In this interview, we speak to Massimiliano Mariola, chef in the Boscolo Group and a media personality on Gambero Rosso Channel. His cuisine is based on simple and linear flavours, in compliance with Italian traditions and taste.
In general terms, what are the characteristics of restaurant services within the Boscolo group?
As regards our restaurants, our menus include fish and meat dishes, and they always feature a wide range of traditional Italian dishes, whether of regional or national inspiration. In fact, we dedicate two or three recipes to every city. For example, for Milan, the characteristic dishes are the veal cutlet, and Milan-style saffron risotto. For Rome, we could not fail to include pasta alla carbonara and Rome-style salti in bocca - veal cutlets with Parma ham and sage. To end the meal, we offer a wide range of desserts with creative combinations and presentations, such as tiramisù served in a glass. Guests at our hotel can also opt for our room service, for which there is a fine selection of international recipes.
Which recipe could you recommend for guests in one of your hotels?
To all those who love good cuisine, I would recommend our fish specialities.
As a starter, red tuna tartare with capers, anchovies, parsley and fresh spring onion. Then spaghetti alle vongole (with clams), or a flavoursome zuppa di pesce - fish stew. And to end the meal, a soft and appetizing apple dumpling. As we are now in spring, an alternative dessert equally appealing to the most sophisticated palates is without doubt the creamy flan with wild forest fruits.
Which seasonal products do you use, and how do you use them in your cuisine?
I always enhance my recipes using exclusively fresh fruit and vegetables, and exclusively products in season. Cured meat, fresh meat and fish are selected with meticulous care. A good example is our breakfast menu, which is extensive and complete, including fresh bread, jams, dried fruit, hams and cheese, in a selection that woiuld be hard to find elsewhere. I think that it is important that our guests begin the day well, tasting a bit of everything, and with the chance of personalizing their breakfast.
You mentioned the typically Milanese dishes. Do you consciously try to reflect Milanese cuisine in your work at the Boscolo group?
At the Boscolo Exedra Milano, recipes from Milanese traditions are always on the menu. Examples include saffron rice and veal cutlet, in a single dish accompanied by purée of potatoes scented with lemon. Though Milan is not a seaside city, it has always had a tradition of fish recipes, partly because of its harbour, the Darsena, that thrived up until the late 19th century, and partly because still today it has one of the largest fish markets in the country. Often people say that if you want to eat really fresh fish, you should go to Milan. And so we have an à la carte menu based on fish, with four hors d'oeuvres, four first course dishes, four mains, and five desserts.
What is special about restaurants in the Boscolo Group?
It is impossible to judge the quality of cuisine from outside, but once inside, our recipes provide the best expression of our work. We combine a rediscovery of Italian flavours and dishes, along with utmost attention to the selection of raw materials and the quality of the food products that we use.