The Ligurian term that gives the name to Sergio Circella’s restaurant indicates a place that is difficult to access. However, the toughest roads hide the best surprises
Speaking of “heroic” catering, we immediately think to those who carry out the creed, the soul of their land, of their places of origin with commitment and sacrifice. A true manifestation of love towards what can be considered almost like an adoptive parent. An example of what we have just described can be found in Ne, a small town in the Genoa province, where in the middle of the 19th century a woman nicknamed “Brinca” gave her name to an ancient farmhouse. Over a century later, in 1987, the Circella family decided to transform this cottage into a “trattoria e cadeva con fùndego da vin”, which means a tavern with shop and cellar. As if this wasn’t enough, the term “brinca” in the ancient Ligurian etymology indicates a steep, craggy, difficult-to-reach place: an expression that perfectly describes this spot. As often happens, however, the most inaccessible roads bring great satisfaction and “La Brinca”, in fact, offers a cuisine totally focused on the territory and on the seasonality. No fish but meat dishes that fully reflect the proud rural tradition of Eastern Liguria. Completely intrigued, we have contacted the owner of “La Brinca” Sergio Circella to try to understand the philosophy of his restaurant. However, what are the advantages of cooking in place with unique features? Circella underlines that is crucial to have extraordinary products available, both from its own crops and from neighbouring producers, in a context of total calm, far from the exhausting stress of city traffic. So how does it feel to be true guardians of an ancient culinary tradition like the Ligurian one? “Luckily, we are not the only ones – explains the patron – even youngsters share this spirit of belonging that needs to be repeated and innovated every day, in order to be kept alive: there is no static tradition”. What about the herbs? Which are the protagonists of the “La Brinca” cuisine? “Definitely marjoram, it is even more important than basil in our restaurant. We widely use thyme, rosemary, savoury and sage as well. As for the fillings, in spring we mainly use borage, chard and wild herbs”. The final question is which food/wine combination would describe the essence of “La Brinca” better, and yet, Sergio Circella’s love for the simplicity and genuineness of the Ligurian land finally comes out of the closet: “As a dish, I would say Prebugiun di Ne, prepared with potatoes, cabbage, garlic and olive oil. It perfectly pairs with the Bianchetta Genovese Golfo del Tigullio-Portofino doc, a naturally native wine”.