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Sina Chefs’ stops in Tuscany: a taste challenge at the Villa Medici

Lby Harry Le Jardin bar at the Sina Villa Medici hotel in Florence hosted the fifth stage of Sina Chefs Cup Competition, the challenge between couples of starred and famous chefs dedicated to the theme of “Travel”. The leaders are the protagonists Senior Venturiof the restaurant L’Asinello in Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena) and chef Ricardo Agostiniof the Restaurant Il Piatino in Pennabilli (Rimini) with the Resident Chef Mirko Cesari who presented a four-course cooking show.

Sina Chefs’ Cup competition in Florence

There are twelve starred chefs whose mission is to interpret the theme by offering recipes and dishes inspired by memories, emotions, sensations, colors and flavors experienced during their travels. Dinners are organized in the restaurants of the Sina Hotels group. From Perugia to Rome, from Venice to Turin Sina Chefs’ Cup Contest consists of seven events to discover the places, the cities, the works of art that have influenced the starred chefs who are protagonists of this new edition. The dinners, open to the public, offer the opportunity to assist the starred chefs in developing the recipes that have inspired them. The culinary proposals are then presented to a jury made up, at each stage, by three industry experts (food and wine critics, journalists, nutritionists, etc.) and by a jury made up of three people present at all stages, whose voting weight is equal to that of a single juror. For the Florence stage, the jury was made up of Anna Balzanigeneral manager of “Florence is You”, Giuseppe CalabrianThe Republic, Marco Gemellifood and wine journalist and critic, director of Il Forchettiere.

The good life


The jury gave its opinion on the dishes offered in relation to respect for the chosen theme, the complicity of the couple and the team, the goodness of the dish, the quality/price ratio, the aesthetic and artistic value. Riccardo Agostini proposed a very particular aperitif from the beginning of autumn: ripe cardoncello, sour grapes and anise with herbs with a fresh but intense taste. The Cardoncello is a mushroom appreciated since ancient times, in the Middle Ages it was the subject of songs in some taverns of Lazio and was considered delicious and aphrodisiac to the point of being blacklisted by the Holy Office because it distracted Christians from the idea of ​​penance Fleshy and delicate, thanks to maturation and combined with the other ingredients, it becomes a symphony of flavors.

Senio Venturi concocted for the evening an extremely elaborate Ravioli starter with grilled capocollo, cream of leeks, pork popcorn and fried leeks. The ravioli thrilled the jury for the strong flavor of the filling softened by the delicate cream of leeks.

Resident chef Mirko Cesari offered two dishes definitely far from the spirit that permeates the classic menu of Harry’s Bar: eggplant parmigiana served as if it were a dessert and a surprise experiment with dessert: soft sponge cake with Graviola, white chocolate and basil ganache and candied vegetables.

The matching wines are Felsina di Castelnuovo Berardenga winery.


The dishes offered convinced the jury, which awarded them first place in the standings with a score of 96/100 (consistency with the chosen theme 20/20; complicity of the couple 20/20; goodness of the dish 18/20; quality/price ratio 18/20; aesthetic and artistic value of the dish 20/20).

In second place in the provisional ranking are two pairs of chefs Stefano Vio of the restaurant Zanze XVI e Valerio Dallamano of the Wistèria restaurant both from Venice and the couple formed by the chefs Enrico Marble (Restaurant Balzi-Rossi) And Massimo Viglietti with 95 points out of 100. Second place with 94/100 is shared by the couples of chefs Vincenzo Guarino of the Postigliano Castle (Sellano – Perugia) and Giancarlo Polito of the Captain’s Inn (Montone – Perugia); chefs Alessandro Rossi from Il Gabbiano 3.0 (Marina di Grosseto – Grosseto) and Maurizio Bardotti from Osteria Passo after Passo in Fizzano, Castellina in Chianti (Siena).

L’October 11 the Sina Bernini Bristol in Rome will host the last meeting, before the final, between the chefs Giovanni Vanacore of Palazzo Alvino (Ravello) and Luigi Lionetti of the restaurant Le Monzù of the Hotel Punta Tragara (Capri). The final It will take place November 8 at Sina de La Ville of Milano.


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