Conigliano – Cooking is «love, music, art and passion». And the cook is “the master who, using products, cooks works of art.” Armando Zanotto80 and spent 65 years in the kitchen, knows what it’s all about: Kitchen master chef Refined gastronomy and writer, he is now also a producer at Prosecco. Born in San Polo, Zanotto established himself in the Gambrinus family tavern, then moved to Conegliano with the opening of Villa Tre Panoce on a hill among the green spaces of Cima. Lots of TV shows, in far away times, cooking up the great social and sporting events of the world, which were reported by all the guides so much that they won a Michelin star.
From school desks to culinary acquaintances with the trade?
“Yes, as soon as I got back from school, I went to the kitchen to help my mom and the kitchen in the family bar of Mama Nella and Papa Luigi was the first school.”
In short, the son of art.
“Yes, I am a kid in the culinary arts and my mother has passed on to me the love, passion and knowledge of local produce.”
Then there was the hotel?
“In Stresa the training was fundamental because it was the first rules that defined my work thereafter.”
How are the experiences throughout Italy and abroad?
“It is essential, since I went to Danieli in Venice, Excelsior in Rome and France, that I grow professionally and compare myself to colleagues and collaborators.”
Chef major events: how is it?
«A great relief: I cooked at the Olympics in Rome in 1960 and Munich in 1972, through the World Cup in Mexico, then in Germany in 74. But also at the week of Italian cuisine in Strasbourg. I was in the kitchen brigade, commissioned by Bepo Maffioli, for La Grande binge, and at one of Paola Bourbon’s weddings.
In ancient times I was the first Treviso cook to appear on TV.
“My success, which started in black and white in 1968, was a bit for fun and somewhat challenging, there weren’t all broadcasts available today and I didn’t realize how lucky I was. The first submission was Art in the kitchen with Luigi Veronelli and Umberto Orsini , then appointments with Ave Ninchi, Enza Sampò. Numerous appearances in Rai and Mediaset and many celebrities starting with Marco Colombro in his first TV experience”.
How was it like from San Polo to Villa Tre Panucci in Conegliano?
“In 1981, after leaving my brother and Gambrinos, I opened Tre Panucci with my wife after renovating a late 17th century building. The transition was not easy, my wife Avi supported me in it, she was always by my side.”
Much satisfaction. Like a Michelin star.
“Yes a lot, from Gold to the Treviso Cuisine Festival, to the Young Chefs Competition from Pistoia and Fogher d’oro and the Golden Lion of the Veneto region to Michelin Star and two forks, plus recommendations in all major guides.”
The kitchen is appreciated by many VIPs.
“Really many who have also visited me in a restaurant, I will limit myself to mentioning Mario del Monaco, Gianni Morandi, Adriano Celentano with Claudia Mori.”
What is the cook in the kitchen?
“A cook is the master who works in the kitchen using desired products to cook works of art, and he does so in his ideal environment. In the kitchen there should be calm and love, without these things the dish would never be good ».
Does tradition remain the cornerstone of Treviso cuisine?
“Yes, sure, always fortified with local products.”
Food presentation has changed.
“Tastes are many and have many needs, and they are always looking for new dishes. The cook must understand this, because this is his skill.”
So creativity, but also heart and love?
“But cooking is of course love, music, art and passion.”
And what about the dishes?
“In my opinion, the dish represents the cook who is preparing it, if it is prepared that the customer is aware of.”
What do the Cocofungo and Cocoradicchio fairs mean for Treviso cuisine?“We have known and promoted premium products. Two important business cards.”
And now the Tre Panoce guide has left?“I cook for friends and events, I give cooking tips, there is no shortage of television and I dedicate myself to Prosecco with the vineyards planted behind Villa Tre Panucci.”