Andrea Accordi: signature Italian cuisine in Prague
Andrea Accordi, Italian chef in Prague, first Michelin star of the Czech Republic.The full interview appeared in the first issue of ItaliaSquisita
Italian cuisine with oriental fragrance, a fierce desire to bring everything up, freshness and friendliness: a chat at the tables of the restaurant "Allegro" in Prague with Andrea Accordi “Crossborder” Italian chef. Andrea Accordi, thirty-one years, a rising career began in London and continued in Hong Kong, Thailand, in St. Tropez and St. Moritz before arriving at the restaurant "Onice" of the luxury hotel “Villa La Vedetta" in the beloved Florence, left two years ago for the Czech capital. City where we meet him, in the beautiful setting of the restaurant "Allegro" of the Four Seasons Hotel. HOW DO YOU FEEL IN THIS EASTERN EUROPE CAPITAL? Great! "Allegro" was already a renowned restaurant when I arrived, and customers, especially local, were very attentive and intelligent. After only six months after my arrival, March 10, 2008, we achieved a Michelin star, the first for Prague and for all Eastern Europe. For the hotel, for all the staff was a great satisfaction. I'm obviously very pleased, especially since I managed to bring here all the best of my Florentine period. BUT AN ITALIAN CHEF WANT TO PROPOSE ITALIAN CUISINE FAR FROM HIS COUNTRY WHERE DOES THE SHOPPING? All the products of my dishes are fresh. I seek to exploit firstly the local organic products: here I find herbs, vegetables and salads, most of the meat (pork, lamb, kids, etc. ...). If not, when I have special needs I commend to my Italian contacts: fish from the Mediterranean Sea comes to us three times a week directly from Fano and Sicily; and also the dairy. The dough is made fresh, daily. Indeed for products and raw materials I am a really maniac. To think that just two months after my arrival I called Mr. Tillo from Corsano Patterno, Tuscany, to come to teach the local dairy where I purchase habitually to make the ricotta. Thus I now have available a unique sheep's milk ricotta, still warm in the afternoon... WE ASK THE CHEF TO SEE A MENU, SO WE CAN BROWSE TOGHETER THE DELICIOUS DISHES OF THIS SEASON. WE LEAVE TO ANDREA THE PLEASURE TO EXPLAIN IT TO US All the dishes of my menu are characterized by seasonality, in first place. For example, in this period we offer a full menu made of white truffle, an ingredient typical of fall and winter. The truffle is very asked, especially by the local customers: in a month and a half I order more than eight kilos! Then the balance between classics and original creations. The Tuscan influence is very strong for me, as the Asian (an example are the macaroni with turnip greens and sausage, Tuscan soup, Cartoceto pecorino and black pepper of Sarawak). I always try to put a pinch of oriental taste in my menu, to weave paths. And on the other hand to enhance the local taste. Here they love the meat, especially pork, so I made sure to bring a suckling pig in three versions, Czech, Asian and Italian, or milk-fed veal of Pegognaga (for me, one of the best) associated with marinated beef tongue, liked here ... Finally, as I told before, the importance of local products. If I choose particular products such as parmesan of red cows, the fied chicken, the chickpeas of Reggello is to exploit these unique flavors that are the wealth of Italy.