What do you get when the traditional and the modern come together in the hands of passionate, creative people? A perfect meal from Michelin starred chef Carlo Cracco – or a premium sports car from Lamborghini. The Italian chef and Lamborghini’s “bella macchina” – the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera – share a recipe for performance and perfection. They meet in Milan.
His most important ingredient? Inspiration. “Sometimes I only have a vague idea for a new creation”, explains Carlo Cracco. “I have to feel and smell the ingredients before I can turn them into a meal. And my mind has to be clear for it to become something out of the ordinary.”
At 21, Cracco was already a chef at the three-star “Gualtiero Marchesi” in Milan. Today, he runs his very own “Ristorante Cracco” in Milan. “I had a dream”, says the impeccably dressed Vicenzian, who stands at 1.9 meters tall. “I wanted Michelin stars for my restaurant – and I wanted to drive a Lamborghini at least once in my life.” Cracco earned the stars long ago. He has borrowed the Gallardo Superleggera1 – at only 1,340 kilograms a lightweight, true-bred sports car – for a spin around his home city today, just as a taster.
When Cracco combines juniper berry and aniseed-marinated salmon with the rich, velvety taste of liver pâté , the result is a unique brand of art. The body of the Gallardo Superleggera is composed in a similarly artistic way from aluminum, carbon fiber material and polycarbonate. Thanks to its lightweight construction, the super sports car boasts a weight to power ratio of only 2.35 kilograms per PS – the best in its class. High tech meets aesthetics and the legendary eye for detail of its creators – as in all the sports cars from Sant’Agata Bolognese in the northern Italian province of Emilia Romagna, Lamborghini’s home for over 60 years.
Perfection in craftsmanship and high aesthetic standards are something that Cracco and Lamborghini share. At “Cracco”, work begins early in the morning. It is a ballet of synchronized processes – tables are set with fine porcelain, crystal glasses and polished silver. The chef watches over the bustle – he has everything effortlessly under control, just like his handling of the Lamborghini today.
Cracco cruises through Milan in the super sports car, relishing the experience – and knowing that he can accelerate to 100 kilometers per hour in 3.4 seconds, and past the 200 mark in 10.2 seconds. Time and again his hand caresses the carbon fiber door panels and central tunnel covering. The shells of the sports seats and the shift gate of the e.gear automated transmission are also made from this high-end material.
The special relationship between Lamborghini and “Ristorante Cracco” was also revealed at an exclusive exhibition at the Milan dining establishment in the fall of 2011, where the sports car manufacturer unveiled its latest collection of fashion and accessories, Automobili Lamborghini 2011, with each piece presented as a small work of art, whether a photo or display model. On his way to quickly pick up some groceries from his friend Giorgio Travaini, Cracco lets the V10 engine roar. A teenager puts his hand behind his ear, as if to say “let’s hear it” – easily done with the 570 PS, 5.2 liter engine. Cracco visibly enjoys the attention that the sound of his sporty escort attracts. “We Italians are pretty special, no?”
1 Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera 419 kW, fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban 20.4/extra-urban 9.4/combined 13.5; CO2 emissions in g/km: combined 319.