Industrial designers, strategic consultants, dreamers: Sandro Meneghello, Marco Paolelli and their «lateral thinking».
Between Corso Como and Piazza Gae Aulenti, a building with a unique, surprising architecture towers majestically over the most vibrant area of Milan. A modern location, somewhere between luxury and simplicity, permeated by a relaxed atmosphere and by that characteristic all-Italian hospitality: entering the 5 star hotel Viu means diving into a world capable of widening your horizons beyond all measure: suites endowed with all sorts of comforts from which you can admire an incredible bird’s eye view of Milan, a spectacular terrace with panoramic rooftop pool - the only hotel in the city to have one - and, above all, the «Morelli» restaurant, home sweet home of Giancarlo Morelli: an eclectic, whimsical, extroverted Michelin star-winning chef, considered one of the best in the world today.
Each of his creations is based on his rigorous respect for the raw material, a pure extraction of taste capable of creating unexpected, calibrated balances around the concept of healthy, tasty, ethical cuisine. Here, his dishes tell his story, a tale of tradition and innovation: «My creations reflect my childhood - the chef explains - ...they reflect my mother, the spirit of the products in their natural state, the spices, the simplicity of the cereals, the authenticity that reveals its essence in nature». Observing, analysing, sensing and evaluating each ingredient and each combination in an almost obsessive way: «Raw material and excellent quality are important values, but they must be considered in relation to one other and from the perspective of their ability to spark emotions. Each dish is something alive and vital, which expands and transforms itself, from the very first mouthful to the last, yet always remaining true to itself, a reflection of infinity».
A kind of cuisine based on absolute rules, simple, no-nonsense food, created with no more than 4 or 5 ingredients in order to achieve an ideal balance, without the aid of salt, which is only used for slight corrections, and a result that is a pretty sight... a kind of work of art on which the eyes can feast. The Morelli restaurant is founded on a down to earth cuisine of a certain substance resulting in an atmosphere that welcomes its customers sincerely, warmly and elegantly and shuns the kind of formality that might push them away. The environment, in full harmony and tune with the chef’s philosophy of using only a few ingredients, accommodates guests in stylishly decorated rooms with an exceptionally calm and peaceful atmosphere. Those who wish to really hit the high note in terms of the ultimate gourmet experience can daydream as they dine amongst the hobs, where the avant-garde kitchen designed by Giancarlo himself is located, structured just like his menu: beyond the uber-modern counters where his chefs prepare the dishes is his «chef table», an ancient roundwood table that preserves the taste and warmth of kitchens of old... a symbolic example of fine workmanship and the great sacrifices made to achieve it. Here, you can sit back and enjoy a relaxed dinner as you nosey in on the chefs at work, taking off your poker face and listening to your favourite LP that you’ve brought from home: a perfect equilibrium between taste and conviviality.
Born in Bergamo in 1959, Giancarlo Morelli graduated from the hotel and hospitality institute of San Pellegrino Terme launching into his career in food by travelling firstly to the United States and then to France, where he continued to build up a wealth of experience on foreign shores. He was very successful, soon working his way up to the ranking of head chef and setting out for the Pacific Ocean, having landed a position on the «Pacific Princess», the cruise ship famous worldwide as the location of the main set for the «Love Boat» TV series. In a short time, he became an advisor for various Italian catering companies around the world and also managed various restaurants. In 1993, he opened the «Pomiroeu» in Seregno, the largest area in Milan. Indeed, the restaurant can be found in an ancient courtyard, a small corner of peace, a classic yet contemporary venue, with an elegant, welcoming atmosphere. Its name is pronounced «pomirò», a word that derives from the local dialect and means «orchard»: as a matter of fact, the area of Seregno was once called this because of its numerous apple plantations. The location was not chosen by chance: since 1850, what now are the walls of the restaurant have always «breathed» food and wine, and are still the benchmark of a cuisine which focuses on traditional flavours. Here, Giancarlo is free and succeeds in releasing his creativity with a bang in an explosion that displays top potential.
