A lunch worth a medal: At the 3 Magnoni in Trieste

When your passion becomes your job

This is what happened to Daniele Valmarin, that 18 years ago –when he was only 20 –decided to fulfil his dreams and open the 3 Magnoni with his sister.

Alessia, his older sister, tells me about him: ”You know, when we were little and used to go out to eat with our parents, Daniele would always order the most particular dish on the menu, always different from the standard pasta with ragu sauce that most children love!

Since then he’s always had a passion for cooking, with its flavours and special combinations. After finishing school at 16, where he studied cuisine, he worked for four years in restaurants in Trieste, to get some experience and then he took the big decision; with the determination of stubborn people Daniele opened his restaurant, with some help from his family that supported him, and now it can be considered one of the best restaurants in Trieste!

Daniele, with his curiosity for food is practically self-taught, he reads a lot and never stops learning, even with two children and a business to run he finds time for everything, even taking part in national and international cooking competitions.

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Daniele competes with great chefs, achieving great results and quite a few prestigious prizes: Absolute Gold in Erba (national contest), Absolute gold in Catania (international contest), Gold in Belgrade (international contest) and last but not least he earned a bronze and two silvers in Istanbul, among 1600 participants.

I guarantee that if you start talking about competitions and medals with Daniele you risk spending hours just listening to his thrilling and incredible stories!

But I’m sitting here at my table with fork and knife, ready to be the “common judge” of this cuisine, and that’s when Alessia comes up to me with a river stone and a glass balanced on it: fresh tomato tartare marinated with apple vinegar, fresh fish eggs, burrata and fried basil with tomato confit!

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If this is my “Good morning dish”, I feel it’s going to be a lovely warm and sunny day with a fresh sea breeze and spring scents!

Alessia keeps me company while I eat, telling me all about their everyday work at the restaurant that is dedicated to the restaurant, the catering that has expanded to all the Region and more, personal Chef service and the 3 Magnoni B&B project… they are definitely an explosion of energy and positivity that influence anyone around them.

Why am I telling you all this? Because if you saw their colleagues you’d discover they are a wonderful team, full of positive energy and the desire of expanding their activities together!

His assistant in the kitchen is Emanuele that also takes care of the catering, a young man that has been working with Daniele for almost ten years. Young but quite mature, it’s pleasant to chat to him of their future plans, because he’s so involved in all the activities!

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I bet you know what I had to eat, right?

But the restaurant is not just food, but also people, great service and positive energy!

I’ll continue from the dish you see here in the photo:

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3 fish fillets marinated in orange and tangerine: brook trout from San Daniele, bream with Williams pear, seabass with strawberries;

2 tartars: Ombrina fish fillet with golden apples and horseradish, red tuna with burrata, tomato confit and Pantelleria capers;

1 scampi from Manfredonia with Sauris smoked pork cheeks

1 red prawn from Sicily with green raw asparagus.

Is that enough for the raw starters? The Ombrina fish fillet with horseradish was incredible!

The oil they use is excellent: Zahar, Snozak Bland from Trieste, do you know it?

After the raw starters I see a aubergine parmigiana with burrata and Bufala mozzarella, fresh tomato and….Kvarner Scampi!

Delicate and tasty, it melted in my mouth leaving behind the flavours of a magnificent Italy!

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The wine combinations were also perfect; a Glera from Colli Euganei (I thought it was from our Carso), a Ribolla Gialla from Veneto, an excellent organic White from Custozza, a Sauvignon 2012 from Ferlat, and to end it all a white Port!

But let’s get back to the courses:

Gambero rosso di Mazzara del Vallo cotto a vapore con guanciale croccante di Sauris e crema di piselli
Steamed red prawn from Mazzara del Vallo with crunchy Sauris pork cheek and pea cream
Cavatello fatto a mano con gambero rosso di Mazzara del Vallo, con scampi Croati, piovra nostrana e puntarelle (un piatto che vince l’argento assoluto a Montichiari (BS) al Campionato Italiano FIC (Federazione Italiana Cuochi)
Handmade Cavatello pasta with red shrimp from Mazzara del Vallo, Croatian scampi, local octopus and a particular chicory (this dish won the silver medal in Montichiari (BS) at the Italian Championship FIC (Federazione Italiana Cuochi – Italian cook confederation)
Raviolo di rafano e musetto con scampo crudo, aglio orsino con patata e cipolla brasata al Terrano
Horseradish and musetto raviolo with raw shrimp, orsino garlic and potatoes and onion braised with Terrano
Canederlo al nero di seppia, profumato allo speck dell’Alto Adige con brasato di seppia
Dumpling with squid ink, scented with speck from Alto Adige and with braised squid
Filetto di Ombrina agli agrumi ( pompelmo, mandarino, arancio e limone), cipolla in agrodolce e patate sabbiate
Ombrina fillet with citrus fruits (grapefruit, tangerine, orange and lemon), sweet and sour onion and potatoes

And then the grand finale of desserts, the perfect ending for a great lunch!

The traditional Sacher torte from the Austro/Hungarian cooking and a wonderful chocolate tarte with custard!

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Dear friends, there’s not much left to say about this regal lunch, it was a unique and delicious culinary experience!

If you’re passing through Trieste and feel like eating a wonderful, creative fish meal, cooked on the spot, this is where you need to go!

Enjoy!

Photo Andrea Zangrando

Video Massimiliano Pizzulin

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