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FOOD

CARLO CRACCO

DINING under the stars

Yearned to try Italy’s best restaurants but never found time on your travels? Fear not; they’re coming to London BY GUY WOODWA

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he food world is getting smaller. This may seem a contradiction when the cuisines of countries such as Iceland, Peru and South Korea are expanding our culinary horizons. But the flip side is that it’s getting ever easier to taste the food of the world’s great chefs as they export their star status across the globe. Over the next five months, a quintet of Italy’s most celebrated chefs will be taking up a month’s residency in-store at the most starry of pop-ups yet: Stelle di Stelle, which is presented in partnership with culinary organisation Identità Golose.

Herbs and spices iStock

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Stelle di Stelle, Lower Ground Floor. For bookings, call 020 7893 8700 or email stelle.di.stelle@harrods.com

Cracco started his career under the renowned Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan in 1986. After training with Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo and Alain Senderens in Paris, he joined Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and helped it gain three Michelin stars. From there he set up his own restaurant, Le Clivie, in Cuneo (one star) and then the renowned Cracco-Peck (two stars), which he runs today. “For me, regional products are crucial in creating new dishes and finding fresh inspiration. They enhance the gastronomic and cultural legacy that every Italian region enjoys. Take veal marrow, for example. Traditionally it’s used as a condiment for risotto, instead of butter, but we consider it an ingredient in its own right. I couldn’t live without it. And pig snout. It’s typically found in cassoeula, a traditional Milanese dish, but we use it to make an antipasto with scampi and green tomatoes. We call it ‘musetto’. It’s a very contemporary dish but one that still draws upon tradition and territory. I love it. “Travelling is important to me as a chef, though. When I travel, I bring back flavours, perfumes, memories. These things challenge and inspire me. That’s their role. So yes, we experiment. We have just tried several dishes with a special lemon from Vietnam, as it’s useful to understand there are variations in one single product, even if we don’t end up using them. Ultimately, though, for me, Italian cuisine stays Italian. I am a fan of local ingredients. Luckily, we are blessed with so many in Italy. And even Italians who don’t cook very well are very inquisitive and tend to have creative ideas.” HAR RODS M AGAZINE

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