Celebrating the Charmed Life of the Tuscan Hotel and its Chef Antonio Guida
Raised in Puglia in southern Italy, in 2002 Antonio Guida moved north to Tuscany’s Argentario coast to become Sous Chef, and then Head Chef, of the prestigious Hotel Il Pellicano. Today’s super-8 film by Leigh Johnson captures Guida’s complex gastronomic flair that has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars and three Gambero Rosso forks, and the timeless allure of the Marie Louise Sciò-owned retreat. “Antonio is humble and likes to keep all the fruits and vegetables local,” says Sciò. “Food has to talk about the place, and here, it does.” Guida’s beguiling dishes—including squid-ink risotto, fig-fed chicken and licorice parfait with tobacco leaves—feature across visceral spreads shot by Juergen Teller in Eating at Hotel Il Pellicano, the book recently published by Violette Editions with a foreword scribed by Will Self. “We always try to improve and evolve the dishes,” explains Guida, who has trained in Paris with Pierre Gagnaire. “For example, a simple risotto nero di seppia started life with baby squid and then we added turmeric flavored rice cream and garnished with edible flowers and sage from our garden. The most important thing is achieving a balance within the flavors, and having fun with the colors.”
The Legendary Director Shares Family Lore at His Palazzo Margherita Hideaway
Coppola history comes to life in this candid portrait of Francis Ford by Alison Chernick, filmed at the Hollywood don's newest hotel, Palazzo Margherita, while he was vacationing with his aunt Almerinda and his 95-year-old uncle Anton. Tucked in the arch of Italy’s boot, the majestic boutique property is situated in the quiet hilltop town of Bernalda, or as the Coppolas call it, “Bernaldabella”, which has held mythic intrigue for the celebrated director since his grandfather Agostino left the region for New York in 1904. The auteur behind the The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now and The Rainmaker, first made a pilgrimage to the Southern Italian spot at the age of 22, where he was welcomed by family members who were still residing there. He began to return regularly and, having already expanded his directorial vision to include a vineyard in the Napa Valley and several retreats in Central and South America, in 2005 he bought the virtually untouched 1892 Palazzo Margherita from a surviving descendant of the man who built it. Keeping the close-knit Coppola clan at the heart of the project, his cineaste children Sofia and Roman collaborated on personalized interiors for several of the building’s nine suites with French interior designer Jacques Grange, whose clients have included Yves Saint Laurent and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The Palazzo boasts several bars as well as a lush courtyard and garden, and the only swimming pool in Bernalda—built in time for Sofia’s wedding to Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars last August. The patriarch’s own headquarters features a Moorish ceiling design, honoring the heritage of his Tunisian-born Grandmother, Maria Zasa. Guests may find themselves sitting next to Francis himself at the shared dining table, savoring regional cuisine such as lamb prepared with chicory, tomatoes and cheese, and Lampascioni fritti (a local variety of baby onion, deeply fried), before retiring to the salon to curl up with a Coppola-curated library of Italian films.
Visit our Facebook page to view behind-the-scenes images from this shoot, alongside a recipe for pasta e fagioli, straight from the Palazzo Margherita's kitchen.
Day 1: The Paris-based Chef du Jour Imports Some Cali Flavor Into His Kitchen
Grilled avocado and fresh citrus take center plate as culinary hotshot Iñaki Aizpitarte of must-visit Paris restaurant Le Chateaubriand preps for his first-ever trip to the Golden State by conjuring his own vision of Californian food culture. Ahead of his visit to Le Grand Fooding—a two-day gormandizer’s paradise organized by Alexandre Cammas, founder of chic French dining guide, Le Fooding, which starts tomorrow in LA and aims to connect the Parisian and Los Angeleno gastronomic scenes—Aizpitarte welcomed filmmaker Gautier Billotte into his 11th arrondissement eatery. “The atmosphere in Le Chateaubriand is a mix of serenity and effervescence,” says Billotte. “You could smell fresh, raw products and the food cooked for the team lunch in the small kitchen, where they listen to loud electro music.” Currently ranked 15th in the world by Restaurant magazine, the bistro is known for its exciting, untraditional take on French fare and a nonchalant atmosphere. A testament to Aizpitarte’s role as one of today’s leading young chefs, he also runs another of the city’s top destinations, the more relaxed tapas bar Le Dauphin, designed by Rem Koolhaas. For Le Grand Fooding, Aizpitarte is joined by fellow Paris-based chefs including Frenchies’ Gregory Marchand and Jean-François Piège of the eponymous Left Bank establishment, and such LA culinary stalwarts as Mozza’s Nancy Silverton, and he will be cooking up a specially prepared dish of fresh beans, herbs and brown butter.