El Coq

Lorenzo Cogo
Country: Italy
City: 36035 Marano Vicentino
Address: Vía Cané, 20
(+39) 04451886367
Closed: Sundays
Tasting menu:: 40/55 €

A child prodigy who deserved last year’s International Lomejordelagastronomia.com Award and who proposed us the most artistic and innovative meal of all the ones we had the opportunity to enjoy in Italy in 2012.
26-year-old Lorenzo Cogo has already travelled all around the world, from Japan to Singapore, through Denmark, England and Spain. The time he spent in some of the best restaurants of the planet gave him a very universal and personal vision. Keeping his own personality, he assimilates all the external culinary and cultural elements he is interested in and expresses them in his work. His experiences, feelings and passions are reflected through a big variety of dishes. This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t got a strong personality; the man is not affected by influences. During 30 years of gastronomic experience, we had never seen any young cook like him –except two or three– with so many ideas, such an erudition, such a technique, and such a soundness. This highly-gifted chef is aimed at becoming a number one in Italy and in the whole world –he already is, actually. Time will tell. He possesses all the qualities to make history.

This designer restaurant is informal, original and minimalist; a contemporary bistro. Lorenzo’s experience in the East and at Etxebarri’s incites him to create refreshing appetizers such as the mussels roasted in a wood-burning oven and served into a ceramic plate that preserves all their fragrances, together with some iced dashi, salicornia and kumquat; perfectly harmonized smoke/sea contrasts. Or mountain proposals such as the El Coq butter: a substantial ball of goat cheese you need 25 litres of milk to make 600 grams of. Lorenzo’s sources of inspiration allow him to obtain very different compositions: meat croquettes and beef jelly with al dente and pureed salsifies, together with chanterelles. The tuna maki covered with spinach jelly served with frozen powdered pea and wasabi and soy sauces is an immaculate and audacious vision of Japan. This is a youthful and uninhibited gastronomy which is generally full of genius: cooked and smoked pieces of baby beet served with raw slices marinated in Martini onto some hazelnut earth which covers a base of tapioca and yoghurt; the whole is accompanied with a quenelle of yoghurt ice-cream that crowns this visual, fantastic, complex and sybaritic construction. And here comes another brilliant proposal, inspired by Thailand, that is a revolutionary conception of salad: raw raviolis made with sea lettuce skin filled with prawn and celery tartare, accompanied with raw cabbage leaves, mango sauce, olive oil seasoned with prawn juice, salmon roe, coconut, wasabi and lime jelly, an amazing texturization of olive oil and sugar, as well as –to confirm the level of the chef’s style– some grilled coconut ’s smoke. Genius is omnipresent, here: steamed king crab with almonds gazpacho, black olive stone, black olive breadcrumbs, chopped green olives, burnt olive meringue, mustard leaves, grated young almonds and some intensely peppered king crab consommé that expresses the intellectual and physical explosion of the chef. Could anyone be more original and complex? Definitely not. This extreme originality and complexity are also reflected by the monkfish liver, cooked at low temperature, which is in fact the sea version of the foie gras au torchon, garnished with some jelly of Japanese plums, radishes and daikon. Or by the red prawns from Sardinia, the best in Italy, charcoal-grilled as Bittor Arguinzóniz’s. Another proposal inspired by his stay in the Basque country is the gourmand tortelli stuffed with chistorra (paprika sausage) lain over some cheese cream. Rice is pure art, here: green risotto aromatized and dyed with parsley juice and topped with precious jewels (lime stock and kombu balls, razor-shells, cockles, baby cuttlefish, shrimps, marine butter, …); the whole sea in the mouth with al dente and creamy consistencies. Another utterly intelligent madness with embers aromas is the immaculate sweetbread with hay smoke seasoned with tarragon and parsley mayonnaise as well and onion leaves. And what can we say about the greasy, melting, succulent … extremely honourable 360º suckling pig, which confirms that all the products used here are exceptional, treated with absolute mastery and ingeniously dressed.

Paco Morales, David Toutain (Agapé Substance) and Lorenzo Cogo (El Coq) are the symbols of the last generation of culinary artists. The latter, who is the youngest, turns to be the most iconoclast and the most modern.