Francesca Julie, Chef El Gauchito: “Waiters must move faster”
Have Francesca Julie a castle in Tuscany, a restaurant, vineyards, an olive garden, a farm and four other children, but six months ago she told them all “Basta!” and left for Moscow to set up Tuscan cuisine in a restaurant El Gauchito in New Riga.
Because, as the senior confessed to the editor-in-chief Gastronom.ru Elena Anosova, in contrast to Tuscany, in New Riga there is no economic crisis, and there are professional prospects.
They love Italian cuisine in Moscow, but by and large very few people understand its regional characteristics.
Francesca, what is your gastronomic concept?
Tuscany is the center of Italy.
We have both mountains and the sea, we have our own meat and our own fish.
Its olive oil and its wine. Tuscan cuisine is fairly simple, but based on very high-quality ingredients of local origin.
Thus, purity of taste is achieved, and this is the most important, in my opinion.
How does the food embargo affect the quality and purity of taste?
In your opinion, are replacements of parmedjano and mozzarella possible?
Mozzarella is mozzarella, and parmedzhano is parmedzhano.
I use olive oil only from Tuscany — only he has the taste that I need. And with other butter, the dish will have a different taste. Of course, in terms of food sanctions, we have to look for new suppliers, say, vongole and scallops we buy in the Far East, oysters — on Sakhalin.
But there are products that can not be replaced.
But it seems to me that the Moscow public still doesn’t care what it is … Does anyone notice the difference between, say, Tuscan and Greek olive oil?
Moscow fans of Tuscan cuisine will notice the difference, I don’t know about the others.
You have created an amazing Tuscan menu: here is pasta with cuttlefish ink with mussels vongole, and pizza with bottarga, and Padelacio seafood soup, but is there any product you are most interested in working with?
It gives a lot of opportunities, pasta is just magic!
You can tint it, you can stuff it, you can make a stew out of it and so on.
What dishes that were cooked in your family influenced your gastronomic style?
My mother and grandmother are typical Italian mistresses. I have a classic Italian family, in which there was always a cult of food, we cooked fresh dishes every day. My mother taught me to feel the taste, this is the most important thing!
Take at least salt.
The same dish, but cooked with different salt, will have a different taste.
And I will feel it.
And in Moscow, cooks smoke and drink coffee a lot — this greatly prevents them from feeling the taste.
How did your patronage start?
I am not a professional cook. Actually, I studied lawyer. But my second husband has a huge estate in the vicinity of Pisa, where grapes and olive trees grow, has its own apiary and we breed famous Tuscan cows — Kyanina.
It began with the fact that I began to cook our guests and conduct cooking classes on pizza, pasta and risotto.
These were classes for groups of 5-6 people, students came to me from the USA, from Northern Europe … And a few years ago I opened a small restaurant The pomario not far from the famous resort of Forte dei Marmi, however, due to the economic crisis and the stupidest taxes, I was forced to suspend it — I put together luxurious china Wedgwood in boxes and closed the restaurant.
Who do you read as your teacher in gastronomy?
I studied in his culinary school in Milan, in particular, I studied the theme of risotto. Marchesi made many innovations in Italian cuisine, while he has a kitchen of pure taste.
He is now 83 years old, but he is still a great chef.
He describes his approach to cooking with a quote from Goethe: “The artist is not the one who says something new, but knows how to say something well-known in the way that nobody has ever spoken about before.”
What strikes you so much in his kitchen?
Quality. Marchesi has a simple serving of food, but a fantastic quality. I do not like the way dishes are served in Italy now — very complex compositions on a plate, decorated with flowers, herbs, and other nonsense.
For me, food is food.
And I shout at the waiters to move faster, serve dishes from the kitchen to the hall faster.