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Chef Pietro D'Agostino

Chef Pietro D'Agostino: natural talent

In Taormina a young star is shining: it is Pietro D'Agostino. He knows how to suggest shops and boutiques where to find precious natural products, making great his creativity and his culinary promise, all proudly sicilian.

Once upon a time there was a blackcap of brownish plumage and of great and sociable attitude. Graceful, flying free in the gardens on the banks of the "stretto di Messina", sometimes, she used to appear to the local fishermen and gardeners, sharing with them the joys of fishing and the first fruits of the season.

However, one day the blackcap took flight, visiting very distant lands - London, Rome, Costa Rica, Florida, Turin - and meeting very different people all around the world. Home sickness suddenly took the blackcap's soul: December 8th 2003, in Taormina, Pietro opened his own restaurant, the more mentioned and appreciated in the Mediterranean island: "35 covers, overlooking Taormina Bay, surrounded by wooden beams and stone walls bleached in white" The blackcap peeped through the windows and came to rest on one of the tables in the restaurant, set with mouth-blown glasses, porcelain centerpiece of Caltagirone and white linen tablecloths. From that day the restaurant started working under the good faith of the blackcup; and the name, in fact, was La Capinera.

Ten years in flight Pietro, as the blackcap, loves his proudly sicilian origins: he was born in Taormina and attended the most prestigious culinary academy of the island, his starting point for an international career full of successes.

At 21 years old he already works for the most illustrious English clientèle in London's Hyde Park kitchen . At 23 years old he opens the restaurant at the Grand Hotel Costa Esmeralda, one of the most important hotel in Costa Rica.

At 24 years old he already prepares great banquets for the Sultan of Brunei at the at the Dorchester Hotel in London.

At 26 he embarks on the Disney Cruise Line (Disney World Group) signing all the most gorgeous dishes of the Italian restaurants on the cruise, cooking for all the most important politicians in Florida.

At 28 he becomes the Executive chef at the Hotel Le Meridien Lingotto in Torpedo Turin with his kitchen brigade, cooking for football players and the managerial staff of Juventus.

At 30 he directs a team of 28 chefs at the restaurant Il Gattopardo at the Grand Hotel Mazzaro Sea Palace, the most renowned five-star luxury of the Ionian Sea.

At 31, after a pilgrimage lasted for over ten years, Chef D'Agostino crowns finally his dream opening his own restaurant, La Capinera, dedicated to the richness of Sicilian cuisine renovated with an intelligent and innovative creativity.

"La Capinera" and its dishes

La Capinera Menu performs innovative dishes with natural and precious ingredients such as Ustica lentils soup with clams and oil from Nocellara del Belice, King prawns and clams salad with onions from Giarratana and Mozia salt, Black tagliolini pasta with sea bass ragout sweet chard roasted tomatoes and basil cream sauce.

Pietro loves products of his territory, that can be found all the year, such as ricotta cheese and the Nebrodi, Brolo salami, lentils of Ustica, the Noto almonds, pistachios from Bronte, chocolate of Modica , Salina capers, the lemon from Interdonato. All other ingredients come from the top-level products such as caviar, foie gras, Gragnano pasta, handmade Italian chocolate, all enriched by good taste, innovation and a refined creativity.

Pietro says: "They are all ingredients that I do not ever give up and that I get in my international stages from Sicily ; I prefer to keep alive the memory and the smells of my childhood: fresh fish, natural tomatoes, freshly picked vegetables .. and still I try to propose a simple and genuine cuisine, far from the sophisticated tastes. " This objective has been achieved constantly and enhanced by the Michelin Star in 2008 and by the affilation to the renowned JRE-Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe; while the food and wine critics crown him as an "imaginative interpreter of the local cuisine".

The nest in the tradition at thirty-six years old and many experiences as an ambassador of Sicilian cuisine in the world, Pietro still personally selects all the ingredients of his kitchen, with specific reference to organic and gluten free food. With the same care he takes care of the wine list, reaching now over a thousand labels from all over the world. With a brigade of 8 elements he invents daily dishes of great harmony, in which the underlying theme remains the seasons and the fruits of his beloved native land. "I believe in magic, that of the plate, in its journey from kitchen to table, until the mouth. Where the ingredients express their history and are enhanced by the combination with which my imagination wanted to combine them " - says Pietro, telling about his kitchen.