Return to the news

Ivan Milani – High Level Cuisine

Looking out from the 35th floor of the Intesa Sanpaolo Tower, you can see the soul of Turin, from its Roman origins to its industrial heyday, from the symbols of the Savoy capital to the legacy of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The Alps seem close enough to touch and with a little imagination you can sense the sea beyond the plain. You see the city limits, and feel the desire to look beyond.

Up here you’ll also find the highest restaurant in Italy Piano 35 (the name is a play on words, as Piano means “floor” in Italian, but is also the surname of the architect who designed the tower, Renzo Piano), run by Ivan Milani. His kitchen resembles the panorama: there are constant reminders of its own origins, but it’s impossible not to look beyond them too.

For Ivan the opening of Piano 35 iivan milanis a homecoming. He started his career not far from here, in Caffè Elena, an historic cafe in Turin’s Piazza Vittorio, twenty years ago, before moving out of the city to Alba and then to Busca, at the magnificent San Quintino Resort. It was here that Ivan’s cooking reached maturity, and where some of the signature dishes, which now define the menu high above the city at Piano 35, were born.

Ivan isn’t alone in this adventure: he’s joined by a fantastic team of young chefs, the University of Gastronomic Sciences (which has supported the project from the beginning, along with Intesa Sanpaolo), Massimiliano Prete (the pizza chef at Gusto Divino in Saluzzo, one of the most renowned pizzerias in Piedmont) and a group of wild herb gatherers. This group, called wood*ing, has brought a new and stimulating side to Milani’s cuisine. Ivan spoke to us about meeting them, describing the exciting challenge of working with such unusual raw materials that grow in micro-seasons, remaining edible for only a few days of the year. When tasting Milan’s dishes, one discovers how herbs, mushrooms and seaweed gathered from across Italy are used with great dexterity by the chef.

One of the most interesting examples is the White Piedmontese Sashimi, an iconic dish in which the highest-quality steak, which Milani continues to buy from the same butcher in Bra, seasoned with a little oil Ivan Milani- cucina di un certo livello3and narrowleaf plantain, a common herb with a light, mushroomy smell, used either fresh or powdered, and a little grated bark. Ivan explains that the dish has undergone a profound evolution, where one it was prepared with foie gras, now the aroma is provided by this fascinating herb. The result is a simpler, cleaner plate that gives greater priority to the smells and textures of the meat.

On the fusion front, one of Milani’s other signature dishes is Se Torino avesse il mare (If Turin had the sea) – Piedmontese agnolotti filled with white fish flesh and squid ink and served with a Japanese dashi soup – and the pigeon with scallops and seaweed, a plate of rare equilibrium that unites the sweetness of the bird meet with the soft texture of the mollusks.

There are no tables available at Piano 35 before September, such is the demand, but there will be two opportunities to enjoy food among the clouds as part of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto – with Ivan Milani presenting both events. The first, Ivan Milani’s Take on the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, will explore this mythical, often misunderstood treasure of Italian cuisine, while the second will be dedicated to legumes with Slow Food Presidium status – Vertical Legumes!

Two truly special opportunities to savor some of Italy’s most forward-thinking cuisine at the highest level, in every sense of the word!

By Eugenio Signoroni

Photo: Piano35 restaurant; Identitàgolose

An Event by
 Città di Torino
 Slow Food
 Regione Piemonte
In collaboration with
With the contribution of
Official Partners
Supporters of the Terra Madre Foundation and Slow Food
With the support of

Terra Madre Salone del Gusto
Slow Food Promozione P.Iva 02220020040
© Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2016 - All rights reserved