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Viva Italia

Harrods’ Stelle di Stelle pop-up brings together five of the finest Italian restaurants, with 13 Michelin stars between them, to create a truly special fine dining experience in the heart of Knightsbridge. We caught up with some of the chefs to talk about the cornerstone of Italian cuisine – fresh ingredients – and discovered the inspiration behind their favourite dishes.

Enrico Crippa, of Piazza Duomo, tells us; “My vegetable garden rules my menu, season after season. We cultivate most of the vegetables we use ourselves – being a chef here [in Piedmont] is magical and the people of Langa are used to eating well! [At Stelle di Stelle], I wanted to give English clients the opportunity to taste the typical cuisine of Piedmont in winter, using elements such as truffle and Barolo [wine].”

It seems Piedmont’s famous truffles are not just a favourite of Enrico’s, with Annie Feolde of Enoteca Pinchiorri also citing Piedmont truffles, particularly the white variety, as a standout ingredient of the region. For Gennaro Esposito of Torre del Saracino, just south of Naples, it is hard to single out a favourite ingredient but, he says, “if I have to say something I can’t live without, I have to say lemon, oil, oregano – these are very important in Mediterranean cuisine.”

For Carlo Cracco, of Ristorante Cracco, highlighting the typical ingredients of Italian cuisine was the inspiration behind his Stelle di Stelle menu: “I chose tomato, mozzarella and basil to recreate the inspirations that are tied to our land. The same goes for the truffle, or the parsley – used in my dessert – giving value to the characteristics and versatility of each ingredient. We have excellent products, not only in every region, but in fact in every village and, without a doubt, [my favourite ingredients are] rice, tomato and liquorice. One can find different facets of one ingredient alone, thus playing with textures and pairings.”

Enrico and Roberto Cerea, of Da Vittorio, continue this pride in fresh Italian ingredients: “Being a chef in our country is a fortune and a great privilege. There are infinite products available that allow us to develop our creativity to the highest level. Fish, meat, vegetables, cheese, extra virgin olive oil, butter; all these contribute in the preparation of an excellent Italian dish.”

Located on the Lower Ground floor next to the Wine Rooms, Stelle di Stelle welcomes the Cerea brothers for the month of October. For more information and booking details, see the Stelle di Stelle page.

Shop our edit of Italian food and wine below.

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