Three students coming to the end of their Triennale studies at UNISG are returning to the 10 Student programme at Tavole Accademiche with a ‘Green’ themed menu for lunchers and gastronomes. UNISG_Table’s Bruce McMichael caught up with Phillip Oggiano, Davide Esposito and Gianmaria Fasce to learn more about what we can expect from their lunch prepared as part of the 10 Student menus at Tavole Accademiche.
They served an amazing lunch on May 21st!
What nationalities are the team? What courses are you doing at UNISG?
We’re all from northern Italy and are in the third year of the undergraduate programme, the Triennale!
Why did you decide to take part in the students at Tavole Accademiche project?
We’ve been cooking together quite a bit over this last three years and were excited when we got the email with the possibility to cook for our friends, other students, professors and visitors Tavole Accademiche. We cooked together for Tavole last September and really enjoyed the whole experience, so went for participate again this year.
How did you come up with the idea of your menu?
The idea for our menu was developed quite randomly. After a few conversations, once we had decided to take part and cook we sat down together and started thinking what we as a group of UNISG friend could cook and offer our fellow gastronomes. We liked the idea of a theme that would be clearly visible when served at Tavole and which could also represent springtime. It was only a matter of time until we would eventually come up with the theme of “Green” food.
What will you be cooking for your 10 Student lunch?
For our lunch, we are offering guest a selection of ‘Green’ themed foods.
- Fava bean soup with “Cacio e Ova” (cheeseballs cooked in the oven from southern Italy).
- A salad of cuttlefish, asparagus, courgettes, fava and fresh peas with a chive-foam.
- Our take on “Pasta con le Sarde”: A lasagna made with fresh sardines, mornay sauce with wild fennel tops, raisins, almonds and bread crumbs.
- Our dessert is a little unusual/unsweetened dessert based on stracciatella cheese, olive oil, white cioccolate and celery granite.
- As an extra, we also offered some delicious sourdough bread.
Wow, this menu sounds delicious! What’s the story behind it?
Following the seasons, we choose Spring vegetables, thinking about light flavours that could pair well with all the delicate greens we wanted to include. In addition, we wanted to do something very different from last year (Figs: all dished rather heavy, cheesy and meaty - very comforting flavours though) and decided to take a chance of something new. The dishes were developed ‘as we went along’ (students of Prof. Perullo students might remember this :) while including personal experiences, experiments and brainstorming.
Can you tell us a little about the ingredients and any special techniques that you use for the menu?
When we cooked for a Tavole Accademiche last September we focused on technique and rather long preparation times. This year we didn’t have that much time to prepare also for trials at home so, by meeting only few times we were able to develop this menu. Most preparations were very simple, only a lot of cutting was required.
It might be interesting to mention the way we cooked the cuttlefish: Once the fish had been cleaned we separated the main body from the tentacles. The latter was cooked sous vide for about 20 minutes at 55°C and then fried quickly on the grill, while the body was only kept in sous vide for five minutes and then thinly sliced. In this way it maintained its crunchy texture without being served raw.
What do you enjoy cooking at home?
Gianmaria: My favoured dishes to prepare at home are based around fish and Italian comfort food
Davide: It always depends on the situation, but I love traditional Italian dishes, especially using fish and meat in different styles. I really enjoy working with different tools and playing with new culinary technologies, developing connections between tradition and innovation.
Philipp: Baking bread and all kinds of pastry are definitely my favourite things to do at home
Do you have any particular food memories that inspire you?
All three of us have had experience working in commercial kitchens, either i Italy or abroad and in different kinds of restaurants. These experiences combined with three years of UNISG, study trips and also some influences from our home regions create the basis for our cooking.
What kind of work would you like to do once you graduate from UNISG?
Ah, that’s a very difficult question … Carlo Petrini told us when we arrived three years ago that we’d be even more confused and unsure about our future at the end of the programme than before. It turns out that he was absolutely right … we’re still wondering what to do :)