THE SICILIAN ROOTS OF ACCURSIO

Class of 1976, of Saccense origin (pronounced with an ‘s’, mind you), I am an authentic son of the wonderful Sicilian land. In fact, they call me ‘the cook of the two Sicilies’.
Let me explain. Extending more horizontally than vertically, my island is not subject to the distinction between North and South, as is the case with Italy. No, Sicily is ideally, historically and gastronomically cut by a diagonal line that divides it between East and West. And on the coast of Sciacca, where I was born and grew up, was (and still is) fixed the furthest point of the western part. Hence, marine and maritime tradition, in my origins: fish dishes, coastal products, the essentiality of fishermen and farmers.

Once I crossed the border, I was able to extend my Roots to the more baroque customs and dishes of the generous territories of the Val di Noto, where meat, cow’s milk cheeses, carob, olive and citrus trees predominate. This is where my daily commitment as a cook comes from: combining the west and east of Sicily.

And this is how the menu of this Osteria-style restaurant was born. A synthesis of flavours, where west and east come together harmoniously, with no profession of supremacy. A synthesis that draws its strength from the juxtaposition of contrasts, which I try to enhance in order to give my guests the purity of the fragrances, the flavours, the ingredients.

Once I crossed the border, I was able to extend my Roots to the more baroque customs and dishes of the generous territories of the Val di Noto, where meat, cow’s milk cheeses, carob, olive and citrus trees predominate. This is where my daily commitment as a cook comes from: combining the west and east of Sicily.

And this is how the menu of this Osteria-style restaurant was born. A synthesis of flavours, where west and east come together harmoniously, with no profession of supremacy. A synthesis that draws its strength from the juxtaposition of contrasts, which I try to enhance in order to give my guests the purity of the fragrances, the flavours, the ingredients.

BUT I AM ALSO SICILIAN BECAUSE, JUST LIKE ALL SICILIANS, I LOVE TO TELL STORIES.

I returned to the island with the desire to cook the infinite richness of this land and to proudly display it as better and healthier than any preconceived ideas. To offer it as food to those who come to an Osteria ready to taste a story and not just some bread.

You know, Sicily is an island of myths. It has its own language. It is (and was) a mixture of thousand-year old cultures. The so-called “cunti” (“tales” in Sicilian dialect) marked the childhood of my generation. As Sicilians, we do not limit ourselves to greetings when meeting each other in the street, but are passionate about storytelling.

But if you love stories and you are a cook by trade, it comes naturally to you to put your gastronomic tales on the table. In my opinion, it is like this: in the courses I try to put everything that my memory keeps returning to every time I turn on the cooker; all the rituals of taste that my tongue and hands have known. And which I wish to pass on to my guests, taking them under my wing, on a pleasant journey to the roots of my Sicilian being…