ITAL­IAN KITCHEN

The Guidi­cel­lis share fam­ily recipes, and why they don’t serve pizza

Cebu Living - - Front Page - By RENZ NOLLASE Im­age by JEFF ROGER KHO

Trat­to­ria da Gianni is an ex­ten­sion of the Guidi­celli fam­ily’s din­ner ta­ble, a fam­ily kitchen guised as a restau­rant, not least be­cause of the home-style cook­ing that comes out of the kitchen but for the sim­ple rea­son that, as Gior­gia Guidi­celli ad­mits, “[The fam­ily] ba­si­cally just eats here now, since we don’t have cooks at home [any­more].”

The restau­rant is man­aged by fa­ther and daugh­ter duo Gian­luca and Gior­gia Guidi­celli. Asked how they man­age to work to­gether as a team, Gian­luca’s re­sponse is charm­ing, “How we work as a team? No, we work as a fam­ily.”

The trat­to­ria, nes­tled among the lines of restau­rant at Cross­roads, is an homage to the late fam­ily pa­tri­arch Gianni Guidi­celli. His love for food and fam­ily was syn­ony­mous, seen in sim­ple ex­pres­sions like send­ing bot­tles of his fa­vorite Ital­ian bot­tled wa­ter, Ac­qua Panna, to the mem­bers of the Guidi­celli fam­ily stay­ing in Manila. But while he in­sisted on im­port­ing main in­gre­di­ents from Italy to en­sure au­then­tic Ital­ian fla­vors, Gianni pre­ferred his meals to be sim­ple and un­com­pli­cated, the way his wife Franca and the fam­ily cooks, Jean and An­to­nia, made them at home.

“My fa­ther didn’t like eat­ing out at Ital­ian restau­rants here. He used to say, ‘I only eat good food when I am in the house. Why aren’t more peo­ple cook­ing the way that Jean and An­to­nia are cook­ing?’” says Gian­luca. The two fa­vored cooks served the Guidi­cel­lis for al­most 30 years. Af­ter Gianni passed away, Gian­luca of­fered the women a part in the fam­ily restau­rant. From the fam­ily kitchen, they now work in the trat­to­ria’s back of the house as cooks and part own­ers, still serv­ing dishes ac­cord­ing to the late Gianni’s taste.

“My fa­ther, he didn’t like com­pli­cated dishes in other [Ital­ian] restau­rants. He liked things sim­ple. For him, the best sauce was just plain tomato sauce or plain but­ter with ravi­oli,” says Gian­luca.

With a pref­er­ence for sim­plic­ity, a meal at Trat­to­ria da Gianni re­quires no lengthy de­gus­ta­tion. There are no notes or hints here, just straight­for­ward fla­vors and tex­tures high­light­ing the cu­rated in­gre­di­ents Gian­luca sources from Italy. “I don’t like to mix my olives. We get olive oil from Tus­cany and Um­bria. Our cheeses come from Cam­pa­nia and Naples be­cause they have the best cheeses.”

Trat­to­ria da Gianni’s menu, in fact, is a smor­gas­bord of dishes fea­tur­ing qual­ity Ital­ian in­gre­di­ents. The Tris di Moz­zarella, a pa­rade of fior di latte, bu­fala, and bur­rata, is de­light­ful eaten by it­self or placed atop a slice of cia­batta from La Panet­te­ria di Luigi, owned by Gian­luca’s brother Francesco, who pro­vides freshly baked bread to the restau­rant ev­ery day.

Pizza is cu­ri­ously ab­sent, ow­ing to the restau­rant’s lack of a tra­di­tional oven, which Gian­luca and Gior­gia in­sist is how pizza should be made. “When some­one asks me if we have pizza, I just tell them to go to La Nos­tra,” says Gian­luca. Gior­gia is re­fer­ring to Michael Can­cio’s La Nos­tra Pizze­ria Napo­le­tana, an­other stead­fast voice in cham­pi­oning au­then­tic Ital­ian food. In place of the usual pizza, the trat­to­ria of­fers a se­lec­tion of br­uschetta that’s as play­ful

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP: BRUSCHETTE, SCAMORZA AFFUMICATA,

AND TRIS DI MOZ­ZARELLA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.