Inkiostro. Parma. 8th and 9th December 2017

8th December 2017: Tasting menu – Vibrazioni / Vibrations

Amuse Bouche
Amuse Bouche
Amuse Bouche
“Jelly fish”
Clam
Bread
Paestum 2017
Illusion of rice
Terry Giacomello
Foie gras
Sea tagliatelle
Tendon raviolo
Seaweed and amaranth
Sea cucumber
Duck
Pre-dessert: Fake toast
Bark
Petit fours

 

9th December: Dishes from a la carte menu

 

Amuse Bouche
Crackers with rancid fat of melted prosciutto
Cold cooked egg spiral with whipped egg white and sour and spicy contrasts
Raw shrimps with toasted pine nuts, low fat yoghurt, Uncaria Tomentosa (Cat’s Claw), lemon crystals
Queen scallops, winter melon juice, tomatillo snow, plankton, soya
Beets gnocchi, capper soup with brine, thinly sliced threads of cuttlefish and unusual leaves
Long fusilli, sea lemons, conserved Szechuan pepper, emulsion of red peppers
Fried potato ravioli, sweet pimiento, crispy leaves and smoked tea condiment
Cuttlefish eggs, miso, “Jew’s ears” and Helichrysum infusion
Pre-dessert

 

Longan filled with smoked cream, poppy juice, Campari gloss and crunchy milk
Petit fours

Inkiostro

Via S. Leonardo, 124, 43123 Parma, Italy
Phone: +39 0521 776047
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How to describe the experience at Inkiostro? Very hard for me as I may not be impartial. I know Terry Giacomello, the chef behind this Poli family run restaurant in Parma, for nearly a decade. I remember him from the times when he was looking for a place to settle down. A restaurant where he could feel understood and have the freedom to develop his own vision of cooking. So should I tell his story?
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He was working hard to arrive where he is now. More than 4 years with Ferran Adria at elBulli were a great school. You can still see some teachings of Ferran in Terry’s cuisine, but labelling it molecular, would be a great mistake. What he learnt at elBulli is the openness, curiosity, the awareness that creativity has no limits. Terry travelled the world. He spent time doing stages at Atala’s D.O.M., Redzepi’s Noma, Aduriz’s Mugaritz and some other places. He is and was curious to understand the secrets of the world’s most exciting chefs. His technical skills are incredible, his curiosity to explore the world and its less known but super delicious ingredients is insatiable and his palate is as excellent as his creativity.
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He comes from a family of restaurateurs, but the environment where he grew up was not yet ready for his ideas so after he returned from his travels, more confident and passionate about contemporary cuisine than ever, his pretty conservative home town was not able to accept his cooking. He had a few working engagements in a a few different locations, but as he was not ready for compromise, it didn’t finish well, even if the great part of Italian food scene regarded him as one of the most promising Italian chefs. Then all of sudden there was the Poli family. A family with well developed hospitality business – with a traditional family restaurant and a recently opened hotel with a restaurant close by. They needed a chef good and exciting enough to attract guest to otherwise pretty industrial Parma. And they heard of Terry. They met him, he cooked for them and got the job. He made out of Inkiostro a restaurant worth travelling for.
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How is the food at Inkiostro? Surprising! Exciting! Delicious! Prepare yourself for a journey not rooted locally but open to discover all the most exciting ingredients and flavours from all around the world using all the different techniques of the contemporary cuisine.
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There are dishes which are great, maybe even perfect. And there are those which, beside all the perfection, evoke also strong emotions and move us. That’s for me the case with “Jelly Fish” – medusa – Terry was inspired by this creature that is roaming the sea remaining invisible and yet so pungent when it touches you. So is his dish. It is not really a jelly fish on the plate – it is only an idea of it. The dish was actually born when Terry found a tuna marrow – something that usually finishes as waste – and started playing with it. In water it looks like a jellyfish and so the idea was born. The pungent aspect was created with red curry and sansho pepper. The freshness and ethereal aspect of the dish in some way greatly describes the spirit of Terry’s cooking which is about research over appearance. This was probably my favourite dish (even if I honestly loved also all others) – so minimalistic, pure and yet incredibly intense.
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Another example of Terry’s excellence is the dish called “Terry Giacomello”.  Emilia Romagna, where restaurant is located, is famous for pasta made with eggs. This inspired Terry to create a dish of pasta “wrong way”. Instead of traditionally used egg yolk and flour, he used egg white and no flour. So he started the dish by using the “wrong” ingredient. He added kuzu to give to the egg white tagliolini elasticity. Terry’s tagliolini are served on a 25 months matured Parmigiano Reggiano cream and topped by something that looks like caviar but is actually spherification of truffle water.
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Egg spiral is another signature dish by Terry. He created it during his stage at Noma and is actually a cold cooked egg (whipped at -24 C). Egg yolk and egg white fall apart in a natural way in this process and Terry works with them to give to the egg yolk a silky texture which reminds of a gelatine, egg white instead is whipped with oil and vinegar. The dish is then covered with spices and micro plants creating a wonderful journey of flavours.
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Another dish that should be absolutely mentioned is Terry’s veal tendon raviolo. It looks and tastes very traditional, but there is actually no pasta involved – the veal tendon (an ingredient rarely used in cooking, normally treated like waste) is used as pasta, giving to this dish a beautiful pure meaty flavour that melts in the mouth.
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I could talk also about the other dishes, but it would deprive you from the pleasure which comes from exploring them yourself. Go to Inkiostro and enjoy!
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From right hand side: Terry Giacomello and Francesca and Gianluca Poli

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