Expo 2015 ambassador chef Varese's cooking in Jerusalem

Menu at Israeli restaurant Adom for a week

02 July, 18:44

    A dish by Viviana Varese A dish by Viviana Varese

    TEL AVIV - Dishes by Viviana Varese, Chef Ambassador per Expo 2015, have been at Jerusalem's prestigious Adom restaurant for the past few days and will stay for a week. The restaurant is located in the historic Ottoman station from which trains used to leave three times a week for Jaffa on the Mediterranean coast.

    'Takana' Rishona' has been carefully restored and is now an architectonic gem of Jerusalem and well known both for hosting important events as well as numerous gourmet restaurants. ''Jerusalem,'' Varese said, who is in the country for the first time as part of an initiative by the Israeli tourism bureau in Milan, ''will taste my cooking, and I will taste a bit of Israel.'' Varese is originally from Salerno and is the head - along with her partner, Sandra Ciciriello, who is with her in Jerusalem in these days - of the Alice restaurant on the second floor of Milan's Eataly Smeraldo building. In the menu that she came up with for the week in Israel, there are five dishes with some influenced by local cuisine as well as a dessert to represent Italian contemporary cuisine. ''It wasn't easy,'' she told ANSA at Adom, ''to choose the dishes, and I inevitably had to change some things to adapt to local ingredients and tastes. The greatest effort so far has been to organize the kitchen, since in Milan we work in a much larger space with more personnel and for fewer customers, which means being able to pay greater attention to every detail.'' The dishes range from oysters with cucumber juice, green apple slushies and and balls of cream and passion fruit to 'cacio e pepe' risotto cooked in pecorino and grana padana cheese, with seven types of pepper. There will also be two dishes influenced by the most popular local products, hummus and baba ghanoush. ''The dish that I think will do best, however,'' Varese said, ''is the fried pizza with local mozzarella, candied cherry tomatoes, basil, and 'bavarese' with tomatoes and lemon.'' ''I will try to understand and satisfy local tastes,'' she added, ''but at the same time, I would like to convey that Italian cuisine is not just pizza and pasta. Abroad, if it weren't for Massimo Bottura, high-level Italian cuisine would be unknown. This is partially the fault of chefs, who in Italy - unlike in France and Spain - are not good at working as a team.

    In part it is the government's fault, as it does not help.

    Actually, not even in Italy is there the awareness of where high-level Italian cuisine is going...''.

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