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Marcello Rapisardi and Wilden. herbals: a sweet sweet story

Rethinking the city, starting from the sweetest things. Marcello and Francesca are two pastry chefs who love playing with ingredients. Here's what they created with Wilden. herbals teas.

Marcello, tell us your story…

I started like everyone else from a long apprenticeship in pastry shops and in the kitchen. I immediately understood that I didn’t like “normal” restaurants, I needed something more stimulating (at that time, 90s, I was a DJ!)

While doing search, I knew about chefs like Aimo, Sadler, Knam. At that point I sent my curriculum to Knam, who at the time thought that I didn’t have the necessary skills and sent me to do a season at Relais & Chateaux. There I got to work with Luigi Taglienti and get in touch and work with visionary chefs and pastry chefs of the caliber of Ernst Knam, Moreno Cedroni, Ezio Santin, Herston Blumenthal …

Herbs and Plants: an anecdote from your professional life.

In my early days in the kitchen in the 90s, Knam made a chocolate with Aloe vera and lime, decidedly in the vanguard for those years. We cleaned the Aloe, opened the plant … I remember it as a revelation, a good feeling, I had no idea that you could put such a plant inside a chocolate. A world has opened up to me. From that moment I started to taste, study, experiment how to extract the best from each plant.

Also in subsequent experiences I was lucky enough to work alongside visionary personalities, who taught me how particular plants and herbs can be used for particular applications. At Relais & Chateaux they met directly in the garden of the restaurant and in the surrounding area and that was the beginning of my study on the application of plants in the kitchen. It is necessary to study everything from seed to leaf and flower. Nothing should be underestimated.

In what moments do you feel “Sano e Selvaggio”?

When I think of a plate, a dessert or a single portion, I feel this way. I get in touch with every ingredient and I feel healthy and wild.

For example, in the recipes I created with Wilden. herbals infusions, I cooked the wheat for the pastiera in the infusion. First, I follow the suggested instructions, those read on the tea beg and I hear what the pure product has to say, what comes out predominantly. Then from there I start to work and experiment.

I have fun with the ingredients. The more interesting and particular an ingredient is, the more I enjoy it.

If I say “Share Your Nature” what would you tell me?

It’s a beautiful motto! For me, ‘Share Your Nature’ means saying what I think, being natural, spontaneous, normal, as you see me. I like the idea that infusions can be consumed throughout the day and not just in the evening. Even recipes prepared for Wilden. herbals cover all 24 hours of the day, from savory pie to millefeuille.