Masterchef S01 ep12: Carlo Cracco, Cracco Restaurant, [Milian]

Interview with Carlo Cracco

It was not until I worked with Gualtiero Marchese that I understood for the first time, what cooking was really about. Other chefs gave me a basic understanding of working with produce, but Marchese was the first to elevate cooking into an art form. I was 20 years old and for the first time I understood that things were happening in the kitchen. I then went to work for Alain Ducasse.

 

18.19
Cracco Peck is a new restaurant which was opened in 1999. When the
Stoppano family decided to renovate their restaurant they wanted to create a
culinary mecca. Their delicatessen kitchens were not really the same as a true
kitchen of a restaurant. They wanted to employ an aspiring young chef who
had their own restaurant to propose something new, exciting and international
for Milan.

18.52
It was not until I worked with Gualtiero Marchese that I understood for the first
time, what cooking was really about. Other chefs gave me a basic
understanding of working with produce, but Marchese was the first to elevate
cooking into an art form. I was 20 years old and for the first time I understood
that things were happening in the kitchen.

19.35
I then went to work for Alain Ducasse. Alain Ducasse's cuisine was basically
influenced by the regions of Liguria to the Cote D’Azure whereas Marchese re-
interpreted all the Italian regional cuisine, from the coastal regions right through
to the central and the mountain areas of Italy. Marchese and Ducasse draw
their inspiration from their respective Italian and French backgrounds.

20.18
Ducasse's cuisine is a mix between, Italian, French and Mediterranean and
made in France. It is very different. The Marchese cuisine is modern re-
invigorated Italian cuisine which is made in Italy.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

21.03
In 1989 I transferred from Ducasse's Monte Carlo restaurant where he had an
Italian influence in his kitchen and went to worked at his Paris restaurant. The
Ducasse Paris restaurant is a temple of true French Cuisine and after
Ducasse, I was sent to Alain Senderen's 3-Michelin star Lucas Carton
restaurant in Paris.

21.38
KD – What did you think of Senderens’s kitchen?

21.40
I found that Senderens had a very Roman influence in his cooking, because he
studies and takes recipes from books of the old Roman Empire. These antique
cookbooks describe the old flavours and techniques of the sweet and sour
Roman kitchen. In those days, they made their own Balsamic vinegar, and
spiced with salt and sugar together. Senderens discovered this and uses these
Roman concepts in his kitchen.

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

22.34
When I started in this kitchen, my philosophy was to forget all that I had done
before, not start from scratch but try things with an open mind. If I had always
seen a particular piece of meat prepared one way, I would consider its
preparation in a different way but to my satisfaction.

23.04
We think about dishes and do them. It is an immediate action, and we do not
consider things too elaborately. This is done quite quickly because we have to
organize everything from cooking, seasoning, plating and serving a-la-minute.

23.48
One of the main reasons I came to Milan to work with Peck was because I was
assured to have all the very best quality ingredients at my disposal.


Jewellery Theatre Elements

24.02
Half of a Chef’s job is to look for the best quality produce and ingredients
including wines.

24.11
Because these things were already here, it makes part of my job easier.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

24.41
It is unfortunate when people experience Italian cuisine that is not cooked or
prepared as well as it should. What makes it special however, is that it is truly
an international cuisine and whether it is from the North or the South, the
ingredients can be found almost everywhere.

25.01
It is always a very simple, immediate cuisine, with fresh flavors and aromas
and very different from the French way of cooking.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:Carlo Cracco, Cracco Restaurant, [Milian]