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A clean and selfless kitchen, that of Petrosino and his brigade. Dishes, dining room and atmosphere go hand in hand. And they make the Bianca Relais an unmissable destination

It is not so frequent to return to a place already seen, especially for those like me who are always looking for new suggestions to live and tell. But in this case, the rule is an exception, as they say. I return to Bianca, in the Lombard heart of the “lakes region”, in Oggiono, after almost nine months: and I find many changes, starting with the Michelin star, assigned for the 2022 edition, up to the hall, redesigned with class. Already last year – the first since the opening, in 2020 – it was presumed that an important recognition was coming, it was in the air. But, as we well know, merit and recognition do not always go hand in hand. On the other hand, Emanuele Petrosino’s cooking line immediately struck me for its precision, his courage not exhibited, the aesthetics of the dishes in harmony with the “substance”: Bianca’s offer seemed to me the result of reflections deep and not generically the daughter of the need to amaze. In a system where approximation (often passed off as creativity) is rampant, finding a Chef so precise and attentive to details seemed to me an uncommon discovery. In short, one to keep an eye on. Emanuele’s rigor certainly arises from passion, but also from the ambitious desire to do his job at its best: not to appear, but first of all to give an honest answer to his goals, his rigor and his idea of cooking. His clarity in the choice of materials, his delicacy in working them, his love for beauty in presenting them on the plate remind me of the work of Antonio Guida, or Stefano Baiocco, or Nino di Costanzo, who for Emanuele was a great master. The chef’s activity, after all, is a mission, made up of competence and mastery, but also of generosity and altruism, because respect for those who approach a dish should be the first real reason for their work. Emanuele does not impose, as many chefs do, to accept their cuisine in the name of their own value, but rather prefers to accompany, within a targeted, almost sharp path, which wants to present the best of the Italian repertoire of tastes, flavors, textures , colors can and should offer. No self-referentiality in his kitchen, which is basically an act of love, as the great poet Milo De Angelis might say, which goes beyond any banal reference to a petty, banal expectation. In short, a cuisine that, like poetry, does not need too many explanations. Among the starters, the Marchigiana with its mixed salad of fruit and vegetables, raw and cooked, is an elegant, clean dish, which combines the tender texture of raw meat with the vegetable freshness of a fantastic and crunchy selection. Minestrone da … mare is not just a work of modern art but, for me, it is the contemporary expression of how you can successfully give an emotion.

Among the first courses, the iconic Tortelli with 36-month Parmigiano Reggiano, sautéed escarole, Controne beans and cruschi peppers are a powerful and enjoyable synthesis of how far certain products of nature can go, from Neapolitan escaroles to peppers and the divine Parmigiano. aged for three years, enclosed in the elegant caskets of fresh pasta created by the chefs of the brigade: each of them is mentioned on the menu next to each dish made, to underline Petrosino’s sensitivity in enhancing everyone’s work. The sequence of courses then sees the unexpected arrival, not “commanded”, of a fantastic Spaghettone Gerardo Di Nola (in memory of the great Assante) which reconciles with the heritage of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, and which refers to the Iaccarino family: here as in Sant’Agata, taste (and memory) are satisfied, in an unprecedented gastro-emotional hosanna. Regarding the second courses, the third visit will give me other ideas: for now, I would like to point out a dish that well represents Petrosino’s love for beauty, which makes this Branzino al verde with obsessive definition of each ingredient, harmoniously present in the dish.

I am left with the curiosity Piglet graduated in three consistencies, but he will satisfy it later. For desserts, another top-of-the-line chapter, I suggest Chocolate and orange, guaranteed texture and sweetness, and the Interpretation a lemon delight, fantastic, to remember. I leave the Bianca restaurant with some sensations and as many certainties: Emanuele Petrosino is not a soloist, but a protagonist (which is a different thing) of sensitivity and experience: he knows the value of the team and knows how to motivate it, like a true conductor .. And it’s not cheap. Furthermore, it seems to me that, also thanks to his professional past (although he is very young), he is able to collaborate with the property (they are purebred entrepreneurs) in choosing the best, even in restaurant marketing key. Orientation that emerges well in the choice of a team of first-rate professionals, from Massimiliano Padovan, empathetic, excellent (Paolo Teverini is a great guarantor!) To Massimo Rossetti, perfect room teacher (already with Daniel Facen at the Preview) to Gaia Bottura, passionate sommelier, courteous and attentive. A final, positive addition: the reorganization of the values of the courses on the menu denotes a balanced reflection on the positioning of the structure’s catering offer: certainly luxury (rooms and suites at the Bianca Relais leave no doubts) but not intended for very few. That is: great Italian cuisine can and must be a heritage of humanity. The numbers Kitchen: 9 Wines: 8 Room service: 9 Location: 9 Atmosphere: 9 Total: 44/50

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