Starred Chefs' Panettone: From Alajmo to Da Vittorio, All the 2023 Innovations

Alessandra Meldolesi
copertina panettoni chef 2023 12 07 22 58 58

Once again this year, chefs' panettone speaks all the languages of cuisine. From essence of panettone to spray to leavened latex for tasting, here are the most entertaining ideas for Christmas 2023.

As the days shorten and darkness is brightened by the first decorations, restaurant ovens continuously light up to nurture it: panettone, the sweet symbol of Italian Christmas. But what are the trends and volumes of the 2023-2024 season? The big names have their hands firmly in the dough, each with their distinctive style, on the menu and under the tree: Alajmo playfully naïve in the abundance of creams, Cannavacciuolo eclectically Campanian, the generous and hardworking Cerea brothers, Romito reflective and minimalist without sacrificing pleasure, Uliassi compelling and enthusiastic. The classic panettone of Ciccio Sultano and Giancarlo Perbellini are a solid certainty, capable of impressive numbers thanks to well-equipped laboratories. Like those of Giuliano Baldessari and Luca Marchini. A novelty is the experiments of Mirko Marcelli, Enrico Marmo, Salvatore Morello, and Pasquale Tozzi, while Recanati sharpens its smoky formula even more with the touch of Andrea Tortora.


Arlecchino alajmo

It cannot be said that Massimiliano Alajmo doesn't love Christmas: every year, he surprises with offerings of irresistible playfulness. This time more than ever. The Arlecchino with extra virgin olive oil, candied orange, and cedar, the Moro di Venezia chocolate with maraschino cherries and cocoa and hazelnut cream sac à poche, and the Marrakech with hazelnut praline, maraschino cherries, and coffee powder, plus hazelnut cream sac à poche, have become must-haves. Then there are the special editions: the Cortina with apricots and candied oranges, Tonka bean, and chocolate drops, like Saffron and licorice, paying homage to the classic risotto, with apricot jam sac à poche and gold leaf, also available in a large 2-kilogram format. The advice is always to warm them for 10 minutes in the oven at 80 °C.

pandoro alajmo

But among the innovations, there is also the essence that tastes like panettone in collaboration with the master perfumer Lorenzo Dante Ferro, to be sprayed on sweets as a "flavor accelerator," used on cocktails and dishes; flutes that contain an entire bottle of Champagne as well as warm saffron and licorice blankets in boiled wool, crafted on a Jacquard loom. The purchase of panettone is available in the group's retail locations or online at at a price ranging from 42 to 50 euros.


panettone cannavacciuolo

This year, Antonino Cannavacciuolo offers the most extensive range, baking classic panettone with pastry chef Kabir Godi. The varieties include limoncello, candied chestnuts, hazelnut and lemon, Campanian apple, gianduia, pear and chocolate, sometimes packaged in tin boxes, accompanied by creams and in variable sizes. There's also a vegan star with candied citrus and pistachio paste. Prices range from 28 to 58 euros; purchases can be made online at But beware! Some flavors are already sold out.

gianduia natale cannavacciuolo
stella vegana pistacchio cannavacciuolo

"Every year, we like to surprise with tasty innovations to satisfy all palates," comments Godi. "Social medias have now become a bridge between us and our audience, a way to interact and discover in advance what their desires are. Often, the novelties are inspired by suggestions from those who have already purchased from us, requests that we try to fulfill as much as possible. And above all, we strive to bring back every year to our shop the most beloved panettone, turning them into classics, like the Pear and Chocolate or the Gianduia. There is also a strong identity component. More than ever, we try to tell the story of Chef Cannavacciuolo through the products: this is how the Hazelnut and Lemon panettone is born, the meeting between Piedmont and Campania, respectively, his adopted and native lands. Finally, for some time now, we have embraced the vegan world and obtained V-label certification: so, the Vegan Christmas Star with Pistachio could not be missing."


