There are no mountains in Luxembourg. Or at least nothing similar to those fascinating buildings of rocks, pinnacles and spires alternated to soft lines of meadows and spruces called Dolomites.
There is no alpine breeze despite sometimes cold can be harsh, it does not get as white in winter despite no year saves us at least a thin veil, there is no Soave or Lagrein despite the vineyards share the same straw yellow color of Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
On Wednesday 16, the Italian Chamber of Commerce brought a little bit of that majestic beauty to the kitchen of Divino, the restaurant hosted inside the Italian grocery store Vinissimo, and first ‘battlefield’ of the Michelin star chef, Roberto Fani, at his arrival in the Grand Duchy.
The event, part of the larger True Italian Taste initiative to raise awareness and promote authentic Italian food, brought to Luxembourg not only soppressa, asiago and montasio cheese but also the excellence of the 3-michelin star restaurant St. Hubertus in San Cassiano, run by Norbert Niederkofler, and represented by the pastry chef Diego Poli (also professor at Alma, the International School of Italian Cuisine).
After the afternoon masterclass on Strudel, one of the great classic of South Tyrol prepared with Val di Non apples – unique for their sensory balance ranging between acid and sweet and their texture alternating between crunchy and mellow – chef Poli and the Divino ‘brigata’ proposed an extraordinary courses menu that brought in partially the menu of the St. Hubertus but mostly the approach to the cuisine and its way of conceiving the territoriality:
Arctic char, marinated in green apple juice and wild fennel, its eggs, radicchio pesto: great acidity and freshness
Rye and potato bread, lightly salty butter cream: game of textures with a bold, enveloping creaminess
Trentino barley, montasio cheese, mountain pepper leaves: refreshing and mild without being pungent
Pulled and pressed lamb, Delica pumpkin, spruce oil: a masterpiece of consistencies
Flowers and leaves, milk and hay, prune sauce: a ‘gastronomic’ dessert, rich in ‘cleansing’ purposes and low in sugar.
A wonderful opportunity to showcase simple products at their best, in their authenticity and intrinsic richness, in a mountain menu fitted for lower altitudes. A needed breath of oxygen.