“… Once upon a time there was a young restaurateur who became a model and now seeks pupils to be the future ambassadors of Italian cuisine in the world…” This is how we could summarize Walter Bianconi career (and commitment), born in Treviso and together with his wife Donata, are former owners of the famous restaurant “Tivoli” in Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the most interesting food-lab restaurants of our country.
He is a confident Chef who has mastered his job in many years of activity in the field. Everything started in the late 80s when Walter Bianconi met Jean Claude Fabre (sous chef of the famous Jacques Maximin, chef of Negresco of Nice). Their first meeting brought about two concrete results: first, a book, “Piatti Senza Frontiere” (“Dishes Without Borders”), written by two heads and four hands, in whose preface Sergio Zavoli wrote … “two Mediterranean cuisines, not founded on a bizarre identity, people who do not seek to fill the plates, but to understand the quality and to think about the diversity of what they offer”. Secondly, because of this friendship, in 1993 the Italian section of the “Jeunes Restaurateur d’Europe”, Young Restaurateurs was born, guided by the motto “Talent & Passion” that will propel Walter through the firmament of Gourmet Cooking: 1 Michelin Star, Il Sole di Veronelli with the score of 100/100, 3 Forks by Gambero Rosso 90/100, 16/20 on l’Espresso magazine, and 17/20 on the famous Gault Millau; not to mention the great number of prizes, such as the “Champagne MUMM” award in 1992 and 1994 and “The chef of the year” in November 1998. The aim of the Association has always been to promote Friendship and Collaboration among young Chefs and to spread the national cuisine, together with an attention to flavors and the Education of Taste that are still the staples of this wonderful traveling restaurant called “Dove Vuoi Catering”.
Some places are definitely blessed by fortune. Some of them, already favored by an enviable position, become, over the years, even more appealing if, for instance, they start being the hot spot for people who matter: writers, politicians, all those people who, in short, give status to the location. First, they choose a popular tourist site, and then they make it more and more desirable, giving a particular aura to it. This is Cortina d’Ampezzo, for a long time known as “the pearl of the Dolomites”, a destination for travelers with a high-end lifestyle, among which it is difficult to find a single place that stands out only for its culinary repertoire, rather than for its rooms with panoramic views.
Difficult, but not impossible, because this is what happened for 23 years at Walter and Donata’s restaurant. Its reputation spread among the wealthy and influential, so that among its guests we can find well-known people such as Luca Cordero of Montezemolo, Benetton, Marco Tronchetti Provera, Natuzzi, Barilla, Andrea Trombini, not to mention people in show business such as Marcello Mastroianni, Paolo Villaggio, Cristian De Sica, Alba Parietti, Deborah Caprioglio or Ezio Greggio. Their dishes, in a few words, bewitched the most famous personalities of Cortina tourism, in particular the writer Giorgio Soavi who dedicated a couple of his stories to the “Bavarian yogurt”. Remember that the Michelin Star shines over the head of Walter since 1990, and his achievements have left a mark in the world… A place where the most “snobby” customers of Cortina found an elegantly familiar corner …
“In 1990, in France, I got to know the Jeunes Restaurateurs de France-JRF, and I immediately identified myself in their motto “Talent and Passion”. A couple of years later, when the French association opened its doors to restaurateurs from other countries and the JRF became Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, a group of colleagues (soon became friends) and I created the Italian section. My wife Donata calls them “her talented sons”, I simply call them passionate guys. Dedication is the main ingredient of our job: it makes the world go around. The spirit that drives us today, as in the past, is the spirit of a Europe united around a table, of course with talent and passion.”