The stories of the great pastry chefs: Corrado Assenza

The stories of the great pastry chefs: Corrado Assenza

Corrado Assenza with his Caffè Sicilia in Noto is one of the most important Italian pastry chefs in the world: this is his contribution to pastry making.

“ At km 0 I prefer the good one ”: Corrado Assenza put sweet and savory in communication before Ferran Adrià did it on a global scale. Then it would be correct to call him a pioneer, a visionary.with a measured smile, not very talkative but extremely communicative with gesturesInstead, it is not enough because what he does, and continues to do, from his Caffè Sicilia in Noto is something that goes beyond the simple definition of a talent. Corrado Assenza is a kind gentleman with a measured smile, not very talkative in words but extremely communicative with gestures. Alain Ducasse called it “ le plus grande confisieur du monde ”, but even this, if you allow it, is not enough. To better understand the uniqueness of this Master we must start by saying that he was the first to slap the categorization of culinary knowledge. For him, the savory cook and the sweet cook do not existbecause this is a completely arbitrary distinction made by man, to simplify the extraordinary variety of flavors that characterize the nature of every food.


Even if we tend to think that everything in pastry is already codified, in reality, Assenza is the proof that this is not the case: its dishes shun the perfect geometries and the lacquered and impersonal appearance that high-profile desserts often have, he prefers to bring to life on the plate the anarchic beauty of a piece of fresh fruit or a slightly twisted brushstroke of sauce. Assenza is an enhancer of seasonal aromas , an explorer of local and global ingredients , a trapeze artist who plays on the thread of common gastronomic convictions, remains in balance by resetting the parameters each time. During Identità Golose 2005 he presented Dolce pasta in a sea of ​​almonds: a Senatore Cappelli spaghetti seasoned with saffron honey, dropped on a Noto almond sauce and accompanied by a sheep ricotta ice cream and drops of oregano extract. A shock to the palate that turns out to be capable of encoding an extremely harmonious ensemble of sugary and savory scents.

Corrado Absence Sicilian Coffee

Frescura Aruci plays with boiled wheat paired with sheep curd and mandarin syrup, and the softness of the cereal combines the crunchy Bronte pistachio and the balsamic quality of a mint reduction: a sweet coolness that hits the mark. And if that’s not enough, Corrado Assenza, together with the Bergamo butcher Franco Cazzamali, invades the Milanese convention in 2009 with a meat ice cream that divides and fascinates the public. An experiment that unfortunately does not have a sequel because “ many chefs are not interested in exploring ice cream which instead is a true pride of Italian cuisine and is still considered class b food “.


The latest venture is the Candied Olive presented at Ein Prosit in October 2017. A Tonda Iblea cultivated in Vizzini, near Catania, engraved in the skin and left to candied in a syrup of water and sugar for several weeks. Maestro Assenza suggests eating it accompanied by a cream of soft wheat and durum wheat flour with pieces of candied orange. What about: a genius? An alchemist? A mage? Simply Corrado Assenza.

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