When two old friends who happen to be great chefs get together, what do you think they do? Cook, of course.
Chef Andrea Bozzolo’s longtime friend and Italian fellow chef Mariano Greco came to Sarasota recently for a long overdue visit. So what did the two friends do? Of course, they cooked together. Specifically, they opened a bottle of wine, headed for Andrea’s restaurant kitchen on Siesta Drive and while reminiscing about old times when they worked in restaurants on cruise ships, they whipped up a series of wonderful dishes, some of which may make it onto the summer menu at Andrea’s, The Art of Food & Wine. The 42-year-old Greco is from a small town between Calabria and Basilicata, Italy and has worked in prestigious restaurants including Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, the two-star Michelin star establishment that has been named the best restaurant in the world.
“We’ve been speaking almost daily for the past year getting ready for this reunion,” said Chef Bozzolo, “We’ve been talking about new techniques that we want to teach each other and practice together. We always inspire each other and when we’re in the kitchen together we enjoy a brotherhood and an excitement about food that is mutual. We learn, we teach and we eat.”
Some of the dishes that the two young chefs prepared together in Sarasota include fresh Florida corn with anchovy mixed with a light homemade mayonnaise for a summer side. And they experimented with roasted cauliflower on black cabbage with a puree of goat cheese.
“While in Sarasota, Andrea taught me a lot about wine,” said chef Greco, “and I shared with him some recipes and cooking techniques from Noma in the area of molecular gastronomy. I came to professional cooking with a background in science so the whole theory and execution of molecular gastronomy really interests me and Andrea was eager to learn them.”
Will molecular gastronomy become part of the scene at Andrea’s, The Art of Food & Wine? “Well, maybe,” said chef Bozzolo, “because I believe that classic Italian recipes can change and should reflect a chef’s intent, modern times and new ingredients. It’s controversial within the industry, but change and growth are natural when chefs are committed to their craft and want to refine their talents. Guests in our restaurants are always the beneficiaries.”
At Andrea’s, the focus is on contemporary Italian cuisine using locally sourced fresh ingredients and wild-caught fish. Chef/owner Andrea Bozzolo prides himself on offering a sustainable menu throughout the year. He makes his own pasta and bread daily. Chef also offers an extensive selection of imported cheeses and his wine cellar is renowned. Andrea’s is located a 2085 Siesta Drive in Sarasota. Dinner daily from 5-10. Reservations suggested. 941-951-9200.