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Vincenzo Candiano Interview:
Love Italian Life Profile
Name: Vincenzo Candiano
Place of birth: Scicli, Sicily, Italy
Restaurant: Locanda Don Serafino
Meet Vincenzo Candiano who was born in Sicily where his father owned a small agriculture farmhouse which was where he and his two younger brothers developed a passion for food. Vincenzo considers himself self-taught where his cuisine embodies the original tastes and flavours of the Sicilian tradition, and in particular the city of Ibla. This is why he depends on the exclusive raw materials of his territory in order to recreate regional dishes in the form of contemporary recipes balancing aesthetics and innovative design concepts.
In 2002, he took over the kitchen of the Locanda Don Serafino restaurant in Ragusa which is uniquely located partly in a natural cave while the cantina is located in the basement containing an exquisite collection of rich Sicilian labels.
Vincenzo has succeeded in creating a restaurant known for the high quality food and service confirmed by the fact of them receiving their second Michelin Star in 2013.
Vincenzo Candiano and Locanda Don Serafino won The Best Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Sicily 2018 award at The Love Italian Life 2018 Awards ceremony in Dublin.
Here is the exclusive interview between Love Italian Life and Vincenzo:
Love Italian Life:What are the ingredients that make an Italian restaurant truly contemporary in the Italy of today?
Vincenzo Candiano:The ingredients that make an Italian restaurant truly contemporary are the most researchable and unconventional. Ingredients that cannot be found on the shopping list; for example wild vegetables grown in the garden of a restaurant. The recipe can then be built around vegetables that assume more importance and centrality on the plate. Another example is the choice from the cut of meat used. For contemporary restaurants it is much more about using less selected cuts for main dishes. What gives importance to that cut should be the chefs technique and combination.
Love Italian Life: What In your expert opinion will the future of Italian cuisine look like?
Vincenzo Candiano:The basis of future Italian cuisine will continue to be our variety and prestigious choice of foods available. We have a superb selection of cheese, meat, fish, olive oil and wine which give us priceless possibilities to use them. Italian Cuisine will keep the essence of quality in the product used with technique and passion which will become more and more contemporary over time.
“Technique and passion which will become more and more contemporary over time.”
Love Italian Life:Which food critic’s opinion do you most respect and why?
Vincenzo Candiano:I don’t follow any critics in particular but I respect the ones who are impartial. For example a critic that prefers fusion or molecular cuisine should stay impartial when he or she tries more traditional forms.
Love Italian Life:How would you describe your philosophy to Italian food?
Vincenzo Candiano: The kitchen for me has to describe the link between territory and tradition in relation to the personality of the Chef. I express this philosophy in the use of unsophisticated high quality food from my territory. I enjoy telling stories that involve the territories and the local culture through my recipes. Guests have to enjoy travelling in my territory because it has such a vast history combing great culture with great food. I can guarantee a contemporary taste and new techniques that offer you a unique and exciting experience.
Love Italian Life:There have been many new high profile Italian restaurants openings around the world recently. Do you think the Italian food scene is changing internationally?
Vincenzo Candiano:I’m very happy about that because it presents the right image of our cuisine which is a international symbol of quality and tradition. In the past a lot of Italian recipes were exported and evolved into different forms by foreign countries which did not provide a clear portrayal of the original Italian recipes. Take France for example which since the beginning of time has lead a consistent image of the country which has been preserved internationally. With new high profile Italian restaurants opening we can hopefully guarantee a more consistent international image more easily.
“I love simple and unsophisticated traditional foods that keep me close to the origins of my territory”.
Love Italian Life:For most of your life you have always cooked for other people, but can you tell our community what the real Vincenzo Candiano loves to eat?
Vincenzo Candiano:I love simple and unsophisticated traditional foods that keep me close to the origins of my territory. No dish comes closer to me then Pasta, tomatoes with basil and cheese. I also love to eat grilled fish and meat. I enjoy discovering new cheeses from all over the world, baked products like “Traditional Scacce”, “Cannoli” with goat ricotta and the “Baba”. I have easy simple tastes but do not bring me snails and insects to eat!