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Food Experience

Radici

The idea of roots also links to nature itself, which in the case of Como takes the form of mountains, lakes and hills. It is from these places that the chef’s raw materials come, often in their wild state, as the chef works closely and constantly with local, organic and biodynamic producers who share the same vision and values as Mirko himself.

The name itself suggests the nature of the restaurant itself, “Roots”. A place that reaches back to origins, to where everything all begins, and where the gastronomic experience starts, while going on to embrace the sensory atmosphere of the restaurant.

The driving force behind the project is chef Mirko Gatti, who after 18 years in northern Europe decided to return to his hometown of Como to open a restaurant-lab. Research goes hand in hand here with foraging, diverse cooking methods, barbequing and fermentation.

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It could seem a fashionable leitmotif, but the fact is that here the past, the tradition, really does live in confluence with modernity and innovation. The preparation process is essential to Radici, as they strive to get the very best out of the ingredients and the first-fruits. The test kitchen is constantly exploring and perfecting new and different ideas and methods, together with ancestral cooking techniques that bring out the true flavours of the ingredients, using much live flame cooking, involving smoking, cooking on coal, and under embers, and also giving over much time and space to fermentation processes, as with miso, koji and kombucha of various types.

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“At Radici it is all about nature”, says the chef, “in all of its elements, and one of these is fire. Working with flame, smoke, and wood has a primordial quality about it, a return to our origins, bringing us very close to the food we are preparing, as we seek to bring out its best qualities. For each group of ingredients we use a particular choice of wood type, for example for game we use oak, or birch for fish and beech or cherry for pork. Each kind of wood has its own aroma, and it its dosage needs to be judged with care. Smoking takes place in different ways, depending on the food we want to smoke. We use high pasture hay, which looks almost like chamomile, for dairy products and for particularly delicate foods; while juniper is used for mushrooms and game; and liquorish root for beef heart, for seafood, and so forth”.