Interview with the young pastry chef Franco Aliberti…
The savoury side of Aliberti
Ex Pastry chef for the “Osteria Francescana”, three Michelin stars, Franco Aliberti continues on his path of experimentation and open-mindedness, dissolving the thin line between savoury and sweet
What is Franco’s B side?
That aspect of my character which I have managed to recover thanks to new experiences. Even if I have always had a sweet “heart” which has indicated the way, my working experience began in the kitchen. Over the years, acquiring technique, knowledge and experience, I realised how useful and essential the savoury aspect is, or rather my B side. Confectionery is an exact science and it is this fascinating world made up of formulas, chemistry, balance and combinations, that has given me a wider view of ingredients which allows me to move freely and, at the same time, cancel the line between savoury and sweet.
How did you arrive at this point?
For a long time I wanted to put my skills to the test, measuring myself against products such as meat and fish, and the only cuisine that has an overall open-mindedness is that of Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, three Michelin stars. Each team member is perfectly able to replace another, each section works for itself but with others, and experimentation and knowledge are shared skills. The awareness of going “beyond” has been matured in this environment.
Which direction are you taking now?
I am trying to embrace my dream, to have an overall knowledge of gastronomy and to be able to open, when I feel I am ready, a place where I can express my idea of cuisine!
Explosion – a small welcome
A milk-chocolate covered ball with the surface covered with caramel coated peanuts with salt and tandoori and inside, a centrifuge of green olives and orange juice to be eaten in one mouthful. All held together by a flower, the dashi bottom which, when eaten, expresses the most of its potential and which, thanks to its freshness, cleans the mouth.
“La coppa del nonno Frank” is an espresso coffee flavoured gelato topped with a coffee mouse with small croissant and a hazelnut chocolate.
Layer after layer
butter g 2,500
flour g 1,500
flour g 1,750
water l 1
salt g 50
Soften the butter and mix with the flour without kneading the mixture too much, in order to obtain a compact butter block without any lumps of butter. Flatten and place in fridge to cool. Dissolve the salt in water and add to the flour so as to have a smooth and homogeneous mixture. Flatten and place in fridge to cool. Cool both mixtures, roll out the dough and place the butter block in the centre. Fold over the edges and roll out again. Fold into three and refrigerate for about 30 minutes for each fold: one for twice folding/fourtimes/ twice folding/fourtimes. When the pastry is ready pull it using sugar (which substitutes the flour) to a thickness of 1 cm. Leave to rest for approx. 15 minutes, chill so that the cut of the portion is perfect and clean (in this case a circle). After cutting, leave to rest for a further 20 minutes, approx. Before baking, place the pastry carefully in a half sphere-shaped silicon mold and then place another on top so as to block the pastry inside the two molds and, using a weight and a not too high sheet, bake at 195°C. Halfway through cooking remove the second mold and finish off removing also the remaining mold.
cream g 600
sugar g 100
gelatin g 5
vanilla bean n. 1
Bring to the boil the cream, sugar and vanilla, add the gelatin, which has been put to soak previously and leave to rest overnight in the fridge.
basic cream g 700
yoghurt g 400
gin g 25
lime n. 1
Whip the cream mousse and carefully add the yoghurt, grated lime and gin.
For the decoration
Dehydrated powder of soft fruits and Vignola cherries.
Create a split in the half-sphere of puff pastry using a knife, place underneath, almost hidden, the yoghurt and gin cream with the pitted cherries, sprinkle the fruit powder over the split and complete with a line of cream.