Rota “Da Vittorio” in Brusaporto, Lombard tradition and creative genius

This article features a Michelin 3-Star restaurant near Bergamo where perfection is reached. Paolo Rota was sent on a mission to visit the most important “temples” of European Cuisine in order to strengthen the international focus of the restaurant “Da Vittorio” in Brusaporto, where today he is currently Sous Chef and where tradition is nicely combined with creativity, in the sign of a family dedicated to excellence.

Rota “Da Vittorio” in Brusaporto, Lombard tradition and creative genius

Let’s not forget that Three Michelin Stars in Italy are almost as rare as the one of the Three Magi. After a journey of great commitment, dedication and sacrifice (started many years ago by Vittorio Cerea who died in 2005, and his wife Bruna), that made it possible to get the first star in 1978 and the second one in 1996, the baton was happily taken by his sons Enrico and Roberto, working in the kitchen, and by the other two, Francesco and Rossella, at the reception. Finally in 2010 the Cereas could celebrate the arrival of the most sought-after recognition, the Three Stars of the prestigious French Guide. The refined restaurant “Da Vittorio” hosted in the homonymous Di Charme Inn (a member of the Relais & Chateaux circuit in Brusaporto not far from Bergamo), is now the flag of superb Italian Cuisine all around the world.

In the “kingdom” that was once belonging to Vittorio Cerea, in 1990 a young 24 year-old who knew his stuff just arrived. Vittorio immediately noticed him and trusted him, the young man (who had already cut his teeth working in various restaurants in the area), was eager to learn and take over all the secrets of high quality cuisine. The Cereas sent him to learn abroad, in Lasarte in the Basque Country (along with the multi-starred Martin Berasateguì, heir of the great master Andrià), and also in England with Michel Roux, noble father of world cuisine, a living legend who collects Michelin stars for each and every restaurant that he owns.

The goal is to update work techniques and knowledge of ingredients for a restaurant that has an international footprint even if firmly rooted in the territory. Paolo Rota, immediately starts to get passionate, begins to do lots of research and experimentation, this is what he was looking for. His hungry curiosity knows no boundaries. With this rich baggage of experiences that young man (Paolo Rota, today an affable and calm 52 year-old), over the course of the years became master of himself, a quality that he transfers in his balanced approach, very respectful while cooking. He soon starts to metaphorically climb all the steps of the “Temple of Brusaporto” to become Sous Chef, afterwards Enrico and Roberto got close to him even more because in the meantime the love for the kitchen was paired also with the love for Rossella, sister of the two, whom he married in the 90s.

The concept of “Lombard tradition and creative genius” is virtually written in big letters on the entrance of this prestigious restaurant immersed in a park of ten hectares where pleasant pathways pass close to the tiny natural lake animated by geese, ducks and swans. Then there are the vineyards that occupy the top of the hill, whose grapes produce the “Rosso Faber”, a Bordeaux blend obtained from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes which is taken care of by Francesco, memory of an agricultural tradition revitalized thanks to the replantings made with the most modern techniques. Finally we must mention the Charming Inn where in the evening guests are greeted by a spectacular bonfire that burns in a large brazier in front of the entrance.

Here everything verges on perfection. Paolo Rota emphasizes: “Rhythms of seasons are strictly followed in their annual alternation, the raw materials are at the highest and uncompromising level. Scampi of Mazara del Vallo, meat of Piemonte, local mushrooms, truffles of Alba. What is not produced on site arrives every day from the place of origin to the kitchen of the restaurant.

Lombard creativity is expressed in the freedom of its combinations, small touches of colour and vivacity of flavours generate contrasts that physically meet in a crescendo of taste harmony designed to give enjoyment to the most different palates and to the most diverse gastronomic preferences (or needs): meat and fish, game and seafood, truffles and mushrooms but also vegetable dishes, all declined with an original style attentive to the new frontiers of wellness cuisine.

Among the dishes that in 50 years have made this restaurant great, Paolo Rota lists with religious solemnity, as if to show some family trophies: Warm Salad of steamed fish, Egg Style egg, Risotto with seafood from pot to plate, Paccheri alla Vittorio, Big Fried Mix of fruits and vegetables, Hourglass Style white seabass, Milanese elephant ear (it’s just a name).

It is easy to understand why legendary leading characters have visited this Temple of Haute Cuisine.

°° Translated from Italian to English by Gerardo Iannacci, email