Musement is organizing a fantastic new event on June 23rd for refined and curious palates, focused on the excellence of food and wine.
Putting together excellence from different fields is undoubtedly the best approach to take when aiming at overall excellence. That is why, for the exclusive event being held on June 23rd, Musement involved the Ristorante Cacciatori di Cartosio, Velier Triple A and its natural wines, and of course the master sommelier, Gil Grigliatti.
Ristorante Cacciatori di Cartosio is a restaurant in Aqui Terme which has always been run by the Milano family: Giancarlo, the current head of the family, and his son Massimo take care of reception in the lounge while Federica Rossini continues with tradition in the kitchen passed on to her by her mother-in-law Carla. It’s they who will attend to the guests enjoying the event on June 23rd, during which, in the unique atmosphere of their restaurant combining simplicity with refinement, succulent dishes will be served accompanied by entirely artisanal Triple A wines. The evening will be made even more interesting by the presence of Gil Grigliatti, sommelier since 1997, Knight of the Order of the Cavaliers of the Truffle and Wines of Alba, and ambassador of Velier Triple A, who will explain the dishes, the wines, and the combinations made of these to the guests.
In preparation for this event, we have interviewed its main protagonists.
Federica and Massimo, how did the Ristorante Cacciatori come about?
The restaurant’s commenced operations back in 1862: back then it also included other shops, such as a butcher. The extraordinary and varied history of this place has one constant: the Milan family which has always owned it. Over the last three generations of this family, culinary traditions have been passed on from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, and thus the women of the family-run the kitchen.
What’s the style of your cuisine and your hospitality?
Our cuisine is rooted in tradition, using flavors and aromas typical of our region – the Piedmont – and nearby Liguria. One of the peculiarities that characterize our kitchen is that cooking is done using a wood stove from 1950; this kind of cooking changes preparation times (in fact our cuisine is express, everything is cooked only when the customer requests it) and gives the meats a unique flavor and scent. For us, following tradition means respecting the ingredients and the recipes, and finding new ways to rework and present each dish so that it suits modern tastes. A paradigmatic example of this is our Cacciatora chicken: it’s a great classic, but the method and care is taken in cooking get updated from generation to generation. We also provide the restaurant’s guests with a hotel offering hospitality to those who, after eating with us, wish to rest and awaken in the morning surrounded by the beauty of the valley.
Why did you choose to include Triple A on your wine card?
Because Triple A wines are natural and artisanal: no additives are included during vinification and the natural cycles are respected, and so these specific wines enhance our natural and simple flavors. Also, currently our customers have a particular interest in natural wines.
For the Musement event, we chose French wines because we feel very close to France, not only geographically, but also because it is the nation where this kind of winemaking originated.
Why did you choose to involve Gil Grigliatti in this project with Musement, and why did you choose to collaborate with Musement?
We hold Gil in high regard; he’s a great kitchen enthusiast, he has great expertise and professionalism, he has known our kitchen for years and therefore has followed its evolution. For these reasons, we thought he was the ideal person to explain our cuisine and Triple A wines.
On the other hand, we chose Musement because it’s an innovative reality that is changing the way we think, not only about the concept of travel but also about the concept of enogastronomic (food and wine) tourism; Musement believes in enogastronomics and offers something different in the Italian panorama. Since both tradition and novelty are the basis of our philosophy, we have enthusiastically accepted this collaboration.
Gil, how was your passion born and how did you turn it into your work?
My dad has always been a great wine and food enthusiast, so I grew up visiting restaurants, taverns, and big wine producers with him and my brother. I’ve always found this environment to be very stimulating from a cultural point of view and I continued to come here even after growing up. I’ve always pursued this interest with passion and so this led the people around me to treat me as an expert. I then began writing articles, I started a blog, in the early 2000s and helped Rafael Garcia Santos organize “Lo mejor de la gastronomia” (The Best of Gastronomy) and I was an anonymous inspector for the Guida Gambero Rosso.
Finally, two years ago I decided to close the family business, and at that moment, Velier’s owner proposed I work with him as I knew the Velier catalog very well and I was very passionate about some of their products.
When did you first go to Cacciatori? What do you particularly remember about that experience?
I remember my first time at Cacciatori very well, it was an unforgettable experience for me. I went alone for lunch during a long day. When I walked into the restaurant, I was welcomed by Massimo Milano and his father into an elegant, sunny room full of fantastic artwork hung on the walls. The main course was the rabbit with oil and rosemary. Although, it did not seem to be a very attractive dish in my opinion, I had to at least try the first bite: I have never tasted a rabbit so good! And it wasn’t just because of the wisdom that you could taste in the cooking as the meat was soft and delicate, but also for the very quality of the rabbit. It was a farm animal, raised in a true yard! Absolutely distant light years away from the intensive breeding products we are accustomed to. This dish is the synthesis of the Ristorante Cacciatori cuisine: it is the exaltation of simplicity, thanks to a selection of exceptional raw materials, combined with a perfect technical savoir-faire in the kitchen, makes the dining experience here so unique.
Tell us about Triple A; what are the differences between traditional wines and your wines?
Triple A wines come from small companies that produce them in a completely handcrafted manner, using no additives. It’s often believed that there are only grapes in bottles of wine, but that is not the case; there can be up to 264 additives in a single bottle, which by law does not need to be labeled, but completely changes the taste of the wine and through this artificial process, it loses its identity. In contrast, Triple A wine producers use no chemical additives in the vineyards or cellars; this is undoubtedly more risky and difficult, but the result is an excellent, unique wine, which demonstrates a true expression of the region from which it originates. For this Musement event, we are proposing 3 of these wines of which we are sure will be exciting.
How does the public respond to your offer and who are your customers?
We have been among some of the first to talk about artisanal wines, swimming against the current trends when we first started. Over the years the world has changed and if in the past our products were considered niche, they now are considered a must for all wine enthusiasts.