Chef Cristiano Tomei and his new adventure at Marechiaro
Here's what the famous chef told us, back in Versilia with a special collaboration
Versilia land of myths. One of these is that of Marechiaro, a bath loved by personalities such as Eugenio Montale and Thomas Mann and chosen by the Vanzina brothers for Sapore di mare, a cult film of Italian holidays with Jerry Calà, which in turn became the symbol of Fortemarmino.
For the restaurant, a collaboration in great style: the one with Cristiano Tomei, chef of the famous restaurant L'Imbuto, in Lucca and beloved TV personality, thanks to cooking shows like Cuochi d'Italia.
Bagno Marechiaro is now owned by the Florentine family Olivetti Rason and managed by Blu Hotels, who were not discouraged by the not-so-simple circumstances and decided to aim for their official debut in an extra-hotel activity.
We met Chef Tomei, who has just started this new adventure.
Born in Viareggio, it was in your town that you opened the first restaurant, right in a beach resort. Can we therefore say that this collaboration with Marechiaro is a sort of return to the origins?
It's been 20 years. A return to the origins, but not a comeback. On the contrary, this collaboration is a sign, a sign that we are super alive, that the restaurant world is full of light even now. Then yes, of course it is very beautiful, because the sea is inside me and going back to the sea, moreover in a bathroom that has a unique charm like Marechiaro, is something that gives me a lot of joy. Marechiaro is a gem, a little shell next to another myth, which is La Capannina. I have to pay my compliments to Blu Hotels because it takes courage to make an inauguration right now. You'd have to be crazy, stupid, deranged as I am to question yourself at this time.
What kind of proposals have you thought for Marechiaro's menu?
We couldn't miss a hug for the fantastic land that is Versilia. So there will be dishes like spaghetti with arselle - or, as we say Viareggio, spaghetti with niches - and boiled fish with mayonnaise. But there will also be dishes that we have studied with the resident chef Vincenzo Martella, a very good chef chosen by me for Marechiaro, proposed especially for the evening. And two tasting menus, which I would define, more than surprise, tailor-made. But above all there will be a 'natural quality' approach, so the great catch, the great vegetables, great raw materials in general, a great bread, which I produce in my workshop in Lucca, and a great warmth, because now people need human warmth.
Let's also talk a bit about L'Imbuto: you have never stopped, with delivery service all over Italy, and you have recently reopened.
Yes, that's right, as I was saying, in a situation like this we need to move forward and reinvent ourselves. And so we did for example L'Imbuto Box, the dinner with the instructions, to compose at home.
The dish that gave you the most satisfaction during lockdown?
The onion omelette, with onions and sea urchins, a fun and good dish.
How do you see the catering world right now and in the future?
What will happen is difficult to understand, what I see is that people are much more human, more willing and want to cuddle. It takes a lot of humanity. The kitchen at this time more than ever must be not masturbating, but fucking, sharing. It must be a language of joy. People want to laugh and have fun, because they have had and are having a very difficult time.
When will we see you on TV again?
You see me every day, because I think Cuochi d'Italia is everywhere! But I'll tell you a surprise: we are shooting a special edition called Cuochi d'Italia All Stars. I can't say much, but I can tell you that there will be some very nice changes.