Identità di Libertà

The breathtaking views of scenic San Marino, the backdrop for the Identità di Libertà conference.

This weekend, Emilio and I had the pleasure of being invited to San Marino to participate in Identità di Libertà, a fascinating day of workshops with seven of today’s most accomplished and talented Italian chefs.

The day started with a very large hunk of meat. And I mean large. Sergio Motta, who comes from a long line of butchers near Milan, presented the entire front quarters of a cow. It’s not exactly the first thing I want to see at 10 in the morning, but what followed was a fascinating lesson in cow anatomy. Motta completely sectioned the piece of cow and demonstrated where to find the most tender cuts and their various preparation techniques.

Motta's meat

Here’s some pics of the other highlights of the food-filled day of “tradition and innovation.”

Gianluca Fusto's unforgettable "Green Dessert," of green apple, shaved fennel, celery mousse and white chocolate.
Andrea Aprea made an homage to the frittata di pasta, a traditional "recycled left-over" dish from his native Napoli using yesterday's pasta.
Massimo Bottura's suggestion of "mucche al pascolo", from what cows consume to what they produce. An explosion of fresh spring flavors from fava beans, wild asparagus, pea shoots and aromatic herbs.
Massimo Bottura
Moreno Cedroni presented several fish dishes, while discussing food safety and seafood.
The pioneer of "gourmet pizza," Simone Padoan, demonstrated a naturally leavened pizza with raw, shaved artichokes, ricotta di bufala and raw red imperial shrimp.
Alessandro Gilmozzi's dessert of Jerusalem artichokes, a corn and fir bud crunch, larch ice-cream, candied lichen and sap.

While I don’t think any of the recipes are replicable in a home kitchen, at least not mine (or anyone’s which doesn’t have a vacuum-packer or blast chiller), it was a fascinating behind the scenes glimpse into the world of these chefs. The amount of forethought, ingenuity and imagination that goes into conceiving each of these dishes is astounding, not to mention the level of manual mastery they require to be made into reality.

My taste buds were (and still are) overwhelmed by the number of new sensations, and they might need a week of nothing but bread and water in order to comprehend what just happened to them.

Thank you Identita’ Golose and the Repubblic of San Marino for this unique and memorable experience!


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