You are in between X-Mas and New Year, probably enjoying some days off, so why not hit the road or hop on a plane for a night in Venice.
We love it during this time of the year when the city belongs to the Venetians, and the alleys are more or less empty and coming inside for a café or aperitivo is a real treat. We checked out the InAcqua Restaurant at the Hotel Europa & Regina and indulged in a typical Venetian dinner, a real treat, especially before starting the new year.
IRMA: What are the most typical spices of Venice?
Riccardo Porracin: The most typical spices are: juniper, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, saffron, macis and ginger. I usually use the spices in my dishes because they are healthy and they give a unique taste to my recipes.
IRMA: What makes the InAcqua special?
Riccardo Porracin: First of all, its location – it’s a place where the sound created by the waves and the fragrances that linger in the air join the tastes and ingredients that make up the story of Venice. My special creations draw from tradition, where I combine antique gestures with the latest techniques, and with ingredients that I source from the best offerings of the local fields and waterways. These ingredients represent the freshest flavours of each season which I fuse into a combination of tasting pleasures more precious than their simple union to create once in an experience for our guests every day. These experiences are accompanied not only by a selection of the finest wines from Italian terroirs, but also by one of the most privileged views in all of Venice from the restaurant terrace: the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute Basilica and Punta della Dogana. It’s a genuine holistic experience to sit on the terrace, enjoying a unique food experience in front of the Basilica and listening to the melodies coming from the water and the singing gondoliers riding the Grand Canal.
IRMA: Which traditional Venetian dish did you reinvent/ reinterpreted? And how?
Riccardo Porracin: I reinterpreted a traditional dish named “risotto ai go’ ” that originally was served just with one type of fish (go’) and with no other kinds of ingredients, such as spices or vegetables. I decided to add more flavour using a parsley cream we make ourselves, and to let people taste an ancient Venetian flavour, I added a kind of fish that is not used very much these days – due to the long and difficult passages that are needed to cook it well – named “garusoli”.
IRMA: Do you have a favourite cookbook? Which one please?
Riccardo Porracin: Kitchen Confidential, which perfectly describes how crazy life was inside the old kitchens.
IRMA: What inspires you to create a new menu?
Riccardo Porracin: The nature, my trips around the world and my origins.
IRMA: The first thing you do when you start cooking in your own kitchen?
Riccardo Porracin: Turn on the music. My favourite is classical music. It inspires me!!!
IRMA: What is your personal favourite place, bars, patisserie, etc. for dinner or lunch in Venice?
Riccardo Porracin: My favourite bar is “Bacareto da Lele”. The owner of the bar is one of my dearest friends. For lunch or dinner, I like La Maschereta Restaurant and Santa Marina Restaurant.