The first stop of our Sicilian tour Part II is Ragusa, a city situated in Val Di Noto, UNESCO World Heritage site and a place of 2 restaurants awarded by the Michelin guide.
Our hilly walk around the city stopes nearby Duomo, at the doors of a chef that, probably more than others, can be considered the most continental starred Sicilian chef.
Ciccio Sultano is not just a traditional chef... Surely the dishes exalt the diversity and quality of Sicilian ingredients, from which some are inspired by familiar memories - like the salad with haring and oranges - but most of all his compositions are 'understandable' to any palate. They do not taste simply 'local' but carry an international signature.
For all these reasons we believe that, more than others, he will soon be entitled with the highest ***Michelin star recognition.
The caleidoscopic menu is an 'act of faith' towards the chef, that guides palates from the mineral taste of raw fish, through the light acidity of the marinated one, the salty punch of ragusano - the best Sicilian cheese - all the way to the intense truffle trapped in an ice cream ball.
A great menu, enriched by one of the best wine selections we have ever had that starts its journey from France, Austria, crosses the Italic peninsula and finally arrives to Nero d'Avola wine yards.
Here we offer you a close up of a small cannolo with an unmissable red prawn and caviar. The dish is actually an element of the starter, where prawns are combined with ricotta sauce, sea urchin and sanapo, an herb that gracefully pinches the mouth with a spicy taste.
Wonderful to see, even more wonderful to eat!
The second dish we decided to present uses a very delicate and flavorful fish - the red mullet -, and a citrus that is very uncommon, especially outside Sicily.
Everyone knows oranges, lemons, mandarins and grapefruit. But few know chinotto, a citrus fruit similar to orange but more bitter in taste and mainly used in preparation of sodas - best of them being Lurisia.
The red mullet is served on a sauce of lemon and almond milk, filled with bread crumbs that are flavored with tomato water and chinotto, and sprinkled with a powder of black olives on top.
The result was incredible: a combination of sweet and bitter flavors that were extremely pleasant to the palate!
The third dish we will present is a masterpiece of beauty and taste, with 2 gastronomic royal majesties sitting on the same throne.
On one side is the red prawn, king of the Mediterranean Sea; on the other the black truffle, King of the summer underbrush. The one is from Mazara del Vallo, the other from Palazzolo Acreide. Both from this wonderful piece of land called Sicily.
The two other characters to accompany them on the stage were homemade pasta and basil sauce that providing thickness and mildness.
A perfect closing ceremony for starters and primi piatti, before leaving the scene to meat and dessert!