Giovanni Riccardi was born on 12 October 1961 in Sapri, and Chiara Fontana was born in Naples on 4 April 1976. He is a lawyer, she is a university professor. In Chiara, the memory of a Cilento family farm has always fueled the thought of returning to Cilento. An announcement of the sale began the story of what would later become Palazzo Gentilcore, the nickname of San Costabile patron saint of Castellabate, where their restaurant is located.
Only products from Cilento are served here; Giovanni and Chiara go around the entire area to stock up on what they need: sausages from Tardiano, extra virgin olive oil from Serradarce, cheeses from Vallo di Diano, cruschi peppers or, better still, “sciuscillone”, beans from Controne. The smells of Cilento characterize the Palazzo: from the morning the scent of ragù spreads everywhere as it happened at Giovanni’s grandmother’s house while waiting for Sunday lunch.
This land is a food and wine field where great products and great wines are found. In their search for local foods, the expense of procurement often becomes cultural; it happened for the fichiti, sweets made of flour, water, and honey, which Giovanni ate as a child. The restaurant’s chefs make a sourdough that is processed three times a day; with the flours of ancient Cilentan grains, they make bread – which also accompanies the goat’s milk they serve for breakfast – bread sticks and homemade pasta. The restaurant’s cuisine, sustainable since they only use what is produced in a natural way, is that of the grandmother. Evocative dish of the Mediterranean Diet is their handmade cavatelli with menaica anchovies, oregano from Cervati, and local cherry tomatoes.Interiew by: Rossella Galletti
Video by: Rossella Galletti, Mariangela Bianco, Marco Bottigliero
Video Editing by: Antonio Puzzi
Document by: Monica Cirillo, Rossella Galletti
Subtitle ita/eng by: Marco Bottigliero, Francesca Magnani
Translation by: Monica Cirillo, Francesca Magnani
MedEatResarch – Center of Social Research on the Mediterranean Diet of the University of Naples Suor Orsola Benincasa, head by Marino Niola and Elisabetta Moro