Aromas from Chef Vincenzo Galano Kitchen Featured

From the kitchen of Vincenzo Galano, chef of the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, we get a taste of the new season


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27 August 2010

The view, an exclusive treasure of Sorrento’s Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria, has enchanted famous personalities through the decades: from Enrico Caruso, who stayed here and after whom one of the most prestigious suites is named, to Jack Lemmon; from Marilyn Monroe to Sophia Loren.

Just entering the hotel is a special experience. The halls range from the Liberty style to Belle Époque, and the terraces overlook the crystal-clear sea with Vesuvius dominating the horizon. Even more unique are the Vittoria restaurant's delicate Mediterranean flavours: countless fish and seafood varieties, accompanied by salads, citrus fruits, cheeses, and forest culinary products.

The Vittoria is the hotel's principal restaurant, and its menu is underpinned by the skilful hands of chef Vincenzo Galano who, since 1993, has never stopped learning and enhancing the products of the Campania region. It is a cuisine that, in winter, takes on warm and seductive tones, with dishes created using local vegetables and cheeses such as provolone del monaco [monk’s provolone.] We spoke to Vincenzo in this exclusive Luxos interview.

What is your vision of “winter,” in terms of traditional Italian cooking?

Living as I do by the sea and in a temperate climate, I find winter an exciting season, both for its products and its climate. What could be more enjoyable than gathering around the table to taste good food?

What are the season’s ingredients and how does your kitchen use them?

Artichokes, aubergines, fresh broad beans, and much more. During the course of the seasons, we carefully select the raw products, and if they do not meet our standards of absolute freshness, we quickly withdraw them from our menus.

How would you describe the Sorrento coast and its relationship with the region?
Sorrento enjoys a strategic position: its climate is mild and its terraced fields yield the best possible products. Cuisine is an important expression of the region, giving us an identity that is recognised all over the world.

Has working at Sorrento’s Grand Hotel Vittoria influenced you a great deal?
I have been fortunate to work in a leading establishment that enables me to express my culinary aspirations to the highest possible degree. The Vittoria is a restaurant that is unique for its charm and history.

Could you recommend a “charming winter menu” for our readers?
Beef carpaccio with pears with taurasi pomegranate dressing
Puréed artichokes with lemon junket and fried octopus
Risotto with wild mushrooms, provolone cheese and walnuts
Piglet shoulder with sliced apples and a gourd and chestnuts timbale.
Winter melon trifle and torrone [nougat] cylinder

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Italy FW 2010