On March 7, 1970, Gianluigi Morini opened Ristorante San Domenico in Imola, introducing for the first time in the history of the Italian restaurant industry the idea of «home cooking» that had always fascinated him during his long years of research. Up to this moment, this type of cooking was the exclusive patrimony of very few rich Italian families, who had professional chefs responsible for their kitchens. (…)
Michelin Guide review: Overlooking an elegant square in the historic centre, a succession of dining rooms increase the pleasures of cuisine with a regional and creative flavour. Based on meat and seafood.
Valentino Marcattilii, Chef
Valentino Marcattilii was born in Mosciamo Sant'Angelo (Te) in 1954 and moved to Imola with his family in 1960. He began to work at Ristorante San Domenico at the young age of 16 as the assistant to Nino Bergese, with whom he collaborated for 7 years until Bergese’s death.
At this point he began a series of apprenticeships in some of the most renowned restaurants in France - Auberge de l'Ile, Troisgros, Madame Point, Vergé – the best of French kitchens. Upon his return he assumed the direction of the Ristorante San Domenico kitchens, for which he is now also co-owner.
From this point on Valentino proposed a kitchen which united an efficient organization with a great respect for tradition, the freshest products of the region, and a rigorous yet simple preparation of dishes.
He introduced, for the first time in Italian restaurants, the idea of “home cooking” which up to then had only been entertained within the walls of aristocratic homes. With this idea he began to collaborate, consulting internationally with Monterey Plaza (California), Ristorante Donatello in San Francisco, Restaurant La Main à La Pâte in Paris, the restaurant of the Palm Bay Hotel in Miami and the Conrad Hilton in Hong Kong. In 1988 he collaborated with the Barilla Company to create a new line of sauces for pasta. He also participated and conducted programs for both the BBC and World Class (Channel 4).
In June of 1988 the Ristorante San Domenico opened in New York at 240 Central Park South. Valentino assumed the direction of the kitchen as executive chef. In July Brian Miller, critic of the New York Times, gave the restaurant 3 stars: an award that he had never before given to an Italian restaurant. The same year Exquire Magazine defined Ristorante San Domenico "the best of the Year" in the USA. (...)
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