In The Kitchen with Chicco Cerea
At Da Vittorio in Bergamo, Italy, cooking is a family affair
The Cerea’s (siblings Enrico, Francesco, Roberto, Rossella and Barbara) are an army. And all have children. So the kitchen at Da Vittorio (named after the beloved patriarch) in Brusaporto, Bergamo is full of little ones.
Vittorio, 12-years-old, is Enrico's son. Francesco’s daughter Benedetta is 11. Matilde, 10, is Roberto’s daughter. And Maria Rita and Filippo, 13- and 6-years-old are Rossella and Barbara’s children respectively. “We’re one big united family. A tribe, so to speak,” says ringleader Enrico (better known as Chicco), the man behind Da Vittorio’s latest success— which is being awarded a third Michelin star in 2010.
One for all and all for one? “Yes, definitely. I couldn’t have done this alone,” he explains. “And my dad and best friend, Vittorio, would have been so happy to see us all here together!”
“Raise your hand if you know how to cook!” we ask. Vittorio, Filippo (who decides to stop frowning and let go of his teddy bear), and Maria Rita’s hands immediately shoot up. Today’s challenge is to get everyone to bake a chocolate cake together (the recipe, exclusive to Elizabeth Street is below). “Guys, let’s see who does it best” says Chicco, and everyone begins to measure, mix, and stir diligently. “Cooking is a child’s game,” says the master. “Here at the restaurant, we have classes for children as young as nine and they can learn to make pizza, pasta, cookies, and other delicious recipes.” When it’s time to taste the chocolate cream, Filippo—who is obviously the group’s mascot—finally smiles. “He’ll follow in dad’s footsteps,” Chicco says with pride. “In fact he’s our pastry chef Simone Finazzi’s son!” —Veronica Russo
The Cerea Family Chocolate Cake Recipe
1 and 1/3 cups or 150 grams of sugar
6 ounces or 150 grams of dark chocolate
2/3 cup or 150 grams of butter
1 and ¼ cups or 150 grams of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
A glass of freezing water
Preheat the oven 180 degrees Celsius (or 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Slowly melt the butter and the dark chocolate in a saucepan. Then beat the eggs with the sugar until the volume is doubled. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture, a pinch of salt, and sifted flour and baking powder. Finally, add the glass of freezing water. Pour the mix into a buttered cake dish and bake for for 25 to 30 minutes.
Photo by: Sakis Lalas