Originally from Apulia in southern Italy, Alessandro Grano’s passion for food rose in the early days whilst accompanying his grandfather to the local food markets.
The differing smells, colours and shapes established in his mind early on that catering school was his only vocation. Teenage summers were spent cleaning seafood/shellfish before starting his career in London. He gained invaluable experience during his tenure at the Dorchester, the Ritz and the Four Seasons before landing the opportunity to become Head Chef at Androuet. In 2015 he became Head Chef, at the internationally renowned La Fromagerie, in Marylebone.
“I have always been fascinated with food biodiversity and how it is important for communities’ and cultures’ identities. – he explains us – I am very proud to be a Slow Food Chef Alliance member as now I can use my role to promote and support small producers and showcase ingredients that are unfortunately disappearing or are so unique that they are a rarity. I try as much as I can to work directly with farmers or producers, to understand their work and to make the most of their produce. Working as Head Chef at La Fromagerie gives me the opportunity not only to work with a wide range of artisanal products but also to learn more about them and to discover the story behind each ingredient. I love cheese and at La Fromagerie I have a selection of over 250 cheeses throughout the year, with each season bringing new and different cheeses to be appreciated”.
Alessandro is a cheese expert, and at his restaurant La Fromagerie he stocks a lot of Ark of Taste products. For this reason, he proposes an interesting recipe with Somerset Cheddar and Einkorn flour. It’s a new recipe that he tried a while ago: though he was familiar with Somerset Cheddar, this was Alessandro’s first experience working with Einkorn flour. Looking at the result, you wouldn’t have thought it!
- Ark of Taste Product – Einkorn Flour
- Presidium product – Somerset Cheddar
Finely dice the onion and put in a pan with the wine and butter. Cook on a gentle heat until all the wine has evaporated and the onion has a nice golden color. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Sift and combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mix to the bowl and with your finger mix the dough until all the ingredients are combined. Add the confit onion and slowly incorporate. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to proof for 10-12 hours in a dark place. (The time of proofing depend of the temperature of the room).
After this time, add the grated cheddar and transfer the mix into a prepared baking tin (Greased and lined with grease-proof paper). Cover with a piece of wet baking parchment and leave for another 30-45 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220°C. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After this period, reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue to bake the bread for other 30 minutes. When ready (Golden and springy to the touch), remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.
Recommended serving with picalilly, cold meat or cheese!