There is a thread linking two icons of Milan that we will reveil with this event: the Duomo and the golden yellow risotto with saffron. How did the successful union between the symbol par excellence of the city of Milan and the recipe that represents the excellence of the Milanese culinary tradition in the world come into being?
A professional guide tells the group of participants the legend of an act of creation, of which man is the unconscious and enlightened author. An ancient story, where reality and imagination contaminate one another and are inextricably merged.
The shining stained-glass windows of the Duomo of Milan
The story started in the silent grandiosity of the immense naves of the Cathedral of the Duomo, a living and unitary organism of stone. In the still air, heavy with incense, the participants gaze at the distant perspective traced by the dense web of the ribbed pillars. Down there, the opaqueness of stone gives way to light, the origin of beauty. Very large windows shine in peace, with their decorative Gothic stained glass, pieces of a mosaic set like precious stones in the marble from Candoglia: majestic colourful pages of the great epic book of the story of the Salvation.
To create this ornate elegance, the master glaziers mixed sand and silica with colouring oxides: from deep blue to opaque pink, from green to yellow. Some also used powders and natural pigments to make the colours even more vibrant. Almost by chance the golden yellow pigment of saffron ended up giving a risotto its colour as well, linking the art of stained glass to culinary art forever.
Culinary art in action
The guests, from visitors become diners, as after the visit to the Duomo they relive the flavour and the emotion of this ancient discovery in the cooking demo with a tasting of saffron risotto, in a multisensory path of creation at the Spazio Theca, the design space for prestigious events and in a very central position directly opposite the Castello Sforzesco.
The expert movements of the hands and the calibrated gestures of the chef evoke the craftsmanship of the glassmaking artists. The brightness of the reds, oranges and yellows, the complementary nature of dusty yellow and delicate violet of the flowers: these are the colours chosen by the culinary artist. The persistent and inebriating perfume of the red gold wafts through the convivial atmosphere. The taste buds are surprised as they are lit up by the particular and intense flavour of saffron, bitter and aromatic, with a slight and unusual reminiscence of hay. Great work and patience are required to produce even only a tiny amount of saffron. Only three priceless stamens from each flower. It is however an infinitesimal length of time, if compared to the marvellous and colossal feat that gave the Milanese their Church.
Not only Duomo
The dialogue between the culinary tradition of the golden yellow risotto and the artistic cultural heritage of the city is not exhausted in the legend of the Duomo of Milan: many other stories are awaiting the participants in this event, like the one about the discovery of the artistic-culinary association between saffron risotto and the impressive fortifications of the Castello Sforzesco of Milan.