Krug presents the Grand Cuvée 169 èmè Èdition champagne

“Champagne helps the wonder,” said the writer George Sand. Even Krug must think so. Krug is one of the main maisons in the world of sparkling wine. To celebrate its last edition – the 169th one – of Grand Cuvée, it developed a series of immersive musical experiences online to enjoy in front of a glass of wine of the new Èdition. This synesthetic experience merges wine tasting, sounds, voices, and audios 8D. It is curated by the Belgian songwriter and producer Ozark Henry and the VOCES8, an international choral singing group. 

The project is a musical interpretation of the Grand Cuvèe, the best symbol of the brand set up in 1843. The wine production, carried out by the Chef de Caves Julie Cavil, has similarities with the work of an orchestra director who has to connect different instruments. Every year, Cavil and the tasting committee start a creative process by tasting hundreds of wines to evaluate the melodies, and then they proceed with the composition, in which each of them is essential for the final result. 

In this case, the starting point was the harvest in 2013. It was an exceptional year that gave the wines chromatic elegance and fullness, further accentuated in the blend with dozens of reserve wines from different vineyards and années (the oldest is one of 2000). The result is a champagne with soft and refined tones, lively effervescence, characterized by floral, fruit and citrus notes, with touches of gingerbread. It is suited to a wide variety of matchings, from simple food such as aged Parmesan to gourmet dishes, from fish (oysters or grilled prawns) to desserts (carrot cakes, cheesecakes, tarte tatin). 

The Grand Cuvée 169 represents the last chapter of a century-year-old process started by the founder Joseph Krug, an idealist and unconventional winemaker who aspired to obtain, year after year, the best champagne, regardless of climate change. His dream is now honored by the first chapter of a series of immersive experiences.

Among the estimators of the new entry in Krug’s maison, there is the chef Ciccio Sultano of Duomo di Ragusa, two Michelin stars kept from 2006, and a brand ambassador. He praises the maison because it is an expression of simplicity (which, according to him, is a synonym of uniqueness). He matches the KGC 169 èmè Èdition with four basic dishes: caponata, olives with onions, tomatoes and basil, sauce of anchovy and crunchy bread. Together with the wine, they create “a moment of lightness and carefreeness that we all need”. What better way to toast the post-pandemic restart? 

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: how to make the true Italian bruschetta

Bruschetta is a typical Italian food to serve as an aperitif or a “meal-on-a-plate”, made with different condiments. Even though it is simple and everyone can make it, there are rules to follow even in its preparation. It is a simple but delicious dish that can adapt to any taste and need.

To make the true Italian bruschetta worthy of a starred chef, follow these three basic rules and then unleash your imagination and creativity. 

1 Choose the right bread

The choice of bread for bruschetta is not to underestimate. It is better not to use sandwich bread or pre-packed sliced bread made of different types of flour. Pita bread, panini made with milk, “rosette” and “michette” are also not suitable for bruschetta. A loaf of bread with a compact and spongy crumb and a fragrant crust, like the homemade one, is perfect for your bruschetta. 

2 The perfect toasting

Bruschetta bread is usually toasted on the grill, but you can also toast it in the oven or in a non-stick pan. The secret lies in the thickness of the bread slices. They don’t have to be too thin to prevent the crumb from falling because of the condiment above. Heat the bread for about 2 minutes on each side so that the crust gets golden brown. 

3 The seasoning 

The cook’s creativity comes here into play. With only a little olive oil, salt, and garlic, you can taste delicious bruschettas, but the seasonings can find endless combinations. They vary from traditional bruschettas with cherry tomatoes and basil to bruschettas with olive pate, mushrooms, artichokes. If you love spicy cold cuts, a very tasty alternative is the Calabrese ‘nduja, whose consistency fits perfectly with toasted bread. However, you can even move from the local tradition and season your bruschetta with hummus or baba ganoush for an unusual but winning mix of flavors.

The advice is to eat warm bruschettas. A good option is to prepare the condiments earlier so that your guests can choose how to enrich their slices. Success is guaranteed! 

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: the best restaurants in Porto Ercole- Costa d’Argento

Porto Ercole is a state of mind. Here everything is possible: while drinking a cappuccino at 11 am in a bar at the harbor, you might see the film director Paolo Sorrentino with his son going to the pier and ready to get on a boat. Even the most famous digital businesswoman, Chiara Ferragni, comes to have lunch with her sisters in one of the most globally quoted fine dining gourmet restaurants, which will be mentioned in this article dedicated to the best restaurants in the maritime village Monte Argentario in Tuscany. Well, even though we are not in the splendors of the ’60s, the jet-set still loves this exclusive place. To tell the truth, a record number of visitors has been recorded in summer 2020. Come here to believe it. But above all, to enjoy breathtaking views and delicious seafood dishes. 

Il Pellicano

A deep passion for Mediterranean cuisine is Michelino Gioia‘s secret. He makes traditional Italian recipes unique, turning them into contemporary creations through innovative techniques. Thus, it is not just a riot of flavors, but its specialty lies in the chromatic combinations of the dish presentation. 

There are two key points for the creation of each recipe: giving the proper value to the products’ naturalness and reinforcing the connection with the territory. The abundance of Tuscan raw materials from sea and land takes shape in divine dishes to taste in the moonlight. At  Il Pellicano restaurant (which is in the homonymous hotel run by Marie Louise Sciò, one of the most famous in the world), chef Michelino Gioia offers a traditional Italian cuisine that at times blends cleverly with international flavors.

