Ponte Vecchio is one of –Kansai’s top class Italian restaurants. As a major inspiration for those aiming to become chefs specializing in Italian cuisine and exhibiting a unique taste, the owner Chef Daisuke Yamane exudes a sense of aloofness.Chef Yamane is very particular about the preparation methods, so that the ingredients can be presented in the most delicious way possible. We had the opportunity to film him and talk about everything from the preparation to the arrangement of his “warm potato timballo with caviar”, 20,000 of which are presented annually, and the “Pasta aglio, olio e peperoncino with cured Japanese blue crab”, a seasonal pasta dish that is available now.
■Frying the May Queen Potatoes
This recipe was devised so that the fine ingredient used in this dish, caviar, could be enjoyed in the best way possible. Rather than playing a supporting role, the caviar is the star of this dish. It is one of the restaurants specialties, with over 20,000 served annually.
First, thinly sliced potatoes are heated in clarified butter (it is the top layer obtained from melting butter in hot water). Ensuring to avoid heating it at a high temperature, it’s set to simmer.
I’ll start doing another step while the potatoes are getting heated.
■Curing the crab
First, I blanch it for about a minute so that it’s easier to take out the meat. Most of it is completely raw, making it difficult to take out.
I then shell the crab using scissors. After that, I sprinkle some salt, add kelp and vacuum seal it.
Vacuum sealing allows the flavors to infuse and for the crab meat to develop a richer taste.
Vacuum sealing is a preparation method I use quite often for marination as well.
I let it sit for one or two days.
I start taking the meat out of the shell. It’s still quite raw, so it needs to be squeezed out.
Osaka Shoken Torihikijo Bld. 1-8-16 1st floor Kitahama Chuo-ku Osaka-shi Osaka