Exuberant without naivety, colored like folklore, without rigor and taste. Pietro D’Agostino’s kitchen is full with freedom, like the other blackcap by Giuseppe Verga, who couldn’t live in a cage. For this reason, when the island renaissance was still in its infancy, it was among the first to migrate far: on cruise ships, for five English and Swiss stars as for large restaurants, from Louis XV of Alain Ducasse to Enrico’s Terrace of Eden Derflingher. Experiences that have shaped his technique, without warming his heart. “At a certain point I felt the need to forget my classical education, to find more Mediterranean sensations, linked to seasonality”. In 2003, back in Taormina, Capinera is already together with the sisters Cinzia and Giorgia, in the cellar and in the dining room. With a clear concept: 100% Sicilian, seasonal and sustainable materials, thanks to an increasingly dense network of artisans, the shepherd of girgentane goats like the fishermen soiled with sand with the boxes of the day.
The star arrives early, but D’Agostino does not stop: the more informal Kistè, in Greek cisterna, in dialect “this is”, always in Taormina, serves from 2017 a more immediate Sicilian cuisine, easy gourmet, but always volubly market. Then there are the products (siccagno tomato sauce, nocellara etnea oil, organic honey, wines from zibibbo grapes and cricket) and the Pietro D’Agostino Cooking Lab cooking school, where the dishes are tested. Ambassador of made in Sicily in the world, he will officiate soon at the Thai legation, while in Bangalore, India, he is building a cooking school. “I have always followed the Med Cook and this year I wanted it in Taormina: we have brought together producers, seafarers and country people who will bring wonders. The right opportunity to talk about respect for the sea and sustainability, in that great container of ingredients that is my land”.