Head chef of VUN since 2011, Andrea Aprea gained the restaurant its first Michelin star in 2013 and its second Michelin star in 2018. His cuisine takes inspiration from experiences he has had in several cities around the world, including London, Kuala Lumpur, Ravello, Florence and Lake of Garda, amongst others.
“My contemporary cuisine looks towards the future, but never forgets its origins.”
Born in Naples, Andrea’s cooking has Neapolitan dishes and products at is core, but uses the best ingredients in the Italian peninsula to create a taste journey which pays tribute to Italian cuisine. Andrea looks to overcome academic conflicts and break away from the rhetoric of traditions when he creates his food. His aim is to go beyond innovation and modernity, and devote himself to the idea of contemporaneity, mixing technique with experience, emotion with culture and aesthetics with precise taste.
“What we have always called tradition is our ancestors’ present – an enduring present even as time and fashion pass, reaching us in an absolute way. Contemporaneity, instead, is the ability of interpreting the spirit of our time, building a theory about the future on it.”
The dishes at VUN are a dialogue between traditi on and contemporaneity says Andrea, “We can find in each dish more of one or more of the other, or sometimes they are both melted in a unique experience. These flavors that already belong to us, in our memories, but now they meet our senses in an unexpected way.”
Andrea focuses on the raw materials, as he believes these form the basis of every experience; they encapsulate the knowledge of the territory and of the local gastronomic culture. The harmony that exists between tradition and the unique food of Italy allows Andrea to bring both flavors and places to the plate, building tales about landscapes through taste. These stories are intended to surprise and delight the tastebuds, with unexpected elements hidden in the plate to deliver a natural experience.
Andrea’s signature dishes represent this philosophy:
The Tortelli Cacio Cheese, Pepper and Caramelized Onion recalls the flavors of a great classic of Lazio cuisine, updated with a series of steps: a unconventional size of pasta, a careful selection of cheeses, the choice and the cut of the pepper, the adding of the caramelized white onion – a theatrical but convivial dish. The result is an extremely contemporary plate: it seems to already know its flavor. The Caprese Sweet…Salty is the best example of the dialogue between different aspects of a dish. Mozzarella, tomato and basil have always been part of the experience. These are ancient tastes that find a different expression of themselves in this dish. Thanks to technique, they can surprise the viewer in their visionary composition, confound expectations and deliver them in a unique treat that merges original tastes with something never experienced before. The Black Pork “100 Hours”, Red Chicory, Smoked Provola Cheese, Honey and Chilli Pepper offers the meat of the Sicilian Apennines displayed with red radish, garlic, oil, honey, chilli pepper and smoked provola – the portrayal of Italy on one plate. The resulting plate is totally contemporary and could represent the tradition of tomorrow. VUN’s tradition and contemporaneity give way to each other.
The gastronomic proposal of Andrea’s dishes showcase the dialogue between memories and discoveries. His menus each have a distinctive theme:
The Neapolitan Itinerary is Aprea’s tribute to his home, dedicated to Neapolitan tradition. This menu includes dishes which are a deep reinterpretation of the gastronomic culture of the Campania region in Nepal. Travelling between North and South is dedicated to the Bel Paese, defining Italy by summing up its own gastronomic landscapes.
The dining space at VUN plays an essential part in the complete experience, and according to Aprea, it is a prerequisite for the comprehension of the philosophy.
“To the qualifications required for hospitality – smile, education, availability, and empathy – are added the knowledge of food, of ingredients and technique.”
Located in the centre of Milan – one step away from Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Alla Scala Opera House and via Montenapoleone – the restaurant’s name means “one” in Milanese dialect. The name expresses a desire to form a strong bond with the city and the territory, but is also an ideal synthesis of the chef’s philosophy that encompasses Italian culinary tradition and its Neapolitan roots.
The design of Vun’s interior is the perfect backdrop for the gastronomic experience. The setting is minimal and cozy, decorated in neutral colors and adorned from floor to ceiling with elegant, sand-colored linen. The floor contrasts the room with its dark-colored fabric, while the classic, dark-oak one-leg tables sit gracefully in the room, covered with crisp white table linen. High-backrest chairs covered with ivory cushions bring in a regal element to the room. The warm and delicate lighting focuses on the on tables, glorifying the relationship between guest and food. The result is a place where food is the main character: furnishings, supplements and decorative elements are devoted to leading each guest into a sensory experience – they are not meant to fill the scene.
- 2 Michelin Stars | The Michelin Guide 2018-2019
- Best Restaurant Service 2016-2018 | Gambero Rosso
- Best Chef Awards 2018: 26th position in the list of 300
- Best City Gourmet Restaurant 2018 | The Best Chef Awards
Describe your culinary philosophy in FOUR words:
Intensity, origins, contemporary, innovation.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Memories and tradition.
If you could take a plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain.
What FOUR items would you take to a desert island?
My family, extra-virgin olive oil, fishing pole, lighter.