Over the years, he has significantly developed his technique and his knowledge of the raw materials, mastering the basics of the art of cooking and studying the purity of the products. The results of his commitment are instantly tangible and his work is widely acknowledged and appreciated: in 2010, Pomiroeu won the «Riso Gallo Risotto of the Year» award, organised by the monthly publication Horeca Magazine and sponsored by Riso Gallo, dedicated to the up and coming talents of today’s restaurant trade, who were judged based on the creativity they displayed in the art of making risotto, one of noblest and best-loved dishes of Italian high end dining. That same year, he also won the «Sandwich Club Contest», an unusual cooking contest staged by the «Parma Ham Consortium» at the Four Seasons in Milan, for his exceptional sandwich «Inside-Out». In the same year, he was the only Italian representative at «Perù Mucho Gusto», the Peruvian food and wine festival, and participated in the «Chef’s Cup», the haute cuisine, sport and lifestyle event which has today become an important, much-awaited date in the industry calendar.
Creative, passionate, endowed with an extremely refined palate and a highly sophisticated taste: a chef who never forgets his past and his origins, a pure, generous man that remains loyal to his authentic beginnings. His cuisine is particularly technical and well-researched, conveying his love for top quality products, and it closely follows the seasons, displaying its full respect for Mother Nature. His varied menu is based on his inspiration: the ingredients must be fresh, simple and spontaneous. And of all the products he uses, rice is Giancarlo’s favourite: «For me, rice, such a precious, simple yet sophisticated ingredient, is rather like a rough stone, only revealing its potential and its value when processed with great care and passion».
And it was indeed due to this passion of his for rice that in 2011 he found himself in Alicante at «Tunnel del Arroz», an international event dedicated to rice. In that same year, the concept store «Pensieri di gusto» opened inside the Pomiroeu, and here he began to sell the objects closest to his heart, the ingredients of his recipes, flowers, design objects linked to cooking and a series of wellness products made of ingredients with a connection to food. Here, Giancarlo conveys his passion, but also his «madness», such as his passion for colourful and designer eyewear: he has more than 100 pairs of glasses. Having made a name for himself in the world of fine cuisine, he was called upon to participate in large international events such as «Lo Mejor de la Gastronomia» in Spain and, with Massimo Bottura and Aurora Mazzuchelli, in «Misura 2012» in Lima, the most important culinary congress in South America. His status as a household name led to him being chosen by Bulgari and San Pellegrino at the «Wine and Food Noble Night» event in St Petersburg, for the presentation of the new label created by the maison. The chef’s mindset soon spread far and wide: in 2012, «Pomiroeu Marrakech» was inaugurated in Morocco, in the «Delano», one of the world’s finest hotels located in the heart of the Moroccan capital, and two years later, in the summer of 2014, he began his summer experience, in Sardinia, with the opening of the «Phi Beach», an Open Air Club in the road towards Baja Sardinia: a location of rare beauty and striking landscapes from which to enjoy the emotions created by one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world every day and savour foods prepared with extraordinary simplicity in a space that offers the sense of a complete harmony with the surrounding environment. In 2016 he opened «Trattoria Trombetta» in Milan, an informal location where he promoted his intense vision of culinary sublimity. And again in 2016 he worked with the Italian Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, for the «Week of Italian Cuisine around the world», while with Nobert Niederkofler and Paolo Ferretti he developed «Care’s - The ethical Chef Days», a project bringing together chefs and people from all over the world who share a common vision, a new, approach to food that is both sustainable and ethical.
The latest creation was the «Bulk Mixology Food Bar», the lounge bar of the Viu hotel, which complements the Morelli restaurant: a place where guests can relax while enjoying top quality aperitifs and while away the time, so fully savouring the chef’s vision. In addition to being a member of the Euro-Toques Association, today Giancarlo is also the recipient of a prestigious Michelin star, assigned in 2010 to the Pomiroe. The restaurant has been added to the circuit of «Associazione Le Soste» and Giancarlo Morelli is a Board Member of the Associazione Ristoratori Golfisti. Energy, sensitivity, pragmatism, authenticity: all combined to make a mark in the world of fine dining.