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Through his personal interpretations of ingredients and flavor combinations, Mauro Colagreco has forged a style of his own. He has absorbed his Italian-Argentinian cultural heritage and that of the chefs with who he trained, and now follows his intuition as he draws on the local culture on both sides of the border. Inspired by the sea, the mountains and the fruit and vegetables grown in his gardens, Mauro invents colorful, pictorial dishes that play with textures and bold contrasts.
His cuisine is ultra-fresh, with lots of herbs, fruit and vegetables showcasing the magnificent ingredients, produced by local growers: citrus fruit from the Riviera, saffron from Sospel, olive oil and lemons from Menton, wild mushrooms from the surrounding countryside, produce from the Ventimiglia markets, gamberoni prawns from San Remo, locally caught fish, and so on. Light, honest, respectful of nature, Mauro’s cuisine expresses itself freely.
Priorat, Terroir al Limit, “Terra de Cuques” 2016Umbria Bianco, “Santa Chiara”, Paolo Bea 2018Jura Domaine Bénédicte et Stéphane Tissot “Les Graviers” 2018
Priorat is home to some of the best red wines in Spain, and nearly 95% of this small, mountainous region outside of Barcelona is devoted to red grapes. But while the intense, full-bodied reds get all the attention, some great white wines are made there as well. This is one of them. It’s a blend of two grapes called pedro ximénez and muscat, which are farmed organically and biodynamically. The end result is a full-bodied wine that reminds us of White Burgundy.
Paolo Bea is one of the founding fathers of natural wine in Italy, from an organic backyard-sized vineyard more than 1,000 feet above sea level in the hills of Umbria. Less than 4,000 bottles are made each year, and most of that stays within Italy. This is skin-contact or orange wine from 5 different grapes.
Stéphane Tissot is an icon in the Jura. Their wines are on the right side of natural, meaning they are a little bit wild, but still delicious. Their organic, biodynamic chardonnay is chardonnay as you know it and love it, but a little more salty and savory.