The seasons on the plate

In preparation for the new menu

We are so absorbed by the routine that we forget about the importance of the seasons.   We wake up in the morning wondering what day it is: surprise, October. The lit fireplace, the scent of roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, the heat of the duvet and a lot of other rituals are back. Yes, because for us the seasons are expired by traditions, scents, flavors.  Without them we would not even be aware of the timetable that nature has chosen for us and that our ancestors have always followed with confidence. For San Mattia it is punctuated by agriculture and menus that we create season by season respecting its timing. We have always been characterized by the genuineness of the products that we still look for today so that they respect exactly the parameters of freshness to which we have accustomed you. But let’s go into detail:

We asked Marco Pittaluga, one of the owners and chefs, to reveal the philosophy and thought of cooking. It is not possible to understand the menu until you know what you have on the plate and why.

Why do we use seasonal fruits and vegetables?

My parents used to have a fruit and vegetable market so since I was a kid I’ve been used to using seasonal products. At the time in my small way I helped with joy, this game taught me to know flavors, scents, colors, varieties of vegetables that accompanied me in my professional career and in the choice to use only seasonal products from the first day of opening. Working raw materials is a responsibility that we have first of all towards nature, for what it gives us, but also towards our customers and their well-being. Here using fresh vegetables in their moment of production allows us to obtain flavors, aromas and properties in their maximum expression. Nowadays any food is available all year round but I believe and try to make all our staff understand (consequently to our customers) that this is not an advantage for our health or that of the planet. For me this small, big gesture means making a revolution.

What kind of requirements should our products have?

We prefer both biodynamic and organic but my thought tries to go beyond certifications. Our most difficult but stimulating, fun, training task is to: understand the origin of raw materials, who produces them and how this happens. As far as possible I try to control the complete supply chain of our raw materials, in fact we have several farmers from whom we source that guarantee us a controlled agriculture or dairies that produce us on the basis of our needs. A second requirement is freshness, so if a vegetable is not available we prefer not to serve or replace it, this is where our staff becomes fundamental because it has the responsibility to make our ethics understood and maybe try to transmit it even in their daily life. We therefore demand that our children make these choices to them in order to ensure that there is an honest and sincere education.

How do we try to educate our customers?

Education is a fundamental step that many times restaurateurs ignore taking for granted that the customer understands or accepts. It is not so simple, people are used to looking at price, their personal taste, always and only surrounding themselves with the usual vegetables, trends… we want to go against all this. Teach through our children that: you have to be patient, eat certain foods only at certain times of the year, that quality has a price (not only cheap but also resources). We would like people to sit at the table with the knowledge that behind our menu there is a research, a philosophy, a sacrifice. Every day we make great choices… What to introduce into our body, what to put in our pantry, where to buy it. These are small daily gestures that could contribute greatly to respecting nature and improving our planet.

One thing I always say to my friends and clients:

“All the raw materials you find in our premises and on our menus are products that accompany my food and that of my family every day”. 

 What will be the highlight of the new autumn menu?

I usually struggle to answer this question, when I build a menu I try to satisfy as many people as possible. We will try to find a balance between refined combinations and simple dishes that respect traditions. Customers will reveal to us what our strong dish will be, but I can anticipate that we have worked to make a qualitative leap with our pastry…

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