9 young Sicilian chefs to keep an eye on

9 young Sicilian chefs to keep an eye on

We tell you 9 stories of young Sicilian chefs who are telling all the different territories scattered around Sicily with their dishes.

They are young, volcanic and are writing one of the most beautiful pages of contemporary Sicilian cuisine : they are  chefs under 35 who are worth knowing if good food is the purpose of your life and Sicily is one of the destinations of your future travels.each of these guys brings the history of their territory to their plate These are names absolutely to be marked in the To Do List just so as not to miss the pleasure of savoring new and fresh expressions of the richest gastronomic culture in the Mediterranean. Each of these guys brings to the plate stories of very different territories, from tip to tip of Sicily, great testimonies of sea and land that reveal an unprecedented look at the past and the future. As the culinary revolution wants today, they too demonstrate the pride of belonging to their land, make a system with small local producers, try to promote the excellences that risk disappearing and provide unprecedented interpretations of the memory of taste. The mosaic they create is the reason for a great discovery, many Sicilies as you have never tasted them.


  1. emanuele russoStarting from the far west, from Marsala, there is the cuisine of Emanuele Russo (31 years old). In his restaurant Le Lumie  (contrada Fontanella 178 / b – Marsala, Trapani), a project that he set up at the age of 24 on the hilly area of ​​the town, celebrates the simple flavors, those of his garden and the sea that can be enjoyed, in all its vastness, including Egadi, from the rooms of the room. Among its main dishes, one of the tradition, the Caponata di capone, taken from an ancient recipe book of a family of San Vito fishermen. Intense and aromatic, the Etna Apple with virgin marsala with cinnamon English cream and Vecchio Samperi reduction is also dedicated to Sicily and to the oenological monument of the island.
  2. joseph costaOn the Tyrrhenian coast, close to the small port of Terrasini, Giuseppe Costa (33 years old) of Il Bavaglino  (via Benedetto Saputo 20 – Terrasini, Palermo) offers the pleasure of home cooking through refined, light dishes that enhance the freshness of the ingredients . Respect for origins, humility, purity: this is the meaning of his research. The seafood salad now cooked with sour honey explains his philosophy well. Homages to tradition and absolutely worth tasting are the arancino di cous cous, the creamed risotto alla vastedda , beans and cocoa and the Nuvola di cassata.
  3. gagini-restaurant-palermo-chef-gioacchino-gaglioA stone’s throw from Vucciria, in the heart of Palermo folklore, Gioacchino Gaglio (32 years old), chef of the Gagini Social Restaurant (via dei Cassari 35 – Palermo) gives free rein to his creative flair . His is a mind that never stops: he experiments, probes the past, confronts the small producers and artisans who supply the pantry, in a constant study that favors the richness of flavors, the dynamism of the dish, the game of textures. . Must-haves: Gagini’s egg (raised on the ground among olive trees and fruit trees at Fattoria Lombardo) with alalunga sauce, smoked tuna and crunchy quinoa; hay lamb with rosemary potato wafer.
  4. schiticchioUstica is a diving paradise and is also a gourmet place. This small handkerchief of just 8 square km in the middle of the sea boasts an important agricultural and gastronomic culture. Among his most famous treasures the famous lentil. Here  Amelia Zanca , (23 years old, in the photo with her sister Elsa) of the Lo Schiticchio restaurant(via Tre Mulini – Ustica, Palermo) enhances this aspect of the island every day, promoting local fish and traditional recipes from Usticese. In Amelia’s kitchen, which is located in the ancient heart of Ustica, there is strong attachment to the roots and love in her dishes that faithfully reflect the warmth of home and the history of the family. His specialties: Mustina meatballs with orange marmalade; pasta with cream of lentils and prawns; the redfish all’usticese.
  5. Gabriele Tranchina (26 years old) of Il Faraglione (via Pio la Torre Cala Santa Maria – Ustica, Palermo), in the historic restaurant overlooking the picturesque port of Ustica, seeks freshness and modernity. We can find them in the trio of aubergine, apple and swordfish caponate, in the grilled breaded squid, in the rock fish soup.
  6. SIGNUM.  Martina Caruso.On another small island, this time in the Aeolian archipelago, another very young girl shines, enhancing her territory in the kitchen. Martina Caruso (25 years old), of the Signum Hotel  (via Scalo 15 – Malfa Salina, Messina) in Salina, signs a cuisine that combines refinement and lightness, liveliness and innovation. She carries on her mission with the attitude of an incorrigible dreamer. His gift: the ability to distill the essence of the Mediterranean and to give it away in all its purity. It can be appreciated in Salina’s Gambero Rosso with Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato H2O; in the Triglia Absolute, in the Salina Caper ice cream.
  7. giuseppe racitiOn the eastern side of Sicily, near Riposto, in an ancient millstone that has come back to life as a Country Resort, in the small pearl called Zash  (provincial road 2 / I-II 60 – Archi, Riposto, Catania), we find a refined interpreter of historic Sicilian cuisine. Giuseppe Raciti (29 years old) is an esthete and a lover of harmony. Elegance is transversal in his menu: Giuseppe reinterprets the local culinary heritage with a careful hand to balance. Among the dishes to taste the Tagliata of yellow fin tuna; macco di fava with wild fennel; sweet and sour onion from Giarratana and cooked grape must reduction; Transparency of fresh local shrimp, mullet bottarga mayonnaise, caviar, fresh spring onion and blonde oranges from Zash.
  8. dario di libertoIn the heart of Baroque Sicily, in Ragusa, Dario Di Liberto (29 years old) of il Tocco Sicilian Ways  (via S. Giuseppe 14 – Ragusa), proposes a haute cuisine project that brings back to tradition, more essential than conceptual, preferring combinations classics to creative performances. In the Arancino with cuttlefish ink with sausage ragout and wild vegetables and in the Spaghetti with clams, seaweed, calamati salad and Scicli cosaruciaru bean we find some examples of his homage to Sicily.
  9. Giovanni SantoroOn the north-east side of Etna, in Linguaglossa, in the delightful Shalai Resort  (via Guglielmo Marconi 25 – Linguaglossa, Catania), the haute cuisine of Giovanni Santoro (31 years old) is an authentic postcard of the richness of the Mediterranean and this territory unique in the world. His recipes narrate with simplicity and creativity, originality and meticulousness, without neglecting the genuineness of the flavors of the house. We point out the Spaghetti with sea urchins, the citrus risotto with raw shrimps, the Mediterranean red tuna cooked in sparkling water and extra virgin olive oil, with cream of leeks and Baikal black caviar, the seared veal fillet in garlic butter with black pepper potatoes and Etna nerello reduction.

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