“My kitchen today is made of my chidhood bonds. Taste of what I did and didn’t have at home. Fresh pasta & fish”.
What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
It is the place where we get together to chat, to drink a glass of wine, eat parmigiano cheese and chill out. However that place is not the kitchen itself, which is rather small to normal standards. We have a beautiful terrace which faces the kitchen, one of the conditions Alessandra asked while they were looking for the new place.
What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
“At home, she cooks and rather well”
“He complains the kitchen is too small, that I use the knives all wrongly but when we cook together he gets to be my commis”. (laughs)
Ivan needs a few days of detox before he gets close to a kitchen when on rare moments of time off. “During summer time, being a huge fan of barbecue, he can’t wait to get by the grill, all shirtless”, says Alessandra.
Something that for any ordinary housewife it would mean “total panic” like having friends and family over, at Casa Milani&Tinozzi is different. Ivan is more than happy to prepare exquiste dishes.
Since the opening of Piano35 in July, Ivan is in the restaurant kitchen most of the time and both are having to adjust to a new pace of time at home. Leaving Alessandra with very handy choices of doing take aways from the Japanese right downstairs, to pizza from round the corner with also some tasty choices from their local Deli as well.
But she is looking forward to getting back to normality where she can go to their local markets and cook her food again, including the meals for Renzo, the family dog.
Are you a creative chef or simply love to follow recipes?
For Alessandra the pictures are great to look at but cooking books are not inspirational for her homecooking. Having both parents as good examples in the kitchen when she was growing up, she follows pretty much the Tinozzi method, instinct.
Ivan, on the other hand, answered this question with his very own theory about the clear difference between eating and feeding ourselves.
Meaning that on our day to day habits we feed ourselves in order to keep our “body machine” going. Food for fuel I added. To eat has a very high verbal connotation. An act of pleasure, cultural, social, out of heart & soul if you must. You don’t eat everyday. You feed yourself. An act of nurishment.
“Mind you that does not mean I don’t care about quality of my ingredients. Like at the restaurant like at home. I just can’t do the same style of cooking at home.”
“Unfortunately…” sights Alessandra
Three ingredients that are never missing on your kitchen?
“Parmigiano is the winner! Our house is a not a house for Ivan if he can’t have his chuncks of parmigiano cheese. Can I count sparkling water as one of my ingredients?”
“I would say wine instead” laughs Ivan.
“Rightly so. Can we have four ingredients? In our fridge you will always find the jar of anchovies and of course let’s not forget pasta! Long shaped, always!
At Piano35 Ivan adds, his wild foraging herbs, foigras and fish. Oh! A good rice for risotto too.
How did your passion for cooking come about?
“It was kind of a crescendo. I have always enjoyed eating since I was a kid. I guess having a very imponent mother figure who had the talent of making fresh pasta, especially the filled up ones. She was from the Emilia region. When it came to meat she was a total disaster! Nor did she eat fish. So whenever she said she had prepared fish for dinner I knew she meant frozen fish fingers. My dad was born by the River Pò. That for me always meant that my summer holidays’ memories, my grandparents house all tasted like fish.
While growing up I did enjoy making some experiments in the kitchen.”
But it was long before he got to run his own. His professional life started with his passion for wine.
Slowly he started getting more and more involved with the choice of ingredients. A mix of passion and great experiences in important kitchens led him to be at the top of the highest building in Turin running the rooftop glassed terrace Piano35 restaurant.
For Alessandra it all started during a “small crisis of what do I want to do when I grow up?” question. At one point she wanted to become “a cook”. Luckly she chose not to follow that road and went on into exploring the photografic world. Shooting industrial packadge food until she got to shoot the food “naked”. Just like unwrapping it all. As it is. The rest is history. Many different project about chefs were born. The first one was about portraits where she wanted to transmit what went on in their heads, all the “madness” that goes inside and they transform in culinary magic every night. Edible creativity. Period.
What’s your favourite dish to cook that you kow it can never go wrong with it?
“My leek tart.”
“Undoubtedly” agrees Ivan. “But your meatballs…the Tinozzi meatballs are just…” and the thought leaves Ivan speechless.
“They’re made with a base of meat and whatever leftovers we have in the fridge.”
In a kind of unisson they both complemented each others sentence by saying “They are always the Tinozzi meatballs but they are never same.” (laughs)
“At the restaurant it works completely the opposite as you have to keep the constancy of a dish at its 100% best performance, respecting cooking time, the variables that can affect preparation, customers that do come back for one specific dish.” They would be just a few of the reasons that Ivan consider a complex mix of components that makes his work stressful. Yet he still believes his menu cannot go without a risotto.
Would you receive for a day an entire tv crew in your kitchen?
“They wouldn’t fit in!” laughs Alessandra.
“Well, it all depends on the project, if it is something fun, well written why not? Never say never and frankly I don’t see myself working on a tv show as a chef”.
Do you follow any tv show or have a favourite cooking book?
“We don’t even own a TV!! (laughs)
“We do watch ‘Chef’s Table’ on Netflix.”
“There you go! Here is an example of a well made program. Attention and care to its minimum detail, what it really means to work in a real kitchen” concludes Ivan.
Ivan Milani – Italian Chef, husband to a photografer and furry dad to Giula and to Renzo the Dog.
A mix of passion and great experiences in important kitchens led him to be at the top of the highest building in Turin running the rooftop glassed terrace Piano35 restaurant.
Alessandra Tinozzi – Italian Photographer, wife to a chef and furry mum to Renzo the Dog.
“I wanted to transmit what went on in their heads, all the “madness” that goes inside and they transform in culinary magic every night. Edible creativity. Period.”