Italy's New Wave Chefs: Enrico Crippa of Piazza Duomo (Alba)

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by Robert Camuto -- Wine Spectator August 31, 2014

Enrico Crippa starts his day on a 5-acre plot wedged in the hills of Barolo. Two full-time employees tend the land, and Crippa comes to survey and to help harvest.

But Crippa is not a winegrower. He is a cook, and, at 43, is arguably the most important chef in the Piedmont region, a rising star in a generation of Italian culinary innovators. Here in this plot between the road and a creek is his main culinary weapon—a garden supplying almost all of the greens, vegetables, fruits, wild plants and edible flowers that flavor and color his cuisine.

On a bright spring morning, he moves quickly through a series of beds and makeshift greenhouses, kneeling to snip clover, rocket, chicory, baby spinach and several varieties of mustard, basil and mint. Nearby, violets, gentian and thyme flowers wait to be plucked. "This garden does for the restaurant what Barolo does for the wine of the area," Enrico Crippa says. "It drives everything."

The restaurant is Piazza Duomo, opened in Alba nine years ago by the Ceretto wine family and Crippa as partners. Since then, Crippa has refined and reinvented Piedmont's earthy classics and paired them with one of the area's most eclectic wine lists, a combination that's made Piazza Duomo the region's go-to restaurant….Read the full article in the Wine Spectator