Commitment, creativity, the search for flavours and attention to detail characterise the cuisine of the Restaurant Il Piccolo Principe.
At the heart of each dish created by the two-star Michelin restaurant is the careful selection of ingredients, which must meet the highest standards of quality and eco-sustainability. This is why most of the produce used in the kitchen of Il Piccolo Principe is sourced from a local vegetable garden, “Biodinamica Mediterranea”. This family business uses cutting-edge cultivation methods based on completely chemical-free biodynamic techniques, which yield high quality ingredients and respect the environment.
The 12,000 square-metre farm, a short distance from the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte, grows seasonal vegetables, finger lime, cucamelon and edible flowers in a healthy environment with painstaking attention to detail. The plants are grown following the phases of the moon: each plant has its own ideal time for planting, influenced by the waxing or waning of the moon. Another technique used is that of aquaculture, where plants are grown directly in water and which therefore reduces the need for irrigation water by up to 90%. In order to do this, a koi carp aquafarm was created to provide naturally fertilised water. A beekeeping project is also being carried out to enable the natural pollination of plants.
In the place of chemical fertilisers, Vermicomposting is used. In this technique, earthworms transform plant waste and coffee grounds (collected from local bars) into humus, to form naturally fertilising compost. Coffee ground compost is also used to grow mushrooms, the spores of which are “seeded” and left to incubate for 25 days. Vermicomposting enables a circular economy by exploiting material considered by many to be worthless and transforming it into an asset, thereby reducing waste. The natural habitat has also been recreated in the garden where ladybirds, which fight parasites and thus act as a natural pesticide, can thrive and reproduce.
A series of horticultural techniques and a true agricultural philosophy that blend perfectly with the quest for environmentally sustainable cuisine embraced by Il Piccolo Principe. This sourcing process focuses not only on the aesthetic appeal and natural flavour of the produce but also on social responsibility coupled with sustainability to the benefit of the local area.