“I am convinced that anyone who wants to leave an indelible mark on this world should eat <<study>> for breakfast, <<creativity>> for lunch and <<innovation>> for dinner”Andrea Alessandrelli, Chef and Restaurant Manager at Filodivino wine Resort and Spa in San Marcello di Jesi, tells us about his professional experience, his career and the indissoluble bond with the Marche region.
You’ve been awarded as the best young Italian chef in 2019. Can you tell us your professional experience and path? Was your experience in Hell’s Kitchen (a TV format) a fundamental step in your career? Can we say that there is a time “before Hell’s and one after “Hell’s” thanks to Chef Cracco? What changed inside you with that experience?
Thank you very much for this question. Talking about my victory at the best young chef competition promoted by IN CIBUM in 2019, I remember a nice anecdote. I was afraid to miss my train on my trip back from Salerno city, so I left the competition before the award ceremony. Half my way back, I received a call from the judges telling I had to come back immediately for the award cerem . I won the first priz . Last but not least, during the execution of my recipe, there was a black out at my station, and so I found myself improvising a row recipe, without using the stove. Regarding my career, I can say that I grew up cooking due to familiar problems. At my hotel school, teachers did not have much confidence on me, because they did not understand my creativity. At the end of my schooling I started working in Ancona, and the 40 years experienced head cook, did not see my talent. It was only up to my passion, determination, my strengths I managed to became her right arm. After 4 year Maria Assunta, the head cook, went retired and I made up my mind becaming a chef at only 22 managing a bistrot owned by another person. This is the start of Hell’s Kitchen, a fundamental step in my career: master Carlo Cracco immediately realized my talent. When I was doubting about my job, Mr Cracco was very strong and severe pushing me to the high catering. I will always be grateful to him for thousands and thousands advices he gave to me .After Hell’s Kitchen experience I began my trip through the most important restaurant in Europe. These international experiences led my kitchen style to became more and more refined.
You were born in Le Marche Region, and you are deeply tied up to this territory.Today you are an executive chef with the huge responsibility of the cuisine at Filo di vino resort in San Marcello .How the territory of Le Marche is important in your kitchen?
Yes, this year is my third year as Chef and restaurant manager at FilodiVino wine resort and SPA at San Marcello in Jesi (AN).From the very beginning I ‘ve enhanced our local territory of Le Marche region, I only buy local product from small companies and farms , I like circular economy based on organic culture. With the purpose of not exploiting the Earth, in our menu we don’t say the specific ingredients but only general indications, to offer the best quality of the product following the seasonability.
Your friends and colleagues call you as “Chef Andree”in a French way. French country has been or is also today a reference point for you? We know that you have had strong experiences abroad at the Dorchester Hotel in London, at Geranium in Copenhagen and also at the starred Don Alfonso in Italy.
How do you manage the combination between your local experience with your international and global training? Perhaps, let’s guess, as you have already told in a previous interview , because “:studying, creativity and innovation are my life”
The nick name Andree comes from chef Carlo Cracco, nothing to do with French influence. I’ve never worked in France but I love their kitchen culture. According to me the most impressive experience I’ve done was the one next to Chef patron Gianfranco Vissani and his executive chef Mori Shinichi, because the Italian genius and the Japanese technique are the best together. My experience in London, Copenhagen and Costiera Amalfitana (near Naples) were shorter but I managed to learn different way of cooking, each of them with the goal of creating high level of kitchen. Combination of local experience and global training makes my way of taste and technicality in my cousine.I am really certain that if you want to leave an indelible print in our world, you must start with studying at breakfast, creativity at lunch and innovation at dinner :you never stop learning , and I ‘m always looking for people who stimulate my artistic side.
Can you tell us about your Masters from Le Marche region: the two starred chef Cedroni and Uliassi? How they influenced your professional life? What did they give to you?
First of all I must say that we are very lucky of having two international Masters who are ambassador of our culinary culture in the world. About that I have two nice anecdotes: Moreno Cedroni at our first meeting beated me about my bad habit of smoking, because it would have ruined my palate. Unfortunately till now I only managed to smoke electronic cigarettes. The advice Uliassi gave me was amazing: I asked him if it would be worth to spend a lot of money attending an high cooking school, he answered to me better to invest the same amount of money to travel the world and work in different restaurants. I’ll will never stop to thank him.
Sustainability and “no waste” are subjects very near both to T&C truffle company and your culinary culture. T&C Truffle is promoting a challenge among students coming from some Hotel management Italian schools. They will create 0 km recipes, using the waste of the kitchen reinventing them, just adding T&C truffle based products and creativity.We know you are very involved on this subject, can you tell us your thinking about it?
Starting from the very beginning of my career I have been very sensitive to the global food waste issue and I’ve tried to learn as many techniques as possible to preserve food. It nearly impossible to avoid kitchen waste in a self respecting cuisine, but we can look for the way to decrease dramatically. How? We can create low choice menu for the customer, we can buy just what we need for the restaurant, we must be aware about waste and shelf life of the products trying to give a new life to them. As row material have a cost, the less we waste, the more we save money. When I came to Filodivino row material cost was 43% of the incidence of annual turnover, today thanks to what I have explained above, this incidence is diminished to 18%, despite the higher quality of our menu, in comparison to the previous situation. Besides that I create a movement called” the art of not waste “to raise awareness on customers: it means to make a painted picture using the little waste of alimentary sauces left after the meal. Customers taking with them the painting will became responsible consumers, My message is saving environment , respecting the rhythm of the seasons and having a no waste behavior .These are at the base of my creative philosophy.
You said that kitchen is harmony, truffle is a mysterious fruit of our Le Marche region that make harmonic a recipe. In your IG account you ‘ve post some photos of Tuber Magnatum Pico from Acqualagna (PU)Italy. Have you ever tried fine cream based on truffle? Would you like to experiment it? Perhaps you could use truffle fine cream in your recipe based on chicken and fried flowers you made at the starred restaurant Geranium in Copenhagens. Did we manage to intrigue you?
Truffle, is the mysterious fruit of the Earth, with its strong and fine taste. The way to enhance it is trying to always make it co-protagonist of the final taste of a recipe. Just to give you an example: my favorite way to taste truffle is over a fried egg. At Filodivino resort, I offer a variation from the classic recipe fooling the eyes. I use a pecorino cheese foam, an egg yolk marinated in powder sugar and fresh truffle.
Generally speakin, I’m not a passionate of semi prepared product , but I ‘m always open to atste new products.