Interview with chef Davide Botta, restaurant L’Artigliere, Isola della Scala (Verona)
Great Italian chef and a humble and very heartfelt person, Davide Botta, has moved from Brescia, where he has created his restaurant L’Artigliere (and won with it a Michelin star) to a new location, Isola della Scala (Verona). Name stays the same, just location is new. Davide says he is living his dream. In this occasion, here is an interview with him.
What has brought you into the world of cuisine and how have you decided to become a chef?
Everything was born from the passion for good food that was passed on to me by my parents. With two completely different cultures – my father was from Brescia, my mother instead has lived her first 20 years in the French part of Belgium – they have infected me with passion for food. We cooked a lot at home, but we have been also visiting many restaurants.
How would you describe the philosophy of your cuisine and what’s most typical for it?
My cuisine has good classical base, what’s very important also when we do more contemporary preparations. What’s most important forme is to create good dishes, which evoke emotions of my guests with taste and not with extreme and complex exhibitions. The essence of my cuisine is simplicity.
Let’s go into your childhood. Are there any memories, tastes, flavours that you have brought into your cuisine of today?
Yes, many of them, and you can find them in my dishes – I’m talking about flavours and perfumes which remind me of my mother when she was cooking soups, sauces, foie gras … and my father when he was preparing spit roast … and many others which I will never forget.
Are there any ingredients that you use more often?
Yes, for example rice. I love to cook risotto and in my career risotto was one of my dishes which was most appreciated by my guests. Then I love for example to mix ingredients with different characteristics, that at the end create harmony in a dish. I love for example licorice, or red prawn with passion fruit …
Who were your tutors, personalities who influenced you the most, who have left in you a very deep trace and how?
First it was my mother, then professor Roberto Andalò of the hotel school and then the chef Celeste Tomasoni – my great tutor who has teached me everything …. I have learned a lot also by eating at my colleagues – I have for example great memories of eating at Pierangelini, Georges Blanc, Marchesi.
I have opened my own restaurat at age of 20 and have created myself on my own. With stubbornness wanting to do the best I can I ould call myself autodidact.
What is inspiring you today?
Most of all my new house. I totally love it! I love it that much that I have found again the enthusiasm I had when I just started.
I’m also inspired by ingredients. When I have ingredients that I love, it can be a great motivation for creating new great dishes.
Creativity and technique. What is more important?
Both. They can’t exist one without other.
Your favourite dish?
Tagliatelle from raw beef with caviar, candied onion and sauce made with Franciacorta or spit roast which is dish of my territory.
Your greatest success?
More than a success for me it’s a question of journey. For example being accepted into JRE, then acknowledgments of the guides – all this were successes and also starting points to do even more and better .
Do you have any feasible or already fulfilled dream?
Yes, my new beautiful restaurant which I was always dreaming about.
Do you have any unattainable dream?
I don’t know … One, but …
If you wouldn’t be a chef, what would you like to do?
Maybe architecture. I don’t know, I was never thinking about it …
Andreja Lajh, March 2013