Specialty People #2 Michele Valotti of Trattoria La Madia talks about the role of coffee in his restaurant.
“The coffee moment at the restaurant is the final pampering, the moment that most of all fixes the experience in your mouth and in your mind”
This is how Michele Valotti, owner of Trattoria La Madia defined the “coffee moment” in his restaurant in Brione (BS).
We had a chat with him to talk about the controversial issue of the importance of coffee at the restaurant and the chat was full of funny stories and interesting experiences.
Read the interview and if you happen to visit Brione (BS), stop at La Madia restaurant: you will discover the experience and passion of a close-knit team that carries out an ambitious project!
- How important is the coffee moment at La Madia?
The coffee just like an appetizer, a first course or a dessert, represents a moment to rebalance or to lower the experience of the meal.
Just like all the other courses it is a stage of the meal, a ritual with its rules: when the coffee is served, the meal is about to end and it is time to evaluate it.
A good taste in your mouth makes everything easier!
- Which coffee do you use and why did you choose it? Do you serve only espresso?
Our restaurant and our menu follow an accurate style that also includes the coffee time.
That’s why we have decided to use Iridamo!
Acidic notes are quite a constant in our recipes: we like them, they liven up the dishes. Iridamo has a gentle acidity that harmonises well with its softness and its fresh and citric aromas, cleaning the palate and preparing it for the dessert.
As for the serving options: despite the fact that customers are mainly fond of espresso, we wanted to make coffee extracted with V60, chemex and aeropress available to those who love to experiment new things.
- How is coffee served at La Madia?
As we said, coffee deserves its moment of glory: we serve it plain.
We suggest that our customers shift the coffee time and order it before the dessert.Iridamo is not a coffee like all the others, it’s a coffee that has so much to express. Thanks to its characteristics and its acidity, it prepares the palate to welcome the sweet conclusion of a dessert or a pastry.
- Do your customers notice (and point out) the quality of the coffee? Are they able to spot the difference between common coffees and the Specialty coffees that you have decided to serve?
For coffee, as well as for many other dishes or ingredients, the customers must be gradually accompanied on their journey of discovery.
However, I like to think of it as a one-way journey: when you learn to understand and appreciate quality products, you never go back!
- Our journey together has been a particular journey: we have fallen in love with the concept of “living cuisine” which is the basis of La Madia’s philosophy, while you have appreciated our products. Kombucha is the result of our mutual esteem. Would you like to tell our readers about the path we took together to complete this project?
At the base of our collaboration there is a deep esteem born thanks to common objectives.
Both our companies are origin and quality-focused. We focus on the origin of our ingredients and, at Le Piantagioni, you do the same with your products.
The history of a product is as important as its sensory profile, it is part of the overall taste and it inevitably determines its evaluation.
That’s why we want the products that we offer at La Madia to be based on the same philosophy and the same passion.
When we met, the idea sprang up spontaneously of putting my experience with fermentation into practice using your products.
In a certain way the kombucha and its creation follow the growing path we have mentioned: together we have experimented and tried and, in the end, we have obtained a drink that expresses some of the main characteristics of coffee, while in fact being totally different from it.
We made a coffee-based drink that at the same time overturned the common use of the coffee, funny, isn’t it?
- Is there any advice you would like to give to restaurant owners and customers about the importance of coffee as a worthy ending to a memorable meal?
The important thing in every choice is awareness: the freedom to choose what to serve in one’s restaurant is fundamental.
More important than anything else, however, is to have a critical thought behind every choice. You don’t have to rely on chance or think “they are all the same”, because our choices are followed by the inevitable evaluation of the customer.
Coffee is the last physical link that we have with the customers: it must be quality and incisive, it should make the customers want to come back and continue the journey of discovery started with us.
In this interview, it’s easy to understand how far La Madia is from an ordinary restaurant: it’s the sum of great passion and constant research.
La Madia opened its doors 22 years ago and the tales of its products have been continuously told, ever since.
Michele’s aim, owner of the restaurant, is to recover what could be called the DNA of food, through the narration of the history of the ingredients.
The origin of a product, the people who collected it, every single factor lying behind a product contributes not only to the development of its sensory characteristics, but also to the experience of those who decide to consciously work the product and as much consciously to consume it!If you are a gourmet and making your every meal a perception of taste and flavour is a must, then there’s no better place than here!