He has brought his own home territory out of the shadow of the nearby Langhe, given depth to the Enoteca Regionale and presents his Roero zone in each of his dishes, recounting the land and its history. Davide Palluda offers a model of cucina that is creative and territorial, intelligent and knowledgeable.
Colors and flavors that pierce the fog
“Feet planted on the Roero hills and gaze turned towards dreams and the world”. That’s how Davide Palluda describes himself. As a chef, he is bonded with his territory and its excellent products. Born in 1971, he owns, along with his sister Ivana, the Enoteca that is inside the Enoteca Regionale del Roero, the wine bar opened in 1995. He came there after a series of important and deep experiences in Liguria and the Langhe – an area he now defines as the “Sister hills” alongside his Roero. He has become a flagbearer for his zone. “I was barely 24 years old, but full of dreams and enthusiasm. I took the reins of that first organic project to spotlight the wine and food culture of our Roero territory”. Before then it had been overshadowed by the much better-known nearby Langhe. The elements of his cucina are freshness and color, tradition and territory, intelligence and knowledge.
The dishes we present here demonstrate those qualities. Puréed sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke, chestnuts, cardoons, milk curds, white truffles: these are all ingredients from his territory, brought together and reviewed in a modern key. “It is a dish with the aromas of winter, mild but intense flavor – I think it represents the best in my cooking style”, said the chef. Then we see a work of homage to a grand Piedmontese chef, Nino Bergese: l’uovo in pasta, an egg in pasta. “I tried to look again at this great dish. My objective was to maintain the essence of the original version, simply changing the consistency of the ingredients”. Another tribute looks back at traditions from the reign of the Savoys, la finanziera. “This was a key dish among affluent Piedmontese. I have been perfecting the preparation of this great recipe for a long time. It takes time and organization to get good results. It’s difficult to manage to put together all the ingredients and coordinate their arrival in the kitchen”. And to close the meal, dessert: this too is an ode to the Piedmontese chocolate tradition, but obviously also with a contemporary slant. “I would call it a ‘chef’s dessert’, almost sugarless, that plays with bitter and toasty tones, and features a pairing that I find fantastic – chocolate and black winter truffles”.
Purée of sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, chestnuts, cardoons, milk curds and white truffle – Verduno Pelaverga Speziale 2014
This wine is produced only in Verduno, made from a most unusual grape variety, Palaverga Piccolo. It offers wonderful aromas of pepper and spices. “Aromatic and intense, it is perfect with the floury and herbaceous notes of the dish”, explained the Canale chef.
Verduno Pelaverga Speziale 2014 | Fratelli Alessandria | Verduno (CN) | via Beato Valfrè, 59 | tel. 0172 470113 | www.fratellialessandria.it
Egg in pasta, porcini mushrooms and whipped butter – Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore 2012
“A great, balanced, intense wine much sought after and desired by my dear friend Giacomo”, explained Davids Palluda. “Unfortunately, he’s no longer with us, but the wine that bears his name has his temperament: proud and gentle”. It comes from the Valmaggiore cru, one of the sunniest hills around Alba. It spends a year in large wooden barrels and two in the bottle before release.
Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore 2012 | Giacomo Vico | Canale (CN) | via Torino, 80/82 | tel. 0173 970984 | www.giacomovico.it
La finanziera – Barbera d’Alba 2015
After the impossible 2014 vintage, 2015 improved the mood of the winegrower who returned to run her grandparents’ winery in 2000. “This Barbera is a very, very interesting wine. We tasted it in the cellar together with Cecilia”, remembered Davide. “It is harmonious and has wonderful acidity, perfect for sustaining the sumptuous personality of the La finanziera”.
Barbera d’Alba 2015 | Cecilia Monte | Neive (CN) | via Serracapelli, 17 | tel. 0173 67454
Chocolate tart 75%, unrefined salt, extra-virgin olive oil and black truffle – Barolo Chinato
It is never easy to pair chocolate. In this case, though, the cacao is enriched and made more complex by the savory, spicy and herbaceous notes of the truffle. “Barolo chinato served cold helps along this complex and fairly bitter dessert”, explained the chef. “This one made by the Ceretto family has warm, amber notes, slightly citrusy, that are perfect for my tart”.
Barolo Chinato | Ceretto | Alba (CN) | loc. San Cassiano, 34 | tel. 0173 282582 | www.ceretto.com
All’Enoteca | Canale (CN) | via Roma, 57 | tel. 0173 95857 | www.davidepalluda.it