The Professor’s Stories: Sum


The Professor’s Stories: Sum

We went to Sum, the restaurant of the talented and young chef Davide Guidara, a jewel in a difficult landscape like that of Catania.

Before telling you about Sum’s dishes and cuisine (Viale Presidente Kennedy km 28, 53), a premise is necessary. Catania is a difficult place for catering: traditional cuisine is already exemplified in the motto ” you eat better at home, especially at home “.catania is a really difficult square for cateringThe rituality of going out to eat fish is saved, especially in the summer season, with the difficulty, at best, of combining the quality of the raw material with that of the person who cooks it. Let alone when the restaurant offer tries to decline in other gastronomic formulas, such as the epic of the Carato by Carlo Sichel, who lived several seasons in different places, passing through the 3 Bicchieri and making an attempt at fine dining in Catania; like the formula that combined cuisine, location and hospitality of the QCucinaQui by Bianca Celano and Fabio Gulino. No one has managed to resist more than a certain period for various reasons, but the main one remains the Catania square. In the last three years there has been the happy Fud Off experiment by the volcanic Andrea Graziano, which revealed the great talent of Valentina Chiaramonte.

In this difficult environment, a Michelin star unexpectedly landed last year: that of Alessandro Ingiulla’s Sapio, who managed to get there in less than 2 years, without hiding the project of making fine dining his goal.guidara is young but already has experiences from iaccarino, bras, redzepiAnd perhaps this has moved something, even in the field of investors. At the end of July, after a semester of planning, Sum was born inside the Romano Palace Hotel, in that part of the Catania coast where the beach reigns supreme. On the bridge the formidable talent of Davide Guidara , who has also assumed the role of executive chef of the entire structure. Guidara, a Samnite, 25, has all the credentials to become one of the most important Italian chefs in the coming years. At his young age he already has a curriculum that not many can boast: Iaccarino, Nino Di Costanzo, Michel Bras, Redzepi. And the last 2 and a half years in Milazzo at the Eolian Hotel, where after a restless start, he had already shown his talent.

And now Sum. Sober dining room, open kitchen and a style that focuses on matter and the Mediterranean through research, memory and concentration of flavors: pay attention to the Collettivo Mediterraneo project, of which Marco Ambrosino from Ischia in Milan is the creator and to which Guidara has joined . We will talk about it for a long time. There are three menus from 45 to 80 Euros and a paper divided between first and dishes, though the latter probably will not stay long.

And already from the appetizers you can see that here nothing is casual: the bruschetta sauce, the almond ricotta, the grilled spring onion, the sardine with tomato paste are a clear explosion of island, solar flavors. And then we start with the shrimp that travels between the Catania and Japanese coasts with the grafting of kombu, wakame and mauro seaweed. The cow aged for 70 days plus another 30 in butter, seasoned only with salt, pepper and vinegar spray, stands out for its essentiality. The roasted pepper has the strength and the bite of what Mom used to do, with the push of the icing made from burnt skin. Vivid garlic and parsley are felt, as in marinated anchovies, enriched with their mayonnaise and a touch of pink pepper.

The squid is sensual , served with its liver sauce and a drizzle of tomato oil. The fusillo di Gragnano with donkey ragù and goat foam , enhances pasta and seasoning, expressing the Mediterranean home.

Like the base of the casaruciaru bean with pistachio miso , which is nothing more than the classic beaten that takes on the consistency and flavor of a fine pot. We end up with a dish that is already a Guidara classic – the magnificent lentils with beef tendon broth and mussel mousse  – and a fish soup that finds cold in the use of nitrogen to find intensity.

There is also a white eggplant parmigiana that has yet to find its square. Throughout the meal, bread plays a primary role in a kitchen where the sauce is the protagonist. In short, in Catania there is a great restaurant to be held tight and valued. Betting on a new star.


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