Stars and magic in Turin. Marcello Trentini, enfant terrible of Italian Haute Cuisine. Anti-chef and nonconformism icon, chef of the Magorabin in Torino.
by Stefania Buscaglia
In Italy, for everyone he is “Il Mago” (the Magician, edit). The magician. What, in the classic and sometimes plastered panorama of Italian Haute Cuisine, breaks the mold by unleashing under his Chef’s jacket, trendy jeans, tennis shoes and those legendary dreadlocks, which have adorned his head for over thirty years. The Mago, Marcello Trentini, Turin DOC and chef and patron of Magorabin, a restaurant inaugurated in 2003 and always distinguished by boldness and tenacious personality among the too often austere tables of what was once the capital of the Kingdom of Italy. A chef with an anarchist temperament, of profound culture and knowledge (manifested, among other things, in the mastery of four different foreign languages), capable of investigating the kitchen with a self-taught approach, identity and with the desire to break the mold, overcoming the conventions and building a model aimed at overcoming every type of cliché.A winning model that raises the Magorabin restaurant among the most interesting Michelin star addresses in the Italian gastronomic universe and that projects Trentin to cover roles of absolute prestige, first of all that of Vice President in the authoritative association JRE – Jeune Restaurateurs d’Europe.
Acharge that shows how Haute Cuisine is increasingly greedy and in need of eclectic and alternative personalities, capable of enriching the sector with a visionary attitude and innovative ideas projected to the future. Ideas that, in the case of the Magorabin restaurant, emerge both in the hospitality model and in the dishes in which the passion for one’s own country, as well as for the element of travel, emerges overwhelmingly. This is how very Italian spaghetti osmosis meet the typical scents of South American marinade, becoming a Chevice of Spaghettini, or chicken skin tacos borrow the iconic street food of Central America to reinterpret the Proustian memory of chef Trentini. A “Piedmontese, but boundless” cuisine, capable of combining the historical references of local gastronomy with the global suggestions set aside by the chef in his continuous and whirling wandering around the world. Evergreen la Lingua – Gamberi – Mandarino a dish that back in 2007 Marco Bollasco – then editor in chief of the Gambero Rosso Guide – appreciated to the point of coining for the first time the food-porn neologism. A course that, by combining a slowly cooked tongue, with a Santa Margherita prawn tartare, with a gel of late mandarins from the Slow Food presidium of Taranto, shows how antipodes often give life to unspeakable taste harmonies.
Magic and creative schizophrenia emerge in recipes such as the Agnolotto pizzicato stuffed with 5 meats, a real-fake (to say it with Trentini) that combines the traditions of the Turin agnolotto and the Monferrato plin, in a unique and personal idea, and that the chef brings to the table without any dressing on a white napkin as the ancient tradition dictates. Simona Beltrami – Restaurant Manager and Sommelier – who, alongside Marcello Trentini since the beginning of the Magorabin restaurant, proposing a match to the glass perfectly in line with the chef’s alternative menus, alongside the restaurant’s impressive and large cellar, interesting cocktails, mixed, intriguing scented teas, or very high quality ciders. An unconventional and underground proposal in every facet, capable of transporting the diner to a fascinating and magical atmosphere that only a chef like Marcello Trentini can manage to create. A unique and unrepeatable proposal, worthy only of a magician.
Photo credits © Lucio Elio