In Saint-Tropez, chef Emilio Giagnoni invites Italian cuisine to “Noto”

Brown hair tied on an elegant ponytail. Gold earrings on each ear. Wandering tattoos on the skin, including a phrase, in peace, by Bob Marley. At first glance, Emilio Giagnoni looks more like a Caribbean pirate than an Italian chef. Except that at 32, the Sardinian has already rolled his bump on the piano quite a bit!
Starting with that of his grandmother, Giuseppina. With whom, as a high school student, he had lunch every noon. “And never the same dish”remembers the nostalgic toddler. “She was an outstanding cook. It must be said that my grandfather was greedy.”

With Simone Zanoni

Like him, who did not hesitate to put his nose in the pans. Recipe books, too. Without ever touching the stove. “She forbade me.” Since then, the little one has caught up. Passing by a private cooking school in Italy, near Parma, the Alma. First steps of his gourmet odyssey.
“I didn’t want to go to college. I had a strong feeling that another path was promised to me.” It then starts from zero. Just with his budding passion. But the talent is there. Noticed early, during his stages. Then at the starred Parizzi, where he started as a clerk. Before climbing a few steps.
Which will lead him to Four Seasons, In Milan. Alongside the chef, Sergio Mei, he learns. Hardens. Improves.
“I acquired a full palette of regional Italian cuisine.” Who will propel it, always Four Seasons, but in Paris this time. More specifically at theHotel George V. Down the ladder again…
Or, it takes more to discourage this corsair who, by dint of will and creativity, becomes the deputy head of the reference, Simone Zanoni. Together, they develop new pasta recipes and travel the world in search of inspiration.

Until coming to drop anchor in Saint-Tropez. At the heart (living until the end of the night) of the elegant note. Now his house revived by his inventive cuisine.
“I knew the village a little. As a child, with my parents, we visited France. Normandy, Brittany, Alsace and the South.”

Between tradition and modernity

This Var which reminds him, in some aspects, of his Sardinian stronghold, Olbia. This Var who came to pick him up in the capital. “After seven years up there, I received an interesting offer. You can’t refuse to become the chef of a fine establishment. And then I felt it was the right time. Even if we don’t never 100% ready.”
Maybe Emilio missed the sun too. The sun and the blue sea. Ingredients in perfect harmony with the farandole of his dishes. To his Apulian buratta with truffles. To his chair of King crab and tomato gazpacho. To his famous Sardinian fregolaartichokes and bottarga.
A menu rich in the delights of his country. That he magnifies with an expert turn of the hand. “Having the possibility of creating a kitchen in one’s image is fabulous. It’s a luxury.”
Traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist. Flamboyant, acquired through his professional stops.

A vegetable lover

“I like working with the product. Revealing its flavors. Its colors. I like vegetables. Artichokes, aubergines, peppers. There are some wonderful ones here. I like fish too, especially red mullet rock and octopus.”
Above all, he loves this shared cuisine. So Mediterranean. Who looks like him. In fact, there is only one shellfish that puts him off: the oyster. “Because of its texture. I can’t.” She’s not on the menu, that’s fitting.
Anyway, pearls are not lacking in Noto’s plates. Refined paintings, born from the imagination of a pirate in perpetual treasure hunt. From an Emilio Giagnoni of whom we can only become the first tifosi!

note. 5 place des Lices, in Saint-Tropez. Info.

Her recipe: Sardinian Fregulamullet artichokes and bottarga

180g fregola sarda; 3 artichoke violets; 1 glass of dry white wine; 1 organic or untreated lime; 1 organic lemon; 1 clove of garlic; 30g dried tomatoes; fresh oregano; parsley ; dill; thyme; a little homemade vegetable broth; olive oil ; salt ; bottarga; bottarga or bottarga.

Clean the artichokes by removing the outer leaves, the base of the stem and finish by lightly removing the edges of the heart with a vegetable peeler. Then divide them in half, remove the beard and cut them into small pieces. Then soak them in water with lemon juice.
Drain the artichoke pieces and roast them in a pan with olive oil, a clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Add half a glass of white wine at the end and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the fregola. It must be reheated a bit like rice for a risotto. Add a little salt and the other half glass of white wine and let it evaporate.
Continue cooking like a risotto for about 12 minutes, regularly adding vegetable broth.
Chop a little fresh oregano, flat-leaf parsley and dill and set aside. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.
A few minutes from the end of cooking the fregola, add the artichoke pieces and mix. Add more vegetable broth. At the end of cooking, remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped herbs, the chopped dried tomatoes, a nice drizzle of olive oil and lime zest, then mix with a spatula. If necessary, add a little vegetable broth to correct the consistency and mount “on the wave”. Grate a little bottarga into the fregola and mix again.
Arrange the fregola in a beautiful presentation dish and grate some bottarga, then finish with a little dill and thin slices of bottarga.


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