Ristorante Brissago's Italian cuisine demands labor of love. Chef de Cuisine Rebecca (Becky) Santner knows what that means as she spends hours kneading pasta with her hands, crafting little purses of truffle sacchetti and cheese ravioli. She wants every guest to savor the flavor of her craftsmanship, prepared only hours before their arrival.
Becky's hands-on approach sparked during pastry school. She strived to create aesthetically pleasing desserts just as tasty as they were appealing. Her natural attraction to horticultural studies meant Becky has a naturally green thumb, giving her a sharp eye for picking produce. She sources the quality ingredients that go into each dish Ristorante Brissago serves.
After learning the fundamentals around a kitchen, Becky quickly worked her way up from the salad and pizza station at Ristorante Brissago to Sous Chef. She knows how to master the wood-burning oven so it stays at a healthy 650 degrees while she cranks out pizzas and preps roasted vegetables. The flames from the oak timbers enhance the earthy flavors of produce.
After only six months in the kitchen, Becky learned how to handmake pasta, the staple of the Italian diet. Practice makes perfect as she learned how to sense the humidity in the air and the elements of quality ingredients including semolina flour and Italian olive oil. If it's not made in Ristorante Brissago, it's imported from Italy or made on a local farm.
When pasta is done right, it's made by hand so the chef can feel the elasticity in the dough. At the precise moment when the gluten proteins are established, Becky rolls out the dough into thin sheets and transforms it into a savory work of art. "This cuisine can't be rushed."
DID YOU KNOW?
It takes three months for Brissago's housemade pancetta to cure, and it's worth every moment.