All the chef’s favorite raw materials such as pigeons, oysters, red mullets, lobster, and shrimps are part of the menu, created with passion and love. At the end of every dinner, a cart with artisanal chocolate is offered to all guests. Amongst the seasonal specialties, the chef proposes lobster, “pappa al pomodoro”, ricotta and lovage, Anguilla di Orbetello (the town close to Porto Ercole, famous for this kind of fish), duck and parmigiana.

Alicina Hosteria 

A special place where to taste the sea at zero km. 

Ivan Silvestri is the chef patron of Alicina Hosteria, a little veranda right in the center of the Tuscan village, close to the harbor. Even Chiara Ferragni and her sisters chose to eat in this small and cozy restaurant. Silvestri’s devotion led him to be mentioned in the Gambero Rosso, L’ Espresso, and Michelin guides. Alicina’s winery has more than 300 labels, “because the customer needs to be at the top” – claimed the owner – including Bellavista and Corion Charlemagne. The menu varies throughout the year following the philosophy of ” the sea at zero km”. All raw materials are bought at the fishmongers along Porto Ercole seafront. Therefore, the menu changes according to the season. 

Silvestri is working on the products’ seasonality and a new dessert menu. Amongst his must-have, he mentions the “snowball” topped with vodka foam or the coconut, mango and lime cake. Amongst the main courses, there is “fusilli cacio e pepe” with bottarga, a dish that he presented on the occasion of Festa a Vico, organized by chef Gennarino Esposito. The dish was appreciated by the national food critic. Amongst the news of summer 2021, Silvestro mentions the delivery and takeaway.

Il Ristorantino 

A melting pot of cultures and love for the land. 

Il Ristorantino, a pearl of Costa d’Argento, is located in the town center in front of San Paolo della Croce Church. It is a spin-off of the Nobili Santi restaurant. The owners Paola Sclano and Bilel Mabrouk have refined their culinary expertise following Moreno Santi’s footsteps, one of the most beloved chefs in the area. In 2019, they decided to open Il Ristorantino, an eclectic and elegant gourmet restaurant. 

Paola Sclano is from Porto Ercole, Bibel Mabrouk is from Tunisy, but adoptive Italian. From this cultural culinary mix, a varied menu comes out, but it always stays true to the Maremman tradition: a menu made of tradition, revisitation and originality. 

The cuisine, simple but refined, is based on fresh seafood. But they also offer an excellent choice of meat dishes that satisfy any palate, from the starters to the main courses. The desserts are the restaurant’s flagship: the “cornucopia” filled with mascarpone and with crunchy waffle and berries or melted chocolate; the “croccantino”, a parfait with a crunchy hazelnut base and melted chocolate. The signature dish is “tagliolini with clams, shrimps and zucchini”, made with fresh egg pasta and a sauce with garlic, oil, parsley, clams, zucchini slices, and shrimps. 

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: International food – traveling through flavors

We live in a globalized world where goods and people move freely on the whole Earth’s surface and make countries’ economies and cultures travel.

In a country like Italy that cares about food and is naturally exposed to cultural influences from different parts of the world, it is natural that the most compelling aspect about other cultures is their food and cuisine. We have to admit that some traditional dishes of various countries have stood out globally owing to factors such as the great representation of their nations and the high quality that they embody. 

It is no coincidence that Italians – especially young people interested in broadening their cultural horizons – have gradually turned to cuisines from the rest of the world. Trying their hand at cooking some specialties has become a fashion, particularly for dinners with friends. Moreover, the distribution network has boosted this wave of culinary adventures: given this growing interest in foreign countries, supermarkets have been equipped with specific products to cook international food. 

But which are the cultures that we love most? Let’s see two of them. 


It was pretty obvious that Japan would be the first to be mentioned. Nowadays, Japanese cuisine is the most widespread in the world. The extraordinary variety of dishes, the incredible quality of products – mainly fishery products owing to the waters surrounding the country, rich in marvelous species of shellfish, and innumerable species of fish- have made Japanese cuisine the most appreciated worldwide (even more than the Italian one). Over time, restaurants that offer the best food of this tradition have been opened, where sushi reigns supreme. 

As a matter of fact, in Europe and the USA, people don’t often distinguish sushi from sashimi. The first one consists of rice balls with raw fish, avocado, and other variable ingredients. On the contrary, sashimi is the typical raw fish slice to eat without other condiments (except the soy sauce and, for the bravest, wasabi, a typical Japanese plant whose chopped root tastes extremely spicy). 

Besides the well-known sushi and sashimi, Japanese cuisine offers a series of soups such as Ramen, and many meat cuts, also appreciated by our supermarkets. 


The Indian tradition took more time than the Japanese one to establish itself in our market, probably because of widespread skepticism about the quality and hygiene of those parts of the world. However, a series of restaurants have led the way to this cuisine for a few years, making us realize that it is actually very good. 

What reigns in Indian culinary culture are spices, which give a unique touch to every dish. The most popular is curry, used in many ways but made famous by the typical curry chicken with Basmati rice. These exotic flavors and scents inevitably make your mind travel to those typical Indian landscapes and magical atmosphere emphasized by the beauty and peculiarity of the Mughal architecture, thus making Indian cuisine fascinating and increasingly widespread. 

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio