AND THE DREAM OF VILLA CRESPI
For the most beloved and famous Chef in Italy the year 2019 opens with a bang: two new Michelin stars for his bistros in Turin and Novara. Let’s get together into the fabulous world of Antonino Cannavacciuolo.
by Stefania Buscaglia
How to become the most famous and appreciated Chef in Italy? Ask Antonino Cannavacciuolo: four Michelin stars in three restaurants, the conduction of two TV shows – included Masterchef Italia – five publications on the assets side and the biggest following on social media in “food” category.
Born near Naples in 1975, “Tonino” Cannavacciuolo is the Italian chef who – more than anyone else – knew how to bring haute cuisine to the common mentality, showing how the art of taste and hospitality represents the real national flagship and how can positively contaminate anyone’s approach, aiming for excellence.
An excellence that Cannavacciuolo puts on stage in 1999 when, with his wife Cinzia, he falls in love with a splendid Moresca villa late 19th century on Lake Orta, and he took charge of the project, laying the foundations, in a few years, of one of the most successful examples of merit and refinement in Italy.
This special location, known as Villa Crespi, is presented by Antonino Cannavacciuolo as a dream for himself and his wife. It is a dream and an unmissable destination (open all the year!) that it tells itself through the elegance of its 14 rooms and suites adorned with antique furniture, warm details, stuccos, inlays and decorations perfectly inserted in the Arabian charm of Villa, included, also thanks to its 5 Stars luxury, in Relais & Chateaux circuit in 2012 and classified as “5 Star Luxury Historical Residence” in the last year.
But, thinking about Villa Crespi, the mind automatically goes to the restaurant where Antonino Cannavacciuolo is chef and patron and with his Two Stars Michelin (gained between 2003 and 2006), Tre Forchette Gambero Rosso and Quattro Cappelli de L’Espresso is confirmed as one of the most illustrious and convincing examples in the Italian culinary scene. A restaurant and a kitchen that recount in every nuance the inclinations of the chef who, having left the beloved and sunny Naples, reached a unknown territory – Piemonte – discovering charm, taste and tradition. An enlightened revelation that contributed to a style and to an innovative and pioneering cuisine philosophy that is also expressed by introducing the restaurant menu: The Mediterranean, visiting the lake, fell in love with the Alps and decided to bring in dowry their precious flavors. A love that tells about the harmony between north and south and that – embracing the whole boot – plays with opposed pairings and flavors, but that they culminate in a proposal of emotions perfectly in harmony and balance.
In the four rooms of the restaurant, furnished in classic and refined style, tables are dressed and embellished with white tablecloths, precious ceramics and silverware. The waiting
service, professional but never zealous, completes an unrepeatable experience in which the dishes are the main protagonists, surprising through a path of flavors in which lightness and character are distinguished in each course.
About the courses, they can be tasted à la carte or in a tasting itineraries offered: Carpe Diem (150 euros) or Itinerario da Nord a Sud (180 euros). Some of courses, now iconic, deserve tasting once in life, as in the case of Tonno Vitellato (inverse version of the classic Piemontese recipe that Cannavacciuolo holds in menu from 2012), or the greedy Linguine di Gragnano con calamaretti spillo e salsa di pane or the unmissable Triglia con colatura di provola affumicata. Evocative dishes in which the aspect of passion and enjoyment never leaves the step to conceptual technicalities, and that show how the haute cuisine should never lose sight the focal aspect: the Taste.
A taste that Antonino Cannavacciuolo – a great entrepreneur and amazing chef – reports in his many activities including his Bistros in Turin and Novara, started under his direction and entrusted to the Resident Chefs Nicola Somma and Vincenzo Manicone, so good that obtained – in 2019 edition – a Michelin Star for each of two restaurants. A great result that proclaims Patron Antonino as one of the true protagonists of the coming year and confirms talent, vision and uniqueness. Characteristics that, combined with deep-rooted values, commitment, constant research and a culture of hospitality, elevate the “Cannavacciuolo model” as one of the greatest boast of Italian culture and beyond.