The Italian chef Niko Romito (Reale, Castel di Sangro, Abruzzo, Italy) has received the 2020 Chef of the Year Award today from the vice-president of Marketing and Communications at Grupo Cosentino, Santiago Alfonso, on the second day of the 18th Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión 2020.
This Tuesday Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión 2020 has presented the “European Chef of the Year” award to the Italian Niko Romito, chef at the three-star restaurant, Reale (Castel di Sangro, Abruzzo, Italy). The vice-president of Marketing and Communications at Grupo Co-sentino, Santiago Alfonso, has presented an award that pays tribute to “one of the best chefs in Europe, a chef who sums up essential cuisine like very few can”, in the words of the presi-dent of #REALEMF20, José Carlos Capel.
Romito picked up the award and showed what, in his opinion, is essential cuisine. “The theme of the congress is simplicity and this is precisely what I’ve aimed for all my life but not in the sense of easiness. Gastronomic simplicity is a way of resolving complexity, a state that you reach after you have cooked and studied a great deal”, the Italian explained.
Simplicity for Romito has to do with a building, in his case an 18th-century monastery re-modeled into a hotel, school and restaurant; the latter is painted all-white, has no table-cloths but with just the right minimum amount of material “to ensure that attention is fo-cused on the food”, he explained.
Having attracted people’s attention, Romito’s cuisine “seems to be minimalist, but it’s exis-tentialist”. “I concentrate all the attention on a flavour and on an ingredient”, as he did in 2009 by creating absolutes, liquids extracted from a product without any additives, or with extracts that you can make pastas and raviolis with, prepared, for example, with king prawns instead of egg.
“Just a single bite has to the entire flavor of the dish concentrated in it”, Romito said, who rounded off his presentation by presenting the dish “Cauliflower au gratin”, “the synthesis of all the work that I’ve done. It’s simple but it’s got a huge amount of technique behind it. You eat it and you recognize that it is cauliflower, but you realise that there is a long road behind it”. This is Romito’s essential cuisine, European Chef of the Year Award 2020.
The award is sponsored by the ultra-compact Dekton® surface by Cosentino, a company that has actively supported this culinary event for thirteen years and whose presence is rein-forced by the presentation of this international award. Furthermore, as in previous years, the congress will feature more than a dozen Silestone® and Dekton® countertops in various colours in its backstage kitchens
NIko Romito .
With this award, the organisers of #REALEMF aim to highlight the work carried out by Ro-mito, one of the greatest Italian chefs. With three Michelin stars obtained in just seven years for his restaurant, Reale (Castel di Sangro, Abruzzo, Italy), in an 18th century monastery, Niko Romito is known as the King of the essentials as he is committed to pure and adulterat-ed dishes where the basics and the balance of flavours are key. Romito studied to be an ar-chitect, but his admiration for his family’s restaurant eventually led him to becoming one of the best chefs in Italy and the world. His restaurant is 51st in the list of the 100 best restau-rants in the world and he runs one of the most important cooking schools in Italy.