Riccardo Camanini of Lido84, the chef whose intelligent cuisine is very much beloved also by his colleagues, is often described as a poet behind the stoves. A purist in his expression, he is using very strong and intense language. His dishes hit you with the strength of flavours.
Riccardo Camanini’s story is not a classical Italian story. He didn’t fall in love with cuisine being struck by the cooking of his mother or grandmother. He ended at a catering school more by chance than choice and didn’t fall in love with the profession until later on. Cooking captured his passion only after he ended in the kitchen of the legendary founder of the new Italian cuisine, Gualtiero Marchesi. The new passion, scattered by the great Italian master, pushed him to wanting to learn more, so he headed to Raymond Blanc, who he calls one of his most important tutors, to learn also the classical French techniques and not only. Still today Riccardo’s kitchen team is organised in the same way as the one at Le Manoir, giving to his team a chance to rotate through all positions of the Lido84 kitchen.
Lido 84, located at the picturesque Garda lake, is the home of the dishes we had a chance to try during the OAD week. Dishes, based on the best ingredients the terroir has to offer, are built on traditional flavours of the region prepared using very contemporary techniques and innovative approaches but with a strong historical background. Like Riccardo’s most known dish: rigatoni cacio e pepe cooked in inflated pig’s bladder – inspired by an ancient Roman technique mentioned in fourth-century Roman texts by Apicius – a dish that beautifully unites peasant ingredients and haute technique with a bit of theatre and lots of flavour.