The first time I heard about Delizialy, I got curious about their concept... Their objective is to hunt the best food experiences in Milan, create partnership with the chefs of the city and propose good deal menus, adapted to their foodies community.
With my desire to experiment all the new concepts around food, I registered myself to their website before the initiative went live. They asked me to fill my food preferences and I received a proposal of menus that could interest me. After one missed attempt to try the menu “the 8 capital sins” of Mattias Perdomo (Contraste Chef), I opted for killing 2 birds with one stone and registered myself to a dinner event at Joia Bistrot.
Pietro Leeman, the chef of Joia, the unique Italian 1 star Michelin vegetarian restaurant, has been living in Asia for a while. There he explored their food culture and religion. Later, he went back to Italy and started creating synergies between his traditional culture influence, mainly Italo-French techniques, and what he discovered in China and Japan. He embraced a philosophy where Soul and Body are interconnected and following the right diet will heal not only the body but the soul as well.
He selects his ingredients in harmony with Nature, all the ingredients are organic and sometimes even coming from their synergistic garden. He’s not spared either by the foraging trend (the art of picking the best of wild herbs Mother Earth can provide us). You may already know the probably most 2 famous adepts, which are Virgilio Martinez (Peruvian chef exploring the Andes territory) and René Redzepi (Noma’s Chef). This latter just released an app for “do it yourself” foraging.
I must confess I have mixed feelings on such theoretical initiative… Born in the countryside, kid I was trying to do my own nettle soup and picking my mushrooms. But my selection was the result of a practical learning process, where elder people taught me how to recognize the real herbs from the dangerous one or avoid berries that could be contaminated by the pee of sick foxes. When I think “foraging”, I still think about how this stupid guy in “into the wild”, dies when he finally understands he can’t live without the contact and love of other humans…
But this is another story. So the other day, I had my first entire vegan dinner. I may have some vegan friend and a mum that became crazy for organic food over the past years, but it was the first time I was led through a full vegan experience. I would bet you wonder how it was.
Well, even if the reason why of the bistrot version of Joia is to propose a cheaper menu, pointing at simple ingredients, you can notice an attention to colors treatment of the plating. Frying and fermentation seems 2 good ways to give taste to veggies. But not only, the use of aromatic herbs enables an aromas explosion in the mouth.
The weirdest thing for me was my senses were kind of lost: I had difficulty to disassemble the flavors of what I was eating. Besides, some tastes were completely new for me, have you ever tried a tempura of oxalys ? Last, I could not put a recipe on the creamy texture of the sauce: agar agar? Not sure, but it’s funny how I associate creamy sensation to fat saturation. For an instant, I wondered if I would feel hard digestion after the tempura, fake mayonnaise and fried eggplants, but everything went well.
Delizialy gave me the opportunity to try a cuisine that I wanted to try for a long time but had no chance to experiment yet.