Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Taste of Home, Chef Eduardo Estatico, J Kitchen, Capri (Na)

La mia cucina e' di concetto italiano, sa di storia e di tradizione, nello stesso tempo semplice e creativa.
Chef Eduardo Estatico
La memoria del gusto e dei profumi della mia infanzia, la verace cultura napoletana, la passione per il teatro di Eduardo De Filippo e le mie esperienze professionali ispirano i miei piatti.
La mia idea di cucina e' di stile neoclassico che va sempre alla ricerca del contemporaneo: rigorosamente di stagione, senza pregiudizi, di orto, di mare e di terra insieme.
Il viaggio del gusto parte dalla Napoli di un tempo, mia citta' natale, si nutre di Campania, fa il giro d'iltalia e infine approda a Capri, l'isola azzura.

Chef Eduardo Estatico
J Kitchen Capri

My cuisine is based on Italian concepts, its history and tradition, and at the same time, simple and creative.
Memories of taste and fragrances of my childhood, true Neapolitan culture,  passion for  Eduardo De Filippo's plays and my professional experiences inspire my dishes.
My idea of cooking is a neoclassical style that always searches for the contemporary: strictly seasonal, without prejudice, with products from the vegetable garden, the sea and land altogether.
This journey begins in historical Naples, my hometown, 'feeds' on Campania, travels around Italy and finally arrives in Capri, the blue island.

I thought deeply about those words written from the heart of Estatico on the inside of J Kitchen's menu.  Estatico is one of my go to chefs when I have a question or curiosity about Neapolitan cuisine.  And why not?  Estatico, 33 years young, even wrote a book of classic Neapolitan recipes, proverbs and anecdotes.
I wish you could have seen the excitement on my face when this dish of eggplant parmesan/parmigiana di melanzane arrived.  Two versions!

His inspiration for this taste of home is from his grandmothers.
 The first version - from his Nonna Giuseppina -  his maternal grandmother.  Estatico shared with me that his nonna would prepare for him this parmigiana bianca without tomato sauce, with buffalo milk provola cheese, and chocolate shavings. Chocolate! His grandmother had memories of this dish during the II World War, when American soldiers would give chocolates to Neapolitan children.  The original  recipe, however, probably dates back to the Bourbon period.

Estatico has Nonna Rita - his paternal grandmother - to thank for inspiring him for this version.   Recently Estatico wrote this on his Facebook page:

She's the light, the blunder, my home, my roots, my extended family.  I  a child, who depended on her for 'zuppa di latte' before going to school, creamy pasta and beans, and tomato preserves. I who ran barefoot defying  numerous dangers, while she chased me and made me do what was right.  She prepared bread with tomato and love for me. On Sundays (actually beginning Saturday evening)  during the cooler seasons , she meticulously prepared a mythical sauce of ragù , red flavor full of perfumes-as good as the sea is deep.  I feel so much love for Nonna Rita. Nonna Rita was indirectly  my first cooking instructor even if  she is not mentioned in my resume.

So it was Nonna Rita who inspired this gourmet classic version of parmigiana di melanzane with a rich flavorful tomato sauce.

That afternoon in August, even if it was just for a brief period, I felt part of Estatico's family.  I could sens in these dishes the love and admiration he has for his grandmothers.  His respect for tradition.  His taste of home.

Thanks, Eddy.

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