Masterchef S03 ep10 : Gualtieri Marchesi, Restaurant Marchesi, [Brescia]
Interview with Angela Hartnett
Gualtiero Marchesi was the first Italian chef to win three Michelin stars and at 78 years young, Marchesi is by far Italy’s most renowned chef; having created a string of award-winning restaurants and the culinary philosophy ‘Total Cuisine’, as set out in his seminal book, The Marchesi Code.
Total cuisine requires attention to every detail, and when Marchesi opened his first restaurant in Milan in 1977, was something of a revolution. Within six months, Ristorante Gualtiero Marchesi had earned him his first Michelin star and by 1985, the restaurant had three – a first for Italy."
I am a person who found themselves in a career without really wanting it because i was a “Son of Art" , or that is what they say, I found myself at one point in time that I had become
passionate about my parents profession and here I am today.
I always was part of the city’s cultural existence and its artists, not only because I loved it but because
in truth I aspired to be an artist more than to be a chef. Humbly I think that in my choice of career
paths I have achieved a certain level of art, because many of my dishes represent me I believe that
these dishes have travelled the world over – like Arisuolo – Ravioli Aperti – Sepie Nero, and many
I have never judged “the kitchen” simplistically as a cook, but always judged its varied facets; in fact I
felt the need to produce dishes that expressed that which I was feeling.
The modern cuisine in my opinion has been influenced by the “Asian” cuisine. The Japanese more
than any other Asian cuisine has infiltrated the world over with its Sushi, Sashimi and Kaesecki, using
porcelain in different shapes, sizes, colour and texture than what we are used to, and I found myself
in a position where I had to redesign my plates to complement my aesthetic images. It is not the case
just to produce a good dish but you need to display it in the right way to do the dish justice.
Cooking is shape, cooking is touch, cooking is sculpting, it is smelling, it is hearing, it is all of these No?
The Chinese give great importance to the ear, because it also music, sounds.
Not all of the sound, even something that is frying.the Chinese bring into the dining room a pan that
is still sizzling and cooking, it is a sound, a music. Music why, because I always say that the“the
cuisine, the kitchen” is always like the music, it has its own notes, and it depends how the violin
makes the sound. There is a beautiful phrase by Gustaf Mahler who says “ in the score there is
everything” – essential excerpts, excellent execution.”
Lets say that my desire was born in my parents hotel, but after also In Switzerland where I studied
Hotelier in Lucerne in the Swiss German.
I was about 18 years of age through to 22 years of age, then I returned to work with my parents. I
would work at my trade without really thinking of it as work – I used to have fun each night, I would
always be out at night, because I always partied with artists and artists always party at night. At one
point, because I was passionate about music, and I would always attend concerts, 8 days out of 7 I
was always at a concert I was introduced to my now wife, who was a pianist in an orchestra and I
studied for 3 years to play the piano. Whilst I was studying Piano it was like a reawakening - stopped
learning the piano and I dedicated myself to my work, but up until that time I was working but with a
distraction, not giving it my all without real passion.
We married and have two children both who are musicians, 5 grandchildren who give concerts the
youngest who is 10 plays piano, the 13 year old plays cello, 15 year old violinist – I now receive the
applause for them.
With my reawakening from 25 years through to 36 years of age, I was producing a modern cuisine. At
the time when my parents hotel closed because it had to make way for construction. I then took off
for France because I wanted to see what the great 3 stars were doing. I always said if I can work in a 3
star restaurant, I know I can then produce my own 2 stars. In fact for 10 years I actually achieve 3
stars . I worked in Duane???? Then ???? then I arrived at the brothers Trogreaux when Jean
Trogreaux was still there – Jean and Pierre
Before going to the brothers Troigreaux. When I arrived there, I realized that which I was thinking
about doing, was already being done by the grande French kitchens. I returned and spent a year not
doing very much working with friends, and then at a point in time I had the opportunity in opening
my restaurant which was called Guatiero Marchesi in 1977 in May after 6 months I received my first
star Michelin and the year after I received my second star and in 1985 I received my third star.
I bring forward an Italian Style. About 15 years ago together with a friend I wrote a book entitled
“L’arte di li Bandi Gione” - The Art of the Region – it is the history of the 1700 until now, because the
results of speaking with a friend I had defined the German Baroque cuisine, the French Rococo cuisine
, The Cuisine……. Each of these eras has a style, no? Therefore the Italian Cuisine is its simplicity. We
are not a country of Luxury we are the country of Elegance. The elegance comes from the fact that we
have a fantastic climate that produces… it is not process that produces a great cured ham, we have a
series of great produce that our micro climate gives us in order to produce the great cured ham.
The cuisine it there, you need only know how to do it well. In my concept of ‚“least cooking“ which
will be branded there is a phrase of High Derga this is a German philosophy which states Art is the
Operation of the Truth and underneath I will write ‚‘‘this is my truth“. The maximum of the technical
simplicity put together with the value of the produce. I think a customer would have great pleasure in
viewing the carving of a side of meat instead of seeing it in pieces on his plate with 50 other things. In
addition I want to add if you force your hand with the side dishes you end up with a mess because
the side dishes are not considered part of the main dish. When a dish is born together with its sides –
that is cooked together then it is fine. You need to be attentive here to ensure that the side is in
contrast with the main not to accompany it. You have seen the Ratatouille – it is beautiful. The first
thing this dead old chef soul teaches the mouse is to put in his mouth a piece of cheese and then a
strawberry – telling him to sense the contrasts in flavours – this is a wonderful example…. This is a
way to put into evidence two things, if you put a sauce on a meal and then a side that is also strong
then it is wrong for me – they need to complement each other not overpower each other. I have put
together a dish, which I will let you see, a large piece of round steak that beside this piece of meat you
place the respective sauce and in the other part you put the side. This way the sauce does not spread
out to the side dish – therefore there is contrast otherwise all you do is eat something that has only
You are always learning and I love to place on the plate something that will strike at the heart of a
person. If there is truth the plate is wonderful. The competition we run at The Cooking School of
?????? you need to judge the dish almost without tasting it, because if a person has truly understood,
all you need to do is look and you have understood all. When you have reached this level it is like
stepping to the other side, where there is no true front anymore and you see all clearly.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Gualtieri Marchesi, Restaurant Marchesi, [Brescia]