On one of the very last days of our Summer Trentino stay, back we are in El Molin in Cavalese, where the recently Michelin starred Chef Alessandro Gilmozzi continues to straddle creativity and tradition.
Among the many great dishes, this one impressed from the start:
It’s Ravioli with cipolla (onion) fondente parmesan cream and liquorice. The liquorice is wild, picked by the chef and his assistants on the surrounding mountains – they obviously need to keep in shape, with all the delicacies tempting them in the kitchen! This wild liquorice is very mild and confers the dish an aura, an atmosphere more than a decisive flavour, like an instrument accompanying the lead. In this case two leads, really, with parmesan and onion delicately competing for your attention.
How many times have we been disappointed by dishes advertised with this herb or that perfume, only to discover that the elusive herb flavour and perfume have forever escaped? Certainly Chef Gilmozzi knows a thing or two about the treatment of herbs and perfumes. Look at this:
Here we have (in an interesting feat of equilibrium) a lamb shank lacquered with rhododendrum honey and lavender. The tender lamb is lovingly enveloped with the aromatic honey, and the lavender here really holds centre stage. The presentation is wonderful as ever, with the colourful dried vegetables enlivening the dish in many dimensions.
Venison with extravergin olive oil, pink moscato sauce and small vegetables in a thyme perfumed pot (at the back in the photo).
But, as far as herbs are concerned, this was where a pinnacle was reached:
This variation of crème brulees’ with ‘perfumes from Lagorai’ (a mountain chain in the region), beside being technically perfect as far as the basic dessert is concerned, offers an admirable escalation of strong, clear flavours: lavender, mint, lemon balm (melissa officinalis) and mountain pine (pinus mugo), the last one really hitting your senses with its resinous punch. What a brilliant endpoint to a great dinner.