“Study, draw on the terroir, create links,” these are the watchwords of the Gagini restaurant. Its chef, Mauricio Zillo, reveals the meaning and potential of ingredients: by getting in touch with those who produce them, those who grow them, those who bring them into the kitchen. The ingredient is the fruit of Nature, which demands respect: “It deserves the utmost attention and concentration,” he explains.
Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1980, Maurizio Zillo moved to Milan, Italy, in 2011, after gaining experience alongside chefs such as Bocuse, Atala, Arzak and Santamaria.
Today, he excels in the kitchens of Gagini, a place steeped in history dating back to the 16th century, the former workshop of the greatest sculptor of the Sicilian Renaissance, Antonello Gagini. Here, cooking is an experience, a link between past and present, between places near and far. Stories and themes intertwine to create bridges between history and art.
The restaurant offers four-, six- and eight-course menus, as well as à la carte suggestions. Our starters include marinated sardines, zucchini, Milazzo shiso, black olives and homemade umeboshi, as well as figs cooked with bottarga, Giarratana onions and goat yogurt.
Then come the main courses: linguine with redfish ragout, garnished with raisins, Marianopoli saffron and Sicilian pine nuts, and a dish of Bucatini with shrimp and sweetbreads that melts in the mouth. These typical flavours magically transport me to the Sicily of my childhood and the dishes cooked by the “nona”.
Finally, for dessert, we choose Scillato apricots, Pantelleria caper ice cream, salted butter caramel, peanuts and cocoa shortbread. A real delight. These notes of citrus and bitterness turn our taste buds and hearts upside down.
An address full of flavour and emotion.