No kidding, he’s an artist: Coccaro pastry chef Martino Neglia, 26 (stations & stages: Bulgari Milan; Sadler Milan; Locanda Solarola Bologna), sure knows how to surprise! He loves simplicity and detests a big show around nothing.For creating a heavenly dessert like our sweet signature dish (Coccaro Summer Menu 2012), it doesn’t take him much more a brief walk through the vegetable garden and a look in the fridge, where he will always find favorite ingredients like cream or milk. “There’s no use knowing how to manipulate if you don’t know the principles“, he wrote in his thesis (“An interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper“), where he claims a return to pure nature in the kitchen, for what concers the preparation of a dish as well as the ingredients.
Here’s what he came up with for the summer season 2012: A dessert like a fresh vegetable garden, fresh and light as well as creamy, crunshy and sweet, with a couple of pure natural ingredients and a few interesting taste twists. Impressing, isn’t it? And not hard to imitate. “See, it’s as simple as that: All it takes are pure and fresh ingredients and dedication during the preparation. This way you won’t miss your Wow Effect!”
Ever tried Smashed Bean Soup with a twist of aromatic Scamorza cheese, wild onions, dried tomatoes and crispy bread? Here’s how Antonio Scalera, former “Grotta Palazzese” chef (Polignano), now the owner of La Bul Restaurant in Via Villari 52, Bari (www.labul.it), approaches the traditional recipe.
On the smashed bean cream he would first add a a couple of cooked whole beans, ”to make you realize you’re undoubtedly eating beans”, he says, while baking the Scamorza cheeze until it melts slightly.
While our gardeners are picking the oranges and mandarins all around the estate – and there’s still heaps to harvest! – Donato Vanella, the Coccaro chef, shows how to prepare Mandarin Jam, a Puglia variation of the ancient recipe that’s “basically used all over the world”, Vanella says, “an easy way to conserve fruit without using additives”.
Squeeze the juice out of the mandarins, then cut the skins into small pieces, put them with 400 grams of sugar each kilo of fruit in a high pot with medium fire for 30 minutes. At last fill the jam in small jars.
Go for a classic preservation method called “bagno Maria” (Bain Marie) putting the closed jars in boiling water for 5 minutes in order to sanitize them. Makes the jam durable for at least one winter! As simple as it is to prepare – the marmelade tastes delicious…
Ever tried Cooking School out in the open? Vincenzo, one of our chefs, will lead you and your kids through a Pizza Baking Class in the Coccaro courtyard. The kids will prepare everything from the doe until the mozzarella spread. Vinzenzo will put the tasty “art works” in the hot wooden oven and minutes later serve you the freshest, crispiest, yummiest Pizza pieces you’ve ever tasted.
…or: The Munich Kochgarage, Graciela and her nephews, came down to visit friends and colleagues at Coccaro Beach, where they parked their caravan for a few days and went off to do some research on Puglia cuisine in and around the masserias. Since Graciela had only just come back from a cooking school trip to Bali she had to show our beachclub team what she had learnt in exchange for the pasta recipes. An experience to remember for everyone involved!