In San Piero in Bagno (FC), a small town in the heart of the Apennines between Romagna and Tuscany, a young but already driven chef is creating a perfect match between the typical Romagna hospitality and gourmet cuisine devoted to the contemporary.
We are talking about Gianluca Gorini, the eclectic owner of the homonymous and Michelin starred restaurant Da Gorini.
We choose to interview him also to have an authoritative opinion about the quite unusual food-beer combination he adopted for his gourmet restaurant.
How did you come up with the idea of opening your own bistrot and which factors led you to this name?
“My dream, since I was a child, has always been to open a restaurant and I feel lucky because I do not think it is that obvious having a clear idea about your future at such an early age.
With regard to the name of the restaurant, I decided to carry on the tradition: my family once ran its own restaurant and named it after them. I think this is a typical Italian feature, linked to the gastronomic tradition of our so-called Bel Paese. It also reflects our idea of catering: expressing ourselves in a contemporary way whilst remembering our roots and identity, pampering our customers in every way possible with smiles, care, kindness and good food, of course”.
What is your personal challenge as a restaurateur?
“The real challenge for a restaurateur is not to attract the customers and lead them into their own restaurant for once, but consistently bringing them back, because that’s the only way for a restaurant to plan for the future and looking towards it with serenity.
My other great goal is to tell our culture with a new personal language, through techniques, skills and possibilities that weren’t there 30 years ago.”.
We know that the menu also contains a dish matched by a beer. What do you think about it and what inspired you towards this special suggestion?
“Nowadays I believe that a chef must have the ability not to set any boundaries to himself. The food-beer combination is not such a strange thing but only a way to add a different shade in terms of taste and perspective, too. We now live in an age where we can get everything we want, we must therefore be able to deal with everything if we want to give a modern feel to what we do.
For all I care, the food-beer pairing was born because a certain dish required certain characteristics that I found in beer.
One of the food-beer combinations that we propose put the artichoke under the spotlight. It’s a product that hardly combines with wine. The hopped brew has instead allowed us to find balance in sense of fulfillment enhancing a whole new dimension to artichoke, the matcha tea powder touch giving it an even more tannic taste. We finally found that right point of freshness and acidity that perfectly complete the dish”.
What kind of beer you usually prefer for this combination?
“Generally, an IPA on slightly green, hoppy toasted notes”.
What is the right path to take for Italian people to understand that beer can also be combined with a gourmet cuisine?
“People must be encouraged to want to increase their cultural background heritage. I think that those who attend our restaurant are already prepared and open to this type of experience because we have made a name for ourselves through knowledges, work and professionalism. Therefore, customers find it easier to be guided by our proposals”.