Ancient culinary traditions handed down over the centuries and preserved in the villages perched on the rolling hills: it is theIrpiniain Campania, the fifth and final stage of this cycle of Alessandro Borghese 4 Restaurants. In the episode of Sunday 1 October, exclusively on Sky and streaming only on NOWthe unmistakable chef’s van Alessandro Borghese it will delve into today’s province of Avellino, from Nusco to Paternopoli, among lush vegetation and ancient legends of witches told for generations.
The new episode of the production Sky Original made by Banijay Italy will explore the green heart of Campania, rich in rivers and ancient villages that boast delicacies of their own: from aprilatico broccoli to pertecaregna cod, from the tasty pecorino di Carmasciano to escarole and bean soup, from sfrittuliata (pork with peppers and potatoes) to fresh handmade pastas such as cavatelli, matasse and the traditional maccaronara.
Trip to Irpinia
Irpinia, already inhabited as early as the 6th century BC by the ancient Irpini people, promises a leap into the past between legends and historic castles with one foot in the present and an eye towards the future. This area, in fact, boasts a centuries-old culinary tradition, with dishes rich in history and flavour. Passed down through generations, today they are increasingly the protagonists of revisited and innovative menus, which want to tell the story of Irpinia and its products, interpreting tradition with a touch of originality and modernity. But between gourmet taverns set among the stones, restaurants in historic buildings, farmhouses surrounded by nature and farmhouses surrounded by greenery, it is not easy to understand where today’s culinary tradition lies and which are the most popular recipes. Alessandro Borghese will investigate the evolution of local cuisine to elect the best Irpinian cuisine restaurant. Competing for this title – in the episode expected for Sunday 1 October, in prime time on Sky Uno, always available on demand, visible on Sky Go and streaming on NOW – are the 4 restaurants: “Cacciafumo – Mountain specialties” by Jenny , “Palazzo Vittoli” by Daniela, “Anima – La Nuova Osteria” by Michele and “Pater Familias” by Francesco.
The rules of the game remain unchanged: four restaurateurs, who share an aspect or a characteristic, compete with taste and originality to win the title of best in a given category and obtain the chef’s unmistakable “ten”. Each competitor invites the three suitors to their restaurant accompanied by chef Borghese, who does not give up his scrupulous inspection of the kitchen to ensure that the high standards of cleanliness and order are respected.
The fearsome evaluation continues during the meal, when the staff is evaluated on reception, service and preparation. Diners first comment on the dishes they taste and then draw up their own report card assigning a score from 0 to 10 to location, menu, service and bill, in addition to the fifth category, which is different in each episode. In fact, all four restaurateurs will have to try their hand at the same dish or ingredient, representative of the reference territory and ordered by all the guests at the table, to create an even more direct comparison. In Irpinia they will compete on Maccaronara, a type of long fresh durum wheat pasta, rolled out with a particular rolling pin from which it takes its name and made with simple ingredients: its ancient origins are disputed between the various towns in the area but still today it represents a page of Irpinia’s history, which restaurateurs love to rewrite with innovation or respect according to traditions.
Chef Borghese’s opinion is revealed only at the end and, as always, his votes can confirm or overturn the entire ranking. The winner of each episode, in addition to the highly coveted title of best restaurant, will receive a financial contribution to invest in their business.
All the restaurants participating in the program are identifiable through the #Ale4Ristoranti “stamp” displayed outside, a network of venues tested by those in the know: the restaurateurs themselves.
THE RESTAURANTS COMPETING IN THE IRPINIA EPISODE
“Cacciafumo – Mountain specialities” with Jenny: located just outside Montella (Avellino) at the foot of the hill and equipped with a double entrance, it stands on a former rectory and reflects the creativity of the owner: it combines rustic and different furnishings, ensuring a mix of slightly confusing but one of a kind. It is run by Jenny, wife of a starred chef and sommelier for over twenty years, understanding and tolerant, imaginative and creative. Always used to being behind the scenes, she feels ready to take on the leading role in her restaurant and in general pays a lot of attention to the wine list and cleanliness. She offers traditional local and mountain cuisine with a pinch of innovation.
“Palazzo Vittoli” with Daniela: the restaurant is located inside an imposing historic residence from 1818 in Castelfranci, also in the province of Avellino. With a neoclassical style and Art Nouveau references that have contributed to it being declared a particularly important heritage site of historical and artistic interest by the Superintendency for Cultural Heritage, it is a refined location with essential and elegant lines, embellished with antique furnishings and a regal garden. Daniela runs the place together with her son Michele: she is tradition, he is freshness. Palazzo Vittoli is a «old building with a young heart“, claims the owner, who is responsible for welcoming customers and making them live an intense experience because “the table is one of the most intimate moments of the person” in his opinion. They offer a contemporary menu. Daniela is a curious and prepared woman, with a great sense of humor but at the same time also a need to control and monitor all aspects of life in her restaurant: «I often spy on the chef!» he admits.
“Anima – La Nuova Osteria” with Michele: located in the heart of the village of Nusco (Avellino), it is a small place with around twenty seats in a quiet and elegant context. The furniture is made of wood while the stone walls ensure a refined design. It offers a new concept of typical cuisine: you can dine or savor a tasty cocktail as an aperitif. It is managed by Michele, owner and chef with numerous experiences including with high-level chefs far from his country of origin, where he decided to return to bet on his land, thus bringing a breath of freshness and innovation: «We are like a “little Tuscany” and with the right means we can become a good reality», he claims. Young and with clear ideas, he defines himself as impulsive and unconventional. He can’t stand the strategies because in his opinion they demonstrate a lack of security.
“Pater Familias” with Francesco: located in the heart of Paternopoli, east of the capital, it creates a timeless atmosphere. The upper entrance is neoclassical and displays several paintings while on the lower floor there is the actual restaurant and the environment changes completely: equipped with an independent entrance, you find yourself in a former oil mill with exposed stones. In general the location is neoclassical and intimate. Francesco is the owner and handyman of the place: he offers a traditional menu linked to the territory, with dishes mainly typical of Irpinia, and his greatest joy is welcoming guests with a tour of the place, followed by the illustration of the paintings painted by the painter Francesco Famiglietti, his ancestor (it is no coincidence that Francesco is a lover of culture and knowledge).
This episode of “Alessandro Borghese 4 Ristoranti” made use of the collaboration of the Province of Avellino and the Sistema Irpinia Foundation.
Sky Brand Solutions, a department of Sky Media, together with Banijay Italia brought on board the new episodes of “Alessandro Borghese 4 Ristoranti” Generali Italia, Volkswagen Veicoli Commerciali, VERISURE ITALY, CONSORZIO ASTI Spumante e Moscato d’Asti, ChefLine, Rentokil Initial Italy.