More stars, fewer bars: this is how the gourmet dinner in prison went

More stars, fewer bars: this is how the gourmet dinner in prison went

The dinner of the SaporiReclusi association was held in the Saluzzo prison on 19 May, prepared by some starred chefs. Here’s how it went.

A few days ago I relived a rare and intense experience: I entered a penitentiary and spent a whole day next to the inmates. It was not the first time and I hope not even the last.SaporiReclusi on 19 May gave life to a gourmet dinner involving the inmates of the Saluzzo prisonI often get involved in events that aim to bring music right into the walls of a prison. Each time I experience different sensations, contrasting with each other, but they are always experiences that enrich me a lot from a human point of view. I visited Rebibbia, Volterra and San Vittore, but last week everything definitely tasted different. I was invited by Davide Dutto , a talented photographer and creator of this special day, to the More stars less bars event , the first real gourmet dinner in the Rodolfo Morandi prison in Saluzzo (in the province of Cuneo).


The beers of Pausa Cafè
The guys from Pausa Cafè


Saluzzo is a sui generis prison , full of activities aimed at reconstructing the creative and working skills of those men who are paying for the mistakes made: inside there is Pausa Cafè , a small brewery managed directly by the inmates that produces excellent beers including my favorite Ermes, a witbier with excellent incense scents, and a new lambic that totally entranced me. Below you will find a gallery with all the photos of the event organized by SaporiReclusi.


In the morning I met the group of young people involved in the Stampatingalera project , a training and work path in the field of photography promoted by the SaporiReclusi association . It was SaporiReclusi who organized Più stelle meno barre , a sixteen-handed dinner with eight of the greatest Italian chefs supported in their work by the group of cooks inmates ; purpose of the evening to raise funds to be able to carry on all the activities of the prison.


Pino Cuttaia SaporiReclusi
Pino Cuttaia dishes the cod alla pizzaiola


Although the dishes were made in a small improvised corner with few equipment, the recipes presented were a real pleasure for the palate: starting with Andrea Ribaldone and his delicious cold vegetable minestrone;from pino cuttaia to enrico crippa all the chefs prepared exquisite dishes with little equipment Nicola Batavia presented The marinated egg by Birichin, a precious quote from his new and renovated restaurant; Davide Palluda has created a surprising sandwich with strawberry and foie gras, a unique delicacy; Maurilio Garola with the millefeuille of fillet of fassona, burrata, hazelnut and its oil has evidently kept faith with the productive richness of the territory by paying a dignified homage to the great Piedmontese breed. Pino Cuttaia could only present a dish with the marine flavors of his Sicily: Baccalà alla pizzaiola with pinecone smoking, a small masterpiece that anticipated the unforgettable Risotto al Castelmagno by the talented Enrico Crippa .Ugo Alciati and Paolo Reina dedicated themselves to the final thrust: respectively with the Meringue with chopped strawberries and the Mi-cuit with the scent of oranges and bitter chocolate: those present in the room were totally stunned.

Dinner SaporiReclusi

The dinner took place in the small prison theater, where inmates, entrepreneurs, representatives of institutions, wine producers and gastronauts sat side by side and crowded the tables for a dinner that was, among other things, overbooked . I also want to mention the impeccable service entrusted to the young students of the Virginio Donadio Professional Hospitality Institute in Dronero, managed by their room teacher (whom I observed all day for impeccable discipline) and assisted by the exuberant Luciano Marsaglia , the likeable patron of the Ostu di Djun, in the province of Cuneo.

Flavors excluded

At the end of the dinner I auctioned off the precious Magnums that many Piedmontese wine producers have kindly donated: I must say with great sincerity that the auction went very well, especially thanks to the precious support of Linda Nano , a very kind and fine sommelier who for for years he has supported the work of Carlin Petrini in the Slow Food presidents. Mission accomplished then, funds raised, stomachs filled properly and smiles without borders, of space and time. Thanks everyone, really.

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