Ph. Benedetta Bassanelli
Born in a small town in the hinterland of Savona, not far from the sea, I grew up in my parents’ grocery shop. My mother always said to use only a few ingredients, but make sure they were all top quality, while my father was a simple man with very good taste.
I played football for many years, learning about team spirit, discipline, order, and what it feels like to want to win and to share the joy of victory with the team.
I started working in the restaurant business when I was just over twenty years old, and I realised right away that the kitchen was the place where I could best combine the discipline I had learned in sports with the pleasures of the imagination, creativity, research and experimentation.
I haven’t stopped since, and the important achievement of earning a Michelin star has confirmed for me that I am on the right path.
The story behind every one of my dishes begins with the search for quality ingredients and ends when it is served at the table. Every single dish has something to say about me, my culture and my traditions.
Surprising people with new flavours and unexpected combinations is a part of what my story is all about, but
thrilling diners with the traditions of the past in the dishes I serve is to me a real privilege.
I aim to offer a light cuisine based on a few simple ingredients, each of which represents the best of what the land I live on can provide; simple but intense flavours that make an indelible mark on the memory.
By my side since our first project in 1992 with the "Fornace di Barbablù", Alessia Vezzolla also played a fundamental role in the conquest of our first Michelin star in 2002, a recognition that has been renewed every year since then.
Since 2009 Alessia has been responsible for the reception and service at our starred restaurant Vescovado and has also played a fundamental role in the launch of the two activities that more recently became part of the "Ricchebuono project": the Ristorante Nazionale in Noli and BINO in Savona.
In addition, her passion and innate talent for pastry make her an essential point of reference for the creation of new desserts by the pastry chefs of our three restaurants.
Our daughter Martina joined the Ricchebuono project, playing a fundamental role in the dining room service. Cheerful and sunny, since she was a child, Martina has been used to travel with us to discover new ideas and new flavors, becoming passionate about the search for wines, with particular attention to local labels and natural wines. Our cellar is entrusted to her and, despite her young age, she has skills that hardly betray our trust. This is also thanks to the guidance of Pier Mattia Ravera, appreciated Sommelier consultant of various haute cuisine companies.
Elia completes the Ricchebuono family.
Although still being a student, Elia is showing great interest in our business and already has the opportunity to make his own contribution to the family project.
My consulting services, in Italy and abroad, allow me to promote a contemporary interpretation of Italian cuisine, with its strong Mediterranean influences, simplicity and lightness, depth and persistence.
Making sure the diner can recognise every single ingredient is an essential key to my way of cooking, which I have taken around Italy and beyond the country’s borders on a number of occasions, particularly as Brand Chef at Ristorante Il Palazzo in St. Petersburg and at Ristorante Felice in Astana, Kazakhstan, which opened a year ago and is considered one of Central Asia’s best Italian restaurants by the public and the critics alike.