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In Venice, Chef Unites Yesterday And Tomorrow

Classic Venetian baccalà gets a trendy look. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Classic meets contemporary at the 56th Biennale di Venezia. This year’s theme is “All the World’s Futures,” and one chef in Venice has taken that inspiration to create a spectacular menu.

The international art exhibition, which runs until Nov. 22, takes place in the Giardini and Arsenale venues and other locations throughout the historic city, making a marvelous encounter between history and avant-garde, where classic meets contemporary art.

In the spirit of this convergence, Chef Luca Veritti created an original menu for the magnificent Met Restaurant at the Metropole Hotel in Venice.

The spectacular menu, called “Tra’Contemporary Cuisine,” combines two philosophies — the traditional Italian and Veneto recipes and a futuristic style through which the same recipes are elaborated and proposed in a creative way.

While different from the current gastronomic trends, the reason for such an original choice lies in the intention of giving value to the regional products — often neglected on behalf of food from faraway countries — elaborated with exotic styles and cuisines.

Hors d’oeuvres the traditional way

Traditional capesante gratinate, baked scallops with bread crumbs and aromatics. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

Traditional capesante gratinate, baked scallops with bread crumbs and aromatics. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

A perfect example are the capesante gratinate, a typical hors d’oeuvres in the Veneto tradition, consisting of baked scallops covered with bread crumbs, aromatized with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

A delicate update

A contemporary capesante adds passion fruit and a delicate beetroot cream. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

A contemporary capesante adds passion fruit and a delicate beetroot cream. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

In the contemporary version à la Oriente,” the capesante are breaded and cooked with coconut rapé and served with a delicate beetroot cream, hints of passion fruit and a wafer of bread flavored with parsley and garlic.

Home cooking from Carnia

Macaròns di còce is made with pumpkin gnocchi prepared by hand, using a spoon, which gives them their shape and weight, then served with melted butter, sage leaves and some grated smoked ricotta cheese. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Macaròns di còce is made with pumpkin gnocchi prepared by hand, using a spoon, which gives them their shape and weight, then served with melted butter, sage leaves and some grated smoked ricotta cheese. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Another traditional home-cooking dish from Carnia: Macaròns di còce is made with pumpkin gnocchi prepared by hand, using a spoon, which gives them their shape and weight, then served with melted butter, sage leaves and some grated smoked ricotta cheese from Friuli.

An innovative update

The innovative cream of pumpkin and ricotta cheese.

The innovative cream of pumpkin and ricotta cheese. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

This traditional recipe is transformed into a cream of pumpkin and ricotta cheese with a hint of sage. The smoked trout with mountain herbs enriches the dish, which is finished with a morchia sauce — a typical sauce of Friuli prepared with melted butter and cornmeal.

Trendy and traditional

Inspired by the Venice Biennale, Chef Luca Veritti created his Tra'Contemporary Cuisine menu for the Met Restaurant in Venice. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Inspired by the Venice Biennale, Chef Luca Veritti created his Tra’Contemporary Cuisine menu for the Met Restaurant in Venice. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

The high quality of the raw materials will be the centerpiece of the Tra’Contemporary Cuisine: The lamb comes from the Alpago; the vegetables from the Venetian island of Sant’Erasmo; and the fish from Rialto market in Venice. Speaking of fish, in Luca’s menu the classic Venetian baccalà gets a trendy look. The stockfish cooked at a low temperature is accompanied by a rosemary-flavored olive oil foam. A delicate Bronte pistachio sauce and air of Aperol Spritz add a further touch of refinement.

Chocolate gets an update

Chocolate revisited, with passion fruit, caramel and bourbon vanilla. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Chocolate revisited, with passion fruit, caramel and bourbon vanilla. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

Couldn’t chocolate get a “futuristic” treatment? Veritti designed a “chocolate revisited,” in which a heart of passion fruit mousse enriches a sphere of plain chocolate sprinkled with white chocolate cream flavored with alchermes. Chocolate with savory caramel and Madagascar bourbon vanilla crumble complete the dish.

Veritti’s experiment could be a great culinary experience for a couple who can share dishes, while indulging in the past and adventuring into the future.

The Venice Biennale art exhibition will run until Nov. 22. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

The Venice Biennale art exhibition will run until Nov. 22. Credit: Copyright 2014 Cesare Zucca

Main photo: Classic Venetian baccalà gets a trendy look from Chef Luca Verriti. Credit: Copyright 2014 Daniele Nalesso

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Zester Daily contributor Cesare Zucca is a travel, food and lifestyle writer/photographer who was born and raised in Italy and now splits his time among New York, Milan and Europe. Cesare loves to travel off the beaten path and report on his blog, nontouristytourist.com.

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