Neolith® and Alessandro Borghese; Rock ‘n’ Roll Gastronomy
In summer 2017 Pioneering Italian Chef and culinary rock ‘n’ roller, Alessandro Borghese, made Neolith® the material of choice for his hotly anticipated restaurant “Alessandro Borghese – Il lusso della semplicità” (The Luxury of Simplicity), Milan, Italy. He wanted to use the Sintered Stone to amplify his colourful, dynamic and fast-paced approach to cooking, encapsulating his flamboyant personality and cosmopolitan location.
A desire for originality and an admiration for the surface’s versatility irresistibly drew Borghese to Neolith. In particular, he was impressed by its adaptability and how it seamlessly integrates within a specific environment, subtly adding character and individuality to a space.
Used throughout the 700m2 restaurant, a deliberate and considered mix of tones and contrasts including woods (Neolith La Boheme), marbles (Neolith Calacatta and Blanco Carrara BC01 and Onyx), metals (Neolith Iron Corten) and granites (Neolith Nero Zimbabwe) were applied. This evoked the atmosphere of the golden age of the 1930s transatlantic cruise liner with a signature Borghese twist.
This decision reflects a greater appetite amongst hospitality designers for stone which mimics natural materials whilst also using opposing surface textures in conjunction to create a multi-sensory experience.
Neolith Calacatta Silk was specified for the bar worktops, a colour fast becoming a go-to choice for professional chefs for its aesthetics as much as its practicality. Calacatta was also used for the restaurant walls, bathroom vanities, and the stairs. In an exclusive interview Chef Borghese highlights how he can now plate his adventurous concepts and culinary inventions straight onto the surface without the danger of staining or tainting the stone. He compares it to the craft of an artist. “If I was a painter,” he highlighted, “Neolith would be my canvas.”
Taking this concept one step further the restaurant also uses smaller, bespoke-cut pieces of Neolith as plates for tapas-style dishes. The small plates, which combine delicate food on an elegant backdrop are a real hit amongst Alessandro Borghese – Il lusso della semplicità’s diners.
Commenting on the use of Neolith within the restaurant, Borghese said: “Cooking is definitely the new rock ‘n’ roll. A glamorous industry with universal appeal where accomplished performance is essential to success. The cooking might be exceptional but the restaurant and what goes into it needs to reflect the high standards of the cuisine. I was attracted to Neolith for its variety of sublime colours and patterns as well as an admiration of the skill and care behind its production. Like me, Neolith seeks perfection, offering an ideal stage on which to bring my vision to life and let my imagination run wild!”
Alfredo Canelli, who designed the restaurant’s interiors to Alessandro’s specifications added: “We have used a wide range of Neolith colours for the different areas of the restaurant, giving each space its own distinct identity. For Chef Borghese, the possibilities presented to work directly onto the surface with oils, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat is amazing. It’s easy to clean, it does not scratch, it does not stain and it does not leave smells. Above all it’s so hygienic you can eat your meal directly off the stone itself. It’s these qualities which make it a flawless addition to the restaurant.”
“Alessandro Borghese – Il lusso della semplicità” is a destination characterised by a warm, international atmosphere which bills delicious, honest food as the central performer alongside strong support from Neolith surfaces.
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