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The goal of Davide Oldani, chef from Milan

A great passion: football. Famous for caramelized onions, he suggests a new cooking style without fat, sober, focused on magnification of flavours with simple features

When he was a guy, he dreamed to make e football player. But his goals he scored all in the kitchen.
From the lessons of his passionate mother Luigia. then in the school of Gualtiero Marchesi, in the school of Albert Roux and Alain Ducasse to that of Pierre Hermé, Danele Oldani, the Milan chef of 41 years, has learned the basis for his art.
Of course, what we might call its "noblesse", his figure style, comes from his own creativity and personality: "You learn from the masters but then you must give yourself clear identity."
He continue to live football as a passion. "The activities in a restaurant are a team work. I have an idea, I compare it with my colleagues, the results arising from the work of a team, not by the skill of a cook."
Tireless, after catching the magnetic critical attention and the appreciation of the gastronomists and the public on its "D'O", he recently published the book "My kitchen pop - the art of candy dreams" (RCS, 2009) and tells us: "My “pop” character and thought probably make me famous in recent years. Lot of gastronomists talk about my caramelized onions. There, I believe, live all my being pop and also the dream of my life. This is not " poor cooking" but rather to humble kitchen, so created and dished out with a healthy dose of humility, a virtue that should extend to all areas of life."
I interviewed David while he was travelling to an unusual place for a chef: the match between the “DJ team” and Atalanta, professional team from Bergamo. "But for five minutes on the field I will play too" he said. The tone of voice was that of an adult who has the priceless satisfaction of take - if only for a moment - his dream boy.

His philosophy "Without" he rhymes with "essence". He defines his cooking “pop" in the sense of “popular”, poor materials worked with excellent technique. But without fat, sober, focused on magnification of flavours with simple features, little glamorous, so tantalizing. "My cooking is dietary, I use much spice, so fruits and vegetables, little meat. The menu has a fair price, in consideration of materials purchased and their cost. "

Italian cuisine abroad "After years when it was deemed as pizza, wine and mandolin, now it is identified purely with pasta. It is not easy to carry the true Italian cuisine beyond national borders. I would prefer to be recognized as the first in Italy than the second abroad, where the Italian restaurant is identified with the tavern. Behold, I come true a dream with the D'OR: reset Italian tavern according to a modern concept. "

Products "I do not believe in the romance of the farmer who leads his small production. Even so, with reservations for a year, I must always ensure to have at home what I put into the menu and the people expect from me. But I like the taste of the old and true seasonal products, quality and full of flavours"

Extra virgin olive oil. "It should not stand out in my dishes, so I use this to an extent of 10% and only in summer. Typically I use sunflower oil for roasts, a kind of oil that not alter the taste. I love diet dishes, so I prefer water, steam cooking, boiling and the butter to raw. My sweets do not provide carbohydrates or gluten."

Wine "My wine list includes 300 labels, for all is possible to open just for a cup. My idea is that the wine should not exploit the food, each one must be true in itself. Indeed, for me, good meal should be eaten without drinking because the food must contain all fluids necessary for the body. "

New ideas. "For the summer I suggest some meals combined with cold infusions of dried spices and herbs, suitable with the meat."

Dreams … "When I was a boy I wanted to become a footballer. At 16 years old I played already in professional championship (Italian C2). But I have not successful. An accident prevented me every chance. Luckily I had another dream. Seeing my mother cook Luigia, lover of tradition, born in me passion for good cooking. So I have the ambition to open my own restaurant. I realized my goal, managing the "D'O" and now I would like to be precise and careful in the customer service."

D’O
Via Magenta, 18
20010 San Pietro all’Olmo, Cornaredo (MI)

by Monica Sommacampagna
01 june 2009, Food & Fun > Gastronomy

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