Cesare Giaccone

Almost Twenty years ago we first tried Cesare’s Giaccone’s cuisine in Albaretto Della Tore, a small village of less than a few hundred at most. At that time Cesare’s restaurant included his two sons; Filippo at the restaurant’s helm, Oscar in the kitchen with Cesare. There was also a slim built Japanese chef that worked there almost 8 years named Tadato. He has since opened in Kyoto’s Gion, a five table restaurant under the name cacciatore and cooks a very similar menu.

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These days Cesare works all alone in his kitchen, and while we adore him, we feel sad to see the family in different places. Filippo operates in the same village a restaurant named ‘Oste Filippo’, where he runs a small charming osteria with his wife, and Oscar is concentrating on making Cesare’s vinegar.

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A dinner at Cesare is still a night to remember with the fire twisting capretto, (kid goat) as local red wines surround us. We are three tables tonight and we arrived a few hours earlier to spend some time with Cesare in his kitchen.

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The kitchen is small, Cesare is bouncing back and forth getting ready for dinner. We watch him prepare one of his special dishes, a fall salad with a dressing from olive oil, orange, and apples. The sauce is creamy without the use of any cream, and it complements the sliced duck. This night I asked Cesare to use some fresh ovoli, one of our favorite mushrooms of the region but its a little late in the season.

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Cesare prepares a salad with porcini and peach with some fresh tomato, a warm dish that is a unique combination. In fact, the idea of fruits and mushrooms was something I first tried at Cesare and it works very well.

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Despite what I consider a dismal truffle season, it is getting better with some pico magnatum placed on our table. I am left to slice the truffles over the fresh pasta noodle.

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Sipping some white Arneis a white Italian wine grape variety originating from Piedmont Cesare warms some bread and treats us to slices of fresh white truffles over toasted bread, a signature of the house.

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I asked for some fassone, a local cow, perhaps one of the best treasures of Piedmont, “carne crudo” we begin to enjoy the red wine of Rinaldi, a super producer.

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http://mesubim.com/2013/11/17/carne-crudo-fassone/

The menu’s are still hand painted by Cesare, and he serves some of his signature dishes and one that we often enjoy, a roasted onion filled with Béchamel.

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It is one of the classical mother sauces of Italian cuisine seen less and less. The evening carries on with memory lane and Cesare and his family always hold a special place in our hearts.