Posts Tagged ‘restaurant’

Italian government legislates against “Molecular cuisine”

February 28, 2010 - 11:07 pm 38 Comments


Italy’s Ministry of Health has passed a bill that bans the use of chemical additives and liquid nitrogen from restaurant kitchens.

Texturas - Albert y Ferran Adrià
What they want to achieve is to exclude the “chemical additives” used in “Molecular cuisine” (as referred to by the Italian Ministry of Health’s secretary Francesca Martini) from the restaurant food.
Video of Francesca Martini where she explains and signs the new act (only in italian)
Update 2011: This video has been removed from Youtube because of “Copyright issues”. Yeah right.

Italy hereby says that “for the security of its citizens” it wants to eliminate, and make it no longer possible for restaurants to use certain additives (which will still be allowed in the industrial food processing though).
Many of these additives are commonly referred to as “powders” - of which one of the most famous brand is the “Texturas”-line from Albert and Ferran Adrià .

Italy’s cuisine is based on tradition, and tradition alone, so it definately can’t be considered a stronghold for avant-garde cuisine or innovative cooking.
The so-called molecular cuisine has been widely debated in national tv and a lot of Italy’s famous chefs hold a hostile attitude towards this “science based cooking” - accusing it of “ruining an already perfect cuisine”.

The government is also trying to ban the use of liquid nitrogen, calling it a “gaseous substance”.

Of course things like liquid nitrogen (used in the kitchen to freeze foods instantaneously by submerging into this extremely cold liquid) should always be handled with due care, but I can’t really see why the liquid nitrogen would be considered hazardous enough to be banned from the restaurant kitchens.
Unless accidentally stored in a sealed container (which would go KABOOM!) there’s no reason why liquid nitrogen would be any more dangerous than a pot of boiling hot oil for deep frying - something used everyday in Italy’s restaurant kitchens.

So that’s what they wanted to do, how unfortunate that the Health Ministery guys didn’t attend their chemistry lessons in school. The government tries to stop the use of liquid nitrogen by legislating against the “storage and use of any gaseous substance”.
Then too bad for them that liquid nitrogen is, that’s right, a liquid! And if that’s not enough they accidentally excluded liquid nitrogen again from being banned with the small paragraph “it is prohibited to keep and use gaseous substances, except food additives”.
Within the European Union nitrogen is classified as a food additive, with its own code E941, therefore OK to use.
Seems logical?

And do they want to sweep the kitchens clean of any gases? There’s a variety of gases used in the kitchens today, the carbon dioxide used in the soda siphon, the butane used in the gas torch for the crème brûlée, and even the pan of boiling water produces gas.

The whole thing feels like an outrageous publicity stunt from the government in a country where tradition reigns supreme.
A way to regain people’s (and voters’) confidence promising them to protect italian products and have restaurants serve fresh and healthy food, pointing out the ones that embrace the latest techniques and new ingredients as the bad guys.
In the end it’s a bogus law made by people that do not understand.

Cheer up - the new law is only valid for less than a year anyway (its expiry date is on the 31st December 2010)!


Link to the official law text on the “Gazzetta Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana” Update 2011: As suspected, this text has now been removed from their site without any referral to an updated text or a new similar act.


Trio Restaurant, Malmö

March 14, 2009 - 2:44 am 4 Comments


During the latest visit to Sweden, a night at Trio Restaurant in Malmö could be found quite high up on the wish list.

Trio is a really small restaurant, with just a few tables, a notably sober interior decoration and a remarkably big reputation for just being 6 months old.

img_8611-2The trio consists of Erik Berne - restaurant manager and sommelier and chefs Sebastian Persson and Ola Rudin.
All of them have been working in well-known gourmet restaurants around the world before they congregated in Malmö to open their dream restaurant.

The cuisine is based on seasonal produce from near-by farmers and producers. Both elaborate and natural. Strong flavors and contrasting textures.
These factors - together with professional service and a nearly perfect (at times insanely stunning!) wine pairing makes for a good meal.
Add a good amount of nice company and some good laughs and you have an experience to remember!


Here are some of the best dishes from our tasting menu:


Crispy cod skin with fennel seed emulsion


Smögen shrimp, trout roe, lump fish roe, yoghurt and vervain

Smögen shrimp, trout roe, lump fish roe, yoghurt and vervain

Local farm pig, tree mushroom, pear and horseradish

Local farm pig, tree mushroom, pear and horseradish

Scallop from Tromsö, oyster, geranium and cucumber

Scallop from Tromsö, oyster, geranium and cucumber

Egg from Söderåsens organic farm, cauliflower, chicken skin and common chickweed

Egg from Söderåsens organic farm, cauliflower, chicken skin and common chickweed

img_8659-2The evening reached its climax when they, together with the check/bill, put a big white “tree” on the table. A fake tree made of spun sugar and sorrel. What an immense infantile amusement to eat cotton candy from a tree!

All in all we had a splendid evening, with very correct and friendly service and absolutely astonishing food. This will be a meal to remember during 2009. The atmosphere is very low-key with a decorating so sober it’s borderline dull. But you would be coming here for the food and wine anyway, not for the design.






Andiamo a mangiare fuori?

December 1, 2008 - 11:40 pm No Comments

Osteria Scaloni a Roma

E da un po che volevo andare - ma non si e presentata la opportunita.
Fino ad oggi (Grazie ENEL, Acea o Sorgenia o qualche altro fornitore di
elettricita che non conosco!)

Osteria Scaloni interiorVabbe, Osteria scaloni (zona Prati) e un posto intimo e carino. Un buon esempio della osteria moderna - l´arredamento scelto con gusto e il stile curato, l´ambiente piacevole e simpatico (anche se a volte al limite di essere rumoroso con il locale pieno). Il profilo grafico mi piace molto, sobrio e rilassato allo stesso tempo. Servizio corretto, discreto e veloce. La cucina gioca fra tradizionale e piu moderno, l´accento sulle specialita di mare ma sempre mediterranea.
Sul menu abbiamo trovato polpo caldo con vinaigrette di cipolla rossa di Tropea, tagliolini con cozze, asparagi (un po fuori stagione forse…) e bottarga, rombo con guazzetto di frutti di mare, filetto di spigola coperto con patate croccante e per finire - tiramisu. (C´e anche carne sul menu!)
Tutto buono, tutto piacevole. Non e proprio un ristorante economico, ma i prezzi sembrano giusti per la qualita.

It´s been a while that I´ve wanted to go here - but the opportunity
just hasn´t showed. Until today (Thanks ENEL, Acea or Sorgenia or some other to me unknown electricity company).

Anyway, Osteria Scaloni (in zona Prati) is an intimate and altogether nice restaurant. A good example of the modern “osteria” - decorated in a stylish way and with taste. The atmosphere is friendly and pleasant (although sometimes the sound level gets a bit high when the place is full). I do like the graphic profile, sober and relaxed at the same time. The service is correct, discrete and fast. The kitchen plays between traditional and modern with an emphasis on seafood and keeping the mediterranean line.
On the menu we found “Octopus espresso” with a vinaigrette of red Tropea onions, fresh pasta with mussels, asparagus (slightly out of season maybe…) and salted roe, turbot with seafood and tomatoes, sea bass covered with crunchy potatoes and to finish off - tiramisu. (There´s also meat dishes on the menu!) Everything was good and enjoyable. It´s not one of the cheapest restaurants in Rome, but for what you get, I find the prices fair.

Osteria Scaloni
Via Carlo Mirabello 8

Tel 063721593