Langhe, land of wines and goodness, and of beauties in which to relax and enjoy time, among the hills.
At the Relais Villa D’Amelia news in the kitchen with the new unique DaMà restaurant and the new chef Dennis Cesco.
In Benevello, on the crest of a hill among luxuriant woods and splendid hazelnut groves with a magnificent view of the Alps and the soft hills of Barolo, just a few minutes from Alba, the Relais Villa d’Amelia looks like an ancient nineteenth-century farm, which belonged in the past to the Bonelli family, today the perfect starting point to discover a magical territory, rich in flavors and traditions.
The place was known as the “Cascina Bonelli”, now masterfully restored maintaining the original features, thus helping to create an atmosphere of other times, given that, for example, the private church of the family still visible from the courtyard has been kept inside. central.
Currently the Relais is owned by the Piedmontese Barberis family who have made it a point of reference for hospitality in the area.
Il nome del Relais è dedicato a “Madama Amelia Bonelli”, personaggio dotato di grande personalità e conosciuta per le sue fini doti di “ospite”: pare che all’entrata della Cascina non mancasse mai una grande brocca d’acqua a disposizione del ristoro di tutti coloro che entravano all’interno del cortile della Cascina. Oggi è possibile ancora ritrovare all’arrivo, in una brocca all’entrata principale della Casa, “l’acqua di Amelia”, sempre a disposizione degli ospiti: serve a perpetuare il rito, simbolo della sacralità dell’ospite.
The Relais has 37 finely furnished rooms and suites in a refined and contemporary style. Each room, equipped with travertine marble bathrooms, is a unique space equipped with every comfort. Among these, the exclusive Suite San Luigi, framed by the ancient noble chapel, and the two Deluxe Suites overlooking the Alps stand out for prestige and charm.
In the basement, a wellness center has been created consisting of a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, aromatic paths and emotional showers, a mini-pool with hydromassage, a relaxation room, a fitness area and an outdoor heated swimming pool which is also used during the cold season, thanks to a passage that allows you to enter it.
As it should be for a Relais in an area with such great gastronomy, the kitchen has a fundamental importance.
From this year, 2021, the property has decided to concentrate the two restaurants present in the house up to now into one.
From now on the official restaurant, called to guard and represent the gastronomic proposal of the Relais will be the DaMà, whose name is still dedicated to her, the woman Guest of the house, “Madama Amelia Bonelli”.
The Chef of the Damà is Dennis Cesco, born in 1993, right arm of Damiano Nigro who, after 15 years, leaves room for his young pupil, remaining as an external supervisor.
Dennis was born in Pieve di Cadore in the province of Belluno, studies in the culinary field with experiences from a young age.
A sedici anni inizia a lavorare in cucina con lo Chef stellato Alberto Zago all’Hotel La Torre Padola (BL). E con lui come guida, inizia ad appassionarsi all’alta gastronomia facendo pratica sulle manualità e muovendo i primi passi in questo mondo. Tre anni dopo, poco più che diciottenne, Dennis entra nella cucina di Villa d’Amelia e di fatto diventa langarolo di adozione.
These are the words of the chef:
“Working with Damiano Nigro, whom I consider my teacher, I understood the value of the words tenacity, technique and dedication.
After the first two years at the Relais, I felt the need to improve myself further by studying with the French masters; I had the opportunity to do so by understanding the importance of product quality, preparation techniques and the right balance between ingredients; above all, I saw how the chef’s creativity intervenes in revisiting the recipes. These are still the points that the vision of my kitchen aims at today ”.
In his French experiences, Dennis Cesco has worked with great chefs:
- with the chef Alain Solivérès in Le Taillevent, 2 Michelin stars, deepening the beautiful techniques of preparation of sauces and stocks and those of perfect cooking,
- with the chef Yannick Alléno at the Pavillon Ledoyen, 3 Michelin stars, entering the world of fermentations and extractions
- with Christoph Pelé at Le Clarence Paris, 2 Michelin stars, with whom he fully learned the concept of creativity, since in Pelé’s restaurant an actual menu is not offered, but the products found at the market are cooked and processed every morning.
The new proposal of Dennis Cesco at the DaMà restaurant it will have as its main voice the ingredients of the territory and the truthfulness of the countryside which in Alta Langa is still authentic and intact, with its products to be found among shepherds and small breeders.
Great attention will be given to the drawn pasta with carefully selected local flours.
The bases are Italian and French cuisine together, also because the latter has many aspects in common with Piedmont.
The Piedmontese classics at DaMà make stories on the plate for the guests but are refreshed by the gaze of the young Chef.
Sauces and stocks are a necessary condition on which to baste a more intimate cooking narrative, in which concreteness is preferred, cooking on the fire, and in which the iron technique does not mislead into aesthetics as an end in itself, but is aimed at enhancing the taste and matter.
As he points out Mauro Tezzo, Director of the Relais, the fundamental aspect is the experience:
“What we want to offer during our guests’ stay is a real journey into the Alta Langa area with its strong character and strong colors. The possibility of living inside a typical building such as the Cascina di Villa D’Amelia with its nineteenth-century environment and its comforts allows the guest to immerse themselves in a harmonious atmosphere, where time and the senses recover their natural rhythms. opening up to intense and meaningful experiences “.
And then the words of the Piedmontese writer Davide Layolo who spoke of Langhe as mythical hills in the night landscapes under the moon:
“If I fill the palm of my hand with this land, entering the vineyard while the farmer is hoeing, I feel it throbbing hot as if it had blood and soul …”.