One of the most satisfying collaboration dinners of the year took place last December, a joint effort between Bentoteca and the duo of chefs, Francesco Capuzzo Dolcetta and Guglielmo Chiarapini, otherwise known as FEG Kitchen.
Bentoteca and FEG Kitchen embarked on their third collaboration in Milan
This dinner is the third time these chefs have united to create an ad hoc dinner since their first meeting at the Gelinaz annual culinary gathering back in 2021. Cooking together for the first time, during The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle Stay in Tour “Silent Voices” at the Sillon restaurant in Biarritz proved to be the start of a great culinary friendship. The shared culinary approach of chef Yoji Tokuyoshi, Francesco Capuzzo Dolcetta and Guglielmo Chiarapini would be showcased twice later in 2023, in Milan, within Bentoteca.
FEG was born after Dolcetta and Chiarapini left Marzapane, a gourmet bistro in Rome. The two made a name for the place and Marzapane thrived during their time there. They valued authentic cooking from scratch, and a naturalistic approach to showcasing the produce, especially that which is considered to be humble, such as the most basic vegetables and the lesser-used parts of the animal. There they focused on close communication with guests and displayed excellent cooking techniques in an informal setting.
After leaving Marzapane in July 2022, the FEG project was an initiative they came up with prior to the opening of new enterprises, partly as a much needed experience, to travel around the world creating ad-hoc pop-ups with special menus, developing dishes with like-minded chefs, and being stimulated by new kitchens and territories, and landscapes such as Lyle’s in London, Le Doyenne in Saint-Vrain or the Chenin in Bangkok. While FEG has revealed their plans to cook next in Mexico City, they are sure to appear in more great restaurants in Europe too.
Both FEG and Tokyuoshi, are similarly guided by their spirit of freedom and spontaneity, and hosting FEG for the second time at Bentoteca, just goes to prove what a great match these three culinary minds make.
A few years ago, Tokuyoshi freed himself from the fetters of fine dining and has shone ever since with delectable and affordable creations that scream freedom. Nevertheless, Bentoteca is essentially fine dining, considering the level of technique, execution, and the high quality of its produce such as tuna from the Algarve, imported exclusively by Tanaka Hajime. But, the relaxed and humble service and ambience, provide a complete change of energy compared to the Tokuyoshi restaurant he had before the pandemic. The flowing array of creative dishes, such as veal bone marrow cooked on a charcoal grill with fermented squid and shokupan, come directly from a Japanese mind that prepares Italian produce with no restraints to creativity.
one of Bentoteca's signature dishes: veal bone marrow cooked on a charcoal grill with fermented squid and shokupan
For their latest collaboration, the three have been improvising as always, taking the exclusive dry-aged horsemeat from Macelleria Borgo Trento in Brescia with incredible marbling of the highest quality that they served with akami and pizzaiola sauce with fermented tomatoes, and Galician sea urchin, foie gras on shokupan with immature tiny oranges that Francesco prepared in the style of capers. Then there was the dish akin to Roman suppli, but dressed in ultra-light tempura keeping the tenderness of the otoro rice filling, with homemade kumquat kosho.
At each dinner of this kind, FEG showcases their signature techniques and their most legendary dishes, such as hand-cut fresh pasta fieno made by Guglielmo, served in a beef cheek consommé with truffles.
What is it, if not the pure culinary pleasure of simplicity?