“Just a few tables, an elegant ambience and subtle lighting characterize this Stube-style restaurant decorated with wood taken from the old roof and images of hunters on the walls,” state Michelin inspectors of Stube Gourmet inside the Hotel Europa Residence in Asiago, Italy.
Here, 29-year-old chef Alessio Longhini is at the helm, keeping tradition alive via Italian and Mediterranean fare like fusilloni felicetti with arugula pesto and mozzarella di bufala and spaghetto tiepido with shrimp and basil.
The chef, who received the Young Chef of the Year Award from Michelin last year, has worked with some of the top toques in the business, including Norbert Niderkofler and Corrado Fasolato. His experience paid off—Longhini led Stube Gourmet to its first star in the MICHELIN Guide Italy 2018.
We caught up with the chef to chat about his history, the ingredient he can’t live without and who has influenced him throughout his career.
How did you become passionate about cooking?
My first approach with cooking was interesting. When I was a student, I learned the basic techniques but later on I understood that, once you started working, everything is different. After that, I felt that this was my future, and the right choice for myself.
My passion for this job [also] arose when I realized that I was keen on art. And when I looked at my mother while she was cooking with love for her children, I thought that this was “art,” too.
Is there anyone who has particularly influenced you? Do you have a role model?
Norbert Niderkofler [whose restaurant received a third star in the 2018 guide] has a philosophy called “Cook the Mountain” based on simplicity and quality, and using three or four perfect and perceptible ingredients. Even a simple dish could have difficult preparations. He taught me how to use all elements of chosen ingredients to avoid any waste.
Massimiliano Alajmo for his humility and his good manners.
What’s the one ingredient you can’t live without?
What food reminds you of your childhood or brings you great nostalgia?
A huge plate of gnocchi al pomodoro con soffritto that has been cooked for four hours on a wood stove.
What is the key ingredient to your success?