LECCELLENTE tells - Chef Giancarlo Polito

From the green heart of Italy to the blue sea of Salento

by Pino De Luca

‘Giancarlo Polito is coming for few days. would you like to interview him?‘
Monica is always very persuasive on phone. I know something of Giancarlo, I read Vanity Fair and some articles. Frankly I start with an injury to what I read. The imagery transmitted by those who have spoken to me has leaked the idea of a young man a bit ‘too dude, sliced, condescending and flatterer. Shortly, a kind of person who knows how to adapt , a person that you can not give him a definite description.

The meeting agreed on to be in Manduria. And it was. A tall man almost two meters with a proud eyelook and powerful hands. That task does not disdain, albeit non-shared by many more manly, like intended hunting as close as contacting theEarth as predation. An evolved man, intelligent, highly educated, but who knows how to show with great humility his talents. He is able to put you immediately at ease.

Comparable in sizes, we both sit on a table for coffee at a bar to discuss and to give justice to a wrong prejudice given by the writers and readers.

Giancarlo, a young man from the South, Manduria, who left for London searching for training, gaining information and passion. He got a Degree in economics, his passion and fortune looming, are more similar to Angelo Paracucchi, one of the greatest Italian chiefs. Who often pair up with Luigi Veronelli and this I believe is sufficient to explain the caliber of our Giancarlo.

Angelo feels the passion of Giancarlo. Giancarlo started to follow Angelo. Two weeks changed the whole thing. The passion for cooking, capitalized, understood as the art of ‘preparing plates that induce a smile ‘ was now concrete and real.

Giancarlo has created a place where friends meet in Montone, Umbria, inside a house that belonged to the great Ventura Braccio. The mythical place is the Locanda del Capitano. It’s not a restaurant but a Gourmet Lounge as Giancarlo defines it, because the living room is the most important place of the House when receiving friends.

It would be easy to bring questions and answers, but the interview with Giancarlo cannot be represented like this, as not to give rise to distorted images. Giancarlo is declared as a Chef but in reality he isn’t, not at all.

From my point of view he’s more to be categorized as a craftsmanship. Very careful, like any good craftsman, the rigor and discipline, even in his activity as a cooking teacher, has the myth of good manners, respect for others and coordinated work where everyone is responsible for their own space and ‘ cleaning ‘. A mantra, cleaning is for Giancarlo, a mantra that repeats itself and that it is intended solely as a ‘hygiene’ but like ‘crystallinity’, absence of imperfections and maximum attention to every detail.

‘I love the spaghetti with garlic and oil, but the kitchen does not use garlic’ a style. Who is too dominant star may very well alone but with others can not, above, become haughty and irreverent.

And the cuisine is harmony, gentle, coaxing able to communicate feelings and convey emotions, but must do so with great lightness and small signs. To do this the kitchen should be simple, few ingredients but use them well and offer the customer a narration that amazes him.

‘The customer tradition rooted, perhaps the rusticity of a pasta and beans, shall not be proposed violencely but, perhaps, you can go for an evolved interpretation of the same dish. And him be amazed ... ‘

And then comment on a sensory experience made of flavours known and different compositions, created in respect of history but with modern technology. ‘ Because nothing goes in the kitchen just like actors who invented new interpretations on the stage they feel the person but then, then they need the public. Whatever happens. ‘

Having the ammunition to Giancarlo, test and trial.. Masterful relationship with fish from the lake, with the perch. ‘I’ve tried many variations, and even smoked in sushi. But the sadness remained, and after two weeks came out for ever from the paper. ‘

But the history of his native land by the sea which is in the midst of the land, the Salento is surrounded by the Mediterranean with its herbs and scents, the richness of the cuisine of the adopted land, the green heart of the boot offer Giancarlo an infinite number of possible variations which become, in hands and in the spirit of those who can mold them, authentic jewels.

A portentous conversation about wines and oils to use in the kitchen and outside, the extension of the care of the dishes also to the boundary, the scenery, the service, the music. Giancarlo is very broad spectrum of topics, knowledge of the raw material that is personally chooses lofty, but it also decided the declaration of his ideas thyme and bay leaf over everything. And then the fifth quarter which is no wonder though is difficult to propose. Wonderful anecdotes of misery and nobility: a bat liver served with a champagne of highest rank picking up the applause of audience. The same people who, on hearing the composition of food, they were a bit stunned and then, then they figured out what it was, really, the nobility!

‘Desserts! i prepare them but i don’t eat them, I have a fondness for salty food because the desserts are too accurate and doesn’t always manage to contain the soul of time.‘

And here it ends the conversation with Giancarlo Polito, forty-six years well spent and hopefully will proceed still for so long. For him but, let’s face it frankly, for us.

We leave it at that: as for him the wish to eat sea fish, for me the desire re-visit the Gourmet Lounge at the Captain’s INN. Hope that you also feel it.

The chef from Salento (Puglia), Giancarlo Polito, patron of La Locanda del Capitano, a Gourmet Lounge in Montone, Umbria Italy
The cuisine must be simple, a few ingredients but well used, says Giancarlo Polito. Gourmet Restaurant in Montone, Umbria - Italy
 Chef Giancarlo Polito in the well-stocked cellar of his exclusive restaurant in Montone, Umbria Italy
 Chef Giancarlo Polito: simple ingredients, refined cuisine, gourmet dishes. Gourmet Hotel The Captain’s INN Montone, Umbria, Italy
The chef Giancarlo Polito in the kitchen of the Gourmet Hotel La Locanda del Capitano - Montone, Umbria Italy
 A dish of the restaurant of chef Giancarlo Polito. Gourmet Hotel La Locanda del Capitano - Montone, Umbria Italy
  •  recommended by Travel and Leisure La Locanda del Capitano montone boutique hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Guida Michelin La Locanda del Capitano hotel restaurant in Montone, Umbria, Italy
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  •  recommended by Chic Charming Italian Chef La Locanda del Capitano Gourmet hotel in Montone, Umbria, Italy
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  •  recommended by Identità golose La Locanda del Capitano Montone restaurant, Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Lonely Planet La Locanda del Capitano Montone gourmet hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Le Guide dell'Espresso La Locanda del Capitano Montone restaurant in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Travel and Leisure La Locanda del Capitano Montone boutique hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Guida Michelin La Locanda del Capitano Montone gourmet hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Gambero Rosso La Locanda del Capitano Montone gourmet restaurant in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Chic Charming Italian Chef La Locanda del Capitano Montone restaurant Chef Giancarlo Polito, Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Touring Club Italiano La Locanda del Capitano Montone boutique hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Identità Golose Chef Giancarlo polito La Locanda del Capitano Montone restaurant in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Lonely Planet La Locanda del Capitano Montone gourmet hotel in Umbria, Italy
  •  recommended by Le Guide dell'Espesso Chef Giancarlo Polito La Locanda del Capitano Montone restaurant hotel in Umbria, Italy
La Locanda del Capitano Gourmet Hotel Montone, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Via Roma, 7 - Montone (PG), Umbria, Italy
GPS: 43°21'47.9"N 12°19'36.6"E
+39 075 9306521 - info@ilcapitano.com 
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