Chefs Pantry | Mirazur

04 Dec 2016
3 min read
Mauro Colagreco reveals his pantry preferences…
Savouring memories

On the hillside of Mirazur restaurant, I have built our very own vegetable garden where I collect the 39 varieties of tomatoes that grow. The tomato has become one of the flagship products of my cooking. All the tomato varieties such as Green Zebra, Cornue des Andes, yellow cherry, or the Coeur de boeuf, offer a variety of colours, flavours and different textures that allow me to highlight each tomato when raw or cooked. Marrying these tomatoes offer unique tastes thanks to their different shapes, scents, and tastes: juicy, sweet, tangy, meaty, melting and fruity.

I particularly love tomatoes because they are the fruit of the sun, the miracle vegetable of Latin America that has conquered the world, especially Mediterranean cooking. They remind me of my childhood, making homemade tomato sauce with my Italian grandmother with their home-grown tomatoes and basil.

Olive oil is a product that I admire as it helps to enhance the flavour of the food by making them more appetizing. I use many different oils in my cuisine: French Provence Oil, Italian Liguria oil, Portuguese, Greek or Spanish, the possibilities are infinite, each oil have it specificity, taste, flavour and texture.

Sharing my passion for flavours and creativity, I decided to work with a friend Karim Djekhar, head of the Huilerie St. Michel in Menton to create our own range of citrus (agrumes) flavoured olive oils. This is how olive oil with ginger and lemon of Menton was born, which is used as a finishing condiment and fits perfectly in salads and fish dishes.

At Mirazur, we use this Menton lemon and ginger olive oil for degustation with our “sharing bread,” an original recipe from my Italian grandmother Amalia. Eating it points me directly to my childhood memories of weekends with the whole family gathered to taste the homemade dishes by my grandmother.

Ginger is a magical rhizome full of flavours and aromas, which transports me back to memories of being in Asia. My passion for Asian culinary culture, old recipes, umami, tastes and texture brought me to do several trips to Asia, in particular to Japan and China and finally led me to open two restaurants in China: one in Shanghai and another in Nanjing.

Ginger is a product that I hold dear to my heart. I use it in a lot of prep, as it allows to add spice and to improve many dishes, such as the bean salad, cherry and pistachio salad that we do at Mirazur.

The amanita caesarea mushroom is usually found in southern Europe, especially in the Mediterranean region. I have a particular affinity with this product that I consider to be the king of the mushrooms because it is the only edible amanita. It is like a butterfly that is born from the earth in the early summer sunshine, ready to be picked in its ‘button stage’. This is a very rare product that achieves a very fine taste. I use it in a dish of raw carpaccio accompanied by pistachio vinaigrette to keep the original texture and sublime flavour.

San Remo gamberonis are unique shrimp of their kind that we can catch, among others, in the Gulf of Genoa (Italy) in up to 400 meters deep of the Mediterranean. They are delicious crustaceans with bright red colour, which offer a delicate and almost sweet taste with its savoury flesh.

This is a local product that the Patrick’s family boat at San Remo brings us freshly caught. I am particularly attached because of the shrimps’ taste and freshness; I slow cook it so that it is slightly raw in the middle and complement it with a citrus sauce to contrast the sweetness of this precious product.

Find out more about Mauro