CARLO AND CAMILLA, OR SUPPERS IN A SAWMILL

TEXT: ANGELIKA OGROCKA, PHOTOS: NATHALIE KRAG

MILAN 24.7.2015

ARCHITECTURE DESIGN LIFESTYLE

Milan’s most fashionable place. It is hard to believe that not so long ago it was still an abandoned post-industrial space.
The building which currently houses the restaurant comes from 1932. It was damaged by battles during World War II and reconstructed 14 years later to establish a sawmill there. The production was finally stopped in the 1970s. Carlo Solci, the owners’ son, decided to restore the place to its former splendour, but he is not responsible for the fame that the restaurant has acquired. Tanja, the owner’s granddaughter and Carlo’s daughter, adapted the post-industrial space for a nearly cult place: Carlo e Camilla in Segheria.

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Nothing is impersonal in Italy: every undertaking has someone behind it and someone else behind that someone. Let’s go back to the story, then. Tanja, an interior designer and art&design curator well-known in Milan, suggested cooperation to Carlo Cracco, a chef holding a Michelin star, who cannot be called anonymous, either. He conducts a TV show entitled “Hell’s Kitchen Italia” and evaluates beginner cooks in the Italian edition of “Master Chef”. The restaurant’s gastronomic backroom led by him gathers young cooking talents.

Every meal prepared there becomes a performance. The dishes are new interpretations of classic food and, though creative cooking is an art of improvisation, this fantastic cuisine accepts no coincidences. Each ingredient is a fresh local product, specially selected to match the season of the year. There are few permanent dishes in the menu: new culinary ideas appear continuously. Some of them change as often as every day.

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Filippo Sisti is responsible for drinks. He promotes a technique called “cooking liquid”, in which he crosses the boundary between the kitchen and the bar. His beverages are yet another show: in modernized versions of well-known drinks he uses such ingredients as soft and blue cheese, ostrich eggs or pee sprouts, mixing everything in an extraordinary way, even with use of frying or cooking.

The sawmill no longer exists, but it has influenced the atmosphere of the interiors. The post-industrial style is visible mainly in the rugged structure of concrete and uncovered bricks, while the decoration pays homage to the best achievements of Italian culture. The space is dominated by crossed wooden tables running along the whole restaurant. This sense of community is topped with two phenomenal chandeliers.

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The tables are fitted with cobalt and green chairs designed by Jasper Morrison; those popular Tate Color chairs were manufactured by Cappellini in new colours. When the guests sit on them, they will have their meals served on strikingly elegant white porcelain crockery by Richard Ginori. And then, a long and loud Italian feast will begin. www.carloecamillainsegheria.it

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