PanettonePicolit da vittorio

A winning panettone doesn't change. From the ovens of DaV Pastry Lab, led by Simone Finazzi, this year also brings the classic panettone with cocoa dough and chocolate drops, with apricot nuggets and Picolit. The dough, made with single-origin wheat flour, wheat germ, and orange blossom honey for record softness, undergoes three refreshes (evening dough, overnight leavening, followed by a morning dough, and additional leavening before baking).

panettoneclassico da vittorio

But this year, there will also be a newly unveiled leavened product, available in only 1500 pieces: the Stellare, a cross between panettone and pandoro, molded in a star shape and developed in a dome, without candied fruits. Purchase at 55, 60, or 65 euros is available on the website, at Da Vittorio Selection stores in Milan and Albano Sant'Alessandro, and at Pasticceria Cavour 1880 in Bergamo Alta. Additionally, from the collaboration with chocolate designer Davide Comaschi, a line from the Carati collection with panettone filling is also introduced.



Niko Romito's panettone plays in a league of its own, where the sourdough from the Casadonna vineyard grapes, organically candied oranges made in-house (also present in paste), and butter from fresh cream are lightened by an emulsion of organic raw almonds infused in milk, providing delicacy, digestibility, and lightness to the palate.

PRODUZIONE PANETTONE Laboratorio Niko Romito6
PANETTONE CLASSICO MAGNUM Laboratorio Niko Romitojpg3

The passion for leavened products has been alive since the days of the paternal pastry shop in Rivisondoli. The pursuit has never stopped, leading to the current recipe, which involves four processes and three fermentations. In addition to the classic flavor, there is single-origin Tanzania chocolate in flakes, both priced at 55 euros. The former is also available in a special edition of 1.5 kg, with all the organoleptic benefits of the fermentation length and dough size (150 euros). Purchase is available online at and at the brand store on Via Solferino in Milan.


uliassi panettoni alvacreativestudio

It's the third year that Mauro Uliassi has been producing his mythical panettone. The pastry chef Mattia Casabianca and the sous chef Alessandro Brigatti take care of it. "I used to prepare panettone at Christmas with my grandfather in the family pastry shop in Senigallia, so initially, we relied on that workshop," says Casabianca. "Since last year, we've been renting a space to focus on production, which uses mostly local raw materials like Giorgio Poeta's honey and candied fruits by Riccardo Pelagagge, except for the bergamot from Corrado Assenza."

uliassi panettoni
uliassi panettoni alvacreativestudio 2

This year, there are the classic with raisins, bergamot, and candied orange; the chocolate with gianduia, hazelnut praline, and 55% dark chocolate, scented with fresh orange zest; the special one born last year from my idea to reproduce one of our desserts, the Senigallia Brest, with olives, Cantiano sour cherries, and vanilla. So, olives from Ascoli Piceno candied by us, Morelloaustera sour cherries, and a chocolate infused with wild cherry tea. We are very pleased, and the intention is to develop new products in the coming years." The panettone costs 55 or 60 euros on the website, at the Uliassi restaurant and bar in Senigallia run by Mother Bianca.


Ciccio Sultano PC Giuseppe Borno 1

Directly from the Banchi laboratory comes the delicious panettone by Ciccio Sultano, available this year in three flavors: Sicilia, chocolate, and Re Moro, in a limited edition and a green lithographed box.

cicciosultano Panettone trilogy PC Giuseppe Borno
@Giuseppe Borno

Optionally, the first two can be enjoyed with Molini del Ponte pistachio cream, perhaps in a basket of assorted island delicacies. The cost is 42 or 70 euros at Banchi or online at


Panettone Baldesarri 1

The latex chef is accustomed to provocation and breaking the rules, even during the holy Christmas season. "The panettone this year is ours, with capers, but the tasting method is synesthetic. It happened that the musical background led us to perceive different bouquets from song to song."

Panettone Psico Attivo baldessari

So, the synesthetic panettone comes in two flavors: the sweet and harmonious bouquet, natural and with its own candied fruits, and the savory one. Inside, two types of music are indicated, extracting these sensations. And tasting it in natural latex, the perception changes even further." Purchase is available on the website or at the restaurant in a bio package at the price of 35 euros.


panettone mirko marcelli 1

"Our panettone is more than artisanal; it's rudimentary. We only make the classic low mold, like the Venetian style, glazed. We bake just eight a day, limited by the fermentation room's capacity. This is our second year, with a slightly changed recipe by adding fresh cream to the dough for greater softness. But in '24, we plan to increase production, always keeping our hands in the dough." It can be purchased at the Osmosi restaurant in Montepulciano for 35 euros.


Panettoni Bottega da Re 43
Panettoni