Chef in quarantine: 3 dishes by Gianfranco Vissani

Chef in quarantine: 3 dishes by Gianfranco Vissani

We interviewed the chefs to find out what they do in quarantine and to get their recipes: here are those of Gianfranco Vissani (and a bit of controversy).

“ We are in the middle of a sea of ​​m ****. The restaurants are all closed and failing. And we are only at the beginning! It will take at least a year to wipe out the virus and even longer to restart the tourism economy. Those who have a lot of money behind them will survive but most of them are heading towards bankruptcy ”: Gianfranco Vissani does not send them to say , he has never done so in his entire long career. Sanguine, impetuous but always endowed with that culinary sensitivity with which he wrote important pages of Italian gastronomic history. He is angry, as he has often accustomed us to seeing him, but this time behind his booming voice there is a streak of desperate bitterness that betrays all his humanity.

The chef’s quarantine

“ I have 20 employees that I will have to put on layoffs as soon as the state allows me. The government is undecided, it almost seems that they don’t give a damn.according to the Basque chef, the state should have closed everything much sooner  Initially they forced us to close after 6 pm but can you explain to me how we do that we are only open in the evening? What do I do the delivery here? What then all these people who are around to deliver do not increase the spread of the virus? Everything had to be closed immediately, restaurants, bakeries, groceries and only the army should be sent around to bring pasta and bread to the families. If we had done so we would have solved it in less time. Instead, the first weeks were all out and about, skiing in the mountains or at the seaside in second homes. A shame “. Gianfranco vents on the phone. His voice is as roaring and torn as that of a wounded lion. He spends his days in his Basque restaurant, gives interviews, eats fast and sleeps upstairs.

What will change in Italian catering ? “ I hope that the restaurateurs who manage to reopen after this massacre will return to simplicity, to tradition. Enough chemistry in the kitchen, let’s stop with the mockery of vacuum cooking, they are a loophole, a shame for the technique. When this nightmare is over I hope not to see all these chefs who want to be number 1 anymore. Number one and what then? ”He is not in the mood to tell recipes, but to return to tradition there must be someone who explains how to put it into practice and appreciate it. So, after provoking us with the story of a Simmenthal with salad, even the most combative of chefs lets go of the tension and gives us three Vissani-style dishes that we can all prepare at home.


  1. Baked pork belly and fried artichokes. Take a nice pork belly, prick the rind and then cover the entire surface of the piece of meat with a season of salt, pepper and aromatic herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary, fennel, marjoram). At that point, preheat the oven to 180 ° C, place a grill (not a pan, I recommend) halfway up and place the pork belly seasoned with the rind facing up on top. Underneath, place a pan full of water which will collect the dripping fat and will serve to keep the oven moist and consequently the meat soft. Cooking takes about 45 minutes for 1 kg of meat. Accompanied with fried artichokes. I recommend: no batter, otherwise a ciabatta is also good. Clean the artichokes with the hardest leaves and cut off the thorny tips, then remove the external and fibrous part of the stem. At that point, cut the artichokes into four pieces, flour them, pass them in the beaten egg and fry them in hot seed oil. Once crispy, let them dry on absorbent paper sheets and, before serving, add salt. Do not use extra virgin olive oil to fry otherwise the artichoke gets soaked and then it is a waste. “With this method you can fry whatever you want, I often prepare the chicken or the rabbit like this, they are a show ”, says the chef.
  2. Jugged duck . ” Here in salmì means cooked with sage and lemon and not in the blood “. Pour a little extra virgin olive oil into a pan and add a diced celery and carrot. Add a few sage leaves and a lemon, well washed and cut into four parts. Heat and then place the duck in pieces in the pan. Brown on all sides and then simmer with a ladle of potato broth and add a pinch of salt. Continue cooking in the pan, blending with mineral water until the duck meat has become soft and yielding. Serve with a mashed potatoes.
  3. Risotto with Sagrantino . The chef says: “I used to make this recipe with Romanée Conti’s La Tâche then I tried it with Sagrantino and I never stopped. It is very simple and the ingredients are very few. If the raw materials are good, there is no point in adding, you have to remove “. Toast the rice in a saucepan with a little extra virgin olive oil and the same amount of butter. Deglaze abundantly with the Sagrantino that you have previously heated in a saucepan to allow the alcohol to evaporate a little. Continue to cook the rice with a good vegetable broth based on celery, carrot, onion and some aromatic herbs. Halfway through cooking add salt and finally, with the heat off, stir in the butter.

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