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Carlo Cracco

Wed, 05/14/2008 - 15:17
Submitted by admin_rg
Carlo Cracco
Ristorante Cracco Milan

Tuesday, September 16 3:15PM—4:00PM

“The Ocean’s Notebook” (il Quaderno di Mare) Main Stage Presentation

Biography

Carlo Cracco is a leader of the new generation of progressive Italian cuisine. He has garnered worldwide attention at his restaurant in Milan for creative takes on classic Italian foods: pasta made of cuttlefish and pureed salad encrusted in caramelized sugar.

Cracco was born in 1965 in Vicenza, Italy. He attended hotel management school in nearby Recoaro Terme, and began professional career in 1986 in the kitchen of Gualtiero Marchesi in Milan, the first Italian restaurant to be awarded 3 Michelin stars and the home of Italian nouvelle cuisine. In 1988, he joined Relais & Châteaux-La Meridiana in Garlenda for a year, before gaining further experience at the “temples” of French gastronomy – Alain Ducasse at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo and Alain Sanderens at the Lucas Carton in Paris. Returning to his native Italy in 1991, he took up the position as head chef at L’Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, which earned 3 Michelin stars in 1993/94 under his exacting management.

That same year he was approached by his former employer and friend Marchesi, who asked if he would help him open a new restaurant, L’Albereta, in Erbusco. After three successful years working alongside Marchesi, Cracco finally decided to open his own restaurant, Le Clivie, in Piobesi D’Alba in 1996. The restaurant was awarded its first Michelin star a year later.

In 2000, the Stoppani family – owners of the famous Peck delicatessen in Milan – approached Cracco and offered him the opportunity of a new joint venture, restaurant Cracco-Peck. The following year the restaurant opened to great critical acclaim and within three years it had obtained 2 Michelin stars. In July 2007, Cracco took over the restaurant and renamed it Ristorante Cracco. That same year it was voted onto Restaurant Magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.

Recipe

"The Ocean's Notebook": Seafood Sheets with Vegetables
Chef Carlo Cracco of Carlo Cracco – Milan, Italy
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

Seafood Sheets:
• 500 grams cooked and peeled red shrimp
• 500 grams cooked scallops
• 500 grams cooked octopus
• 1 kilo cooked cuttlefish
• 100 grams black cuttlefish ink
• 500 grams scallop roe
• Olive oil

Crystallized Sea Beans:
• 12 sea bean sprigs
• 1 egg white, beaten
• Salt
• Sugar as needed
• Red algae as needed

To Assemble and Serve:
• 1 small bulb fennel, thinly shaved
• 1 small artichoke, choke removed and thinly shaved
• 1 celery, thinly shaved
• 40 grams neutral oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 16 taggiasca olives
• 4 confit tomatoes
• 16 glacialis leaves
• 8 clams (cooked)
• 8 mussels (cooked)
• 4 oysters (cooked)
• 4 razor clams (cooked)
• 8 sea urchin roe
• Salt

Method

For the Seafood Sheets:
Preheat oven to 75°C/167°F. Separately grind shrimp, scallops, and octopus, reserving each ground seafood in a separate bowl, and cleaning grinder between each grinding. Divide cuttlefish in half; grind one half and reserve; grind remaining half with black ink and reserve. Brown roe in olive oil, cooking for 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until homogeneous, and reserve. Incorporate drops of olive oil into each ground seafood to moisten. With an offset spatula or rolling pin, thinly and evenly spread each mixture between 2 sheets of parchment paper (you will have 6 different seafood sheets in all). Place sheets on sheet trays and bake for about 1 hour, until crispy. Cool sheets in refrigerator.

For the Crystallized Sea Beans:
Dip sea beans in egg and drain on a rack. When dried, but still tacky, sprinkle beans with a mixture of salt, sugar, and algae; dry at room temperature for about 1 hour.

To Assemble and Serve:
Dress fennel, artichoke and celery with oil and lemon; toss in olives, tomatoes and glacialis. Cut seafood sheets into various forms (a square, rectangle, diamond, circle, etc.). Remove various bivalves and roe from shells and arrange on plates with shaved vegetables, seafood sheets and crystallized sea beans; sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately.

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