May 17, 2011

Guazetto: A Saucy, Stewy Way to Serve Fish

Angelo Cabani is a mentor of mine. A spectacular chef, with big eyes, a big mustache, and a huge appetite for fine and tasty fish.

His restaurant, Locanda Miranda, is located in what he likes to call his "gastronomic hotel" by the sea. It is perched above the Bay of Poets in the pastel village of Tellaro, ancestral home of his family since the 13th century.

This Ligurian coastal settlement has seen it's share of marauders since the days of the Saracens. 

According to local legend, the watchman fell asleep and the rope to the bell tower fell into the sea. An octopus from the rocky shore below got entwined in the rope and trying to break free, woke up the town with his continual clanging. As luck would have it, the town awoke, expecting an attack just as a ship of Saracens were preparing to ascend. Lets just say that a lot of hot boiling oil was used and the village was an octopus! Angelo doesn't often use frutti di mare, but prefers deeper ocean fish, scampi and smaller fishes that swim around the rocks.

He cooks with traditional recipes and ingredients, but steps it up a notch. "People don't go out to eat what they can get at home," says Angelo. His challenge is to make it interesting.