Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani. They prepare what they call “Omaggio a Milano” which is a pasta stuffed with marrowbone.
Near them there is Ciro Salvo: for this event it is possible to try four different pizzas from his main menu:
- Margherita (with “Mozzarella di bufala”)
- 50 Kalò Margherita (with Datterini tomatoes; stamed Scarole, Taggiasche olives; Salina’s capperi; EVO; “Mozzarella di bufala”)
- 50 Kalò Marinara (with Datterini tomatoes; stamed Scarole, Taggiasche olives; Salina’s capperi; EVO)
- Ripieno bianco (Buffalo’s Ricotta; pork cracklings; smoked “Mozzarella di Bufala”; black pepper; Parmigiano Reggiano)
In the “ristorantino dei salumi e dei formaggi” corner of Eataly there are Claudio Sadler, who prepared the “Raviolone al tuorlo d’uovo glassato al Grana Padano e profumo di tartufo”, which is a type of pasta very thin stuffed whit raw yolk and just a snuffle of truffle, and Davide Scabin with his “Langaroll”.
Raviolone al tuorlo d’uovo glassato al Grana Padano e profumo di tartufo
Scabin, a chef that comes from the hills of Turin, makes small talk with everybody as a perfect host.
He made a fusion between a sushi roll and the classic piemontese entrès, “carne all’albese”. This particular dish is extremely difficult in the mouth, you can sense the different tastes of the singular ingredients (like the smoothness of the rare meat), but when you eat it all in once the different tastes feel quite chaotic.
Then there are Moreno Cedroni with “Tataki di tonno bianco, quinoa agrodolce, brodo leggero di Campari”, Tuna fish just scalded whit lots, probably too much, green pepper, and Philippe Léveillé and his “Non solo sot l’y laisse”, little pieces of chicken with lentils, that have the bad habit of covering all the tastes.
Moreno Cedroni is friendly with everybody. He talks about his dishes, giving advices on how to seasoning them.
Tataki di tonno bianco, quinoa agrodolce, brodo leggero di Campari
Non solo sot l’y laisse
In the “ristorantino delle verdure” corner Gennaro Esposito and Luigi Taglienti are very focused on their work.
Gennaro Esposito prepared “Zuppetta di olive Nocellara e mandorle, purea di finocchi e pesce bandiera anno 80”, a little filet of fish breaded with wholemeal bread and a very light olive soup, and Luigi Taglienti made a particular Lasagna with pesto and green apple, which probably is too sweet.
Zuppetta di olive Nocellara e mandorle, purea di finocchi e pesce bandiera anno 80
Lasagna with pesto and green apple
Finally there are Pino Cuttaia and Cerea Brothers.
Pino Cuttaia cooked a shellfish soup with too much bittes of pasta inside of it, instead Cerea Brothers offer a “Merluzzo all’Amatrice con polentina bianca”, another of the flag dishes tonight.
One of Cerea brothers
Merluzzo all’Amatrice con polentina bianca
About the dessert, it is created by Luca Montersino: “Torta cin cin” made with different layers of lemon, clementine, vanilla pudding and a final base made by a sablé of candy lemon and pistachios.
Torta Cin Cin
10,30pm: the party is over and the bellies are full.
Now we have just to wait, and see how Eataly will surprise us in the next 10 years.
Margherita Clio Galli
 EATALY, Partners & Collaborators, https://www.eataly.com/us_en/partners-collaborators/
 PITTI TASTE, Interview with Oscar Farinetti, the inventor of Eataly, http://www.pittimmagine.com/en/corporate/fairs/taste/news/2012/eataly.html
 WUZ, l mercante di utopie. La storia di Oscar Farinetti, l’inventore di Eataly, http://www.wuz.it/recensione-libro/2627/mercante-utopie-oscar-farinetti-anna-sartorio-eataly.html
 FOOD&WINE, It’s Eataly’s world, http://www.foodandwine.com/lifestyle/eataly-world
EATALY, I tour guidati, http://www.eataly.net/it_it/negozi/torino-lingotto/archivio-torino-lingotto/tour-guidati/