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Coltivare: The First Agri-Relais in the Langhe

Sveva Valeria Castegnaro
copertina agriturismo coltivare luca zecchin

It is the first agri-relais in the Langhe, inspired by a virtuous project that brings together taste and environment. Coltivare, the new “green” laboratory of chef Luca Zecchin, from La Morra.

The news

The environmental revolution is making its way also in Piedmont, and one of the latest novelties in the ever evolving world of fine dining is here to confirm it: after twenty years spent at Guido da Costigliole restaurant at the Relais San Maurizio (now headed by Fabio Sgrò), MICHELIN Starred chef Luca Zecchin is taking charge of the agri-relais Coltivare, with the intention of leading the first gourmet “agriturismo,” farm-hotel in the Langhe.

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"We want to create a venue where you can feel pampered, while at the same time experiencing simplicities of home. A place where you can “cultivate” hospitality, cuisine, and taste, but also relationships, projects, and dreams,says the chef with Serena and Giovanna Bagnasco, owners of the establishment. In the agritourism of La Morra, one of the 11 beautiful villages, home of 3,000 residents, work is in full swing to set up a new open view kitchen and dining room seating 40, the wellness center and garden with swimming pool, the communal areas and five rooms overlooking the vineyards and Monviso mountain, the vegetable garden with ten plots and a photovoltaic park on the roof to achieve energy self-sufficiency.


For Zecchin, this new agri-relais brings with it the opportunity to freely express oneself and one's talent, a need that matured particularly during the pandemic. "Piero Bagnasco and his daughters called me in the middle of the Covid pandemic, telling me about their idea of creating a rural hotel capable of telling and expressing fine dining without presumption, while truly remaining an “agriturismo,” and they immediately convinced me. After so many years at Relais, I was a bit tired of the hotellerie, because with its constraints you can't tell your story exactly how you want it to confides Luca.

With his 15 people team, the chef takes care of all the hospitality at Coltivare, from breakfast to dinner. A tasting menu will be proposed at a price of 60 euros per person where the imperatives will be territoriality and tradition. Thus, there will be vitello tonnato, thinly sliced veal with tuna sauce, fassona breed beef, and the iconic plin, tiny pasta pouches traditional of the region, that thanks to Lidia Alciati, the undisputed queen of the truest flavors of Piedmont, became a cult object for international gastronomy. Having been her last pupil, Zecchin jealously guards the recipes of the timeless classics of local cuisine, revising them, however, in a new lighter, refined, and effective way. "What I have in mind is a quality focused but accessible approach that allows even a young person to approach haute cuisine without worries. The immutable side of haute cuisine has tired me out, both on the plate and in the service. Storytelling can be more real and concise, less smoky and constructed”.

We will try to buy everything from local farms, reducing influences from other areas as much as possible, and the same will happen with the wine list, which will only be local producers plus a few labels from abroad. Creativity will not be affected, as this area offers extraordinary opportunities in every field, even with fish such as eels, sturgeon, trout, and anchovies. We will source our cured ham from Lurisia, while in Pralormo we have found a company that makes excellent guinea fowl foie gras”, says the chef. That of Zecchin and the Bagnasco family is a bet and an investment in their business and their territory, a project certainly within the trend of the time. "A certain idea of totalising and asphyxiating catering is no longer sustainable. I am convinced that we need to rethink the cuisine also from a human and relational point of view, without pretence. Then we will see what happens”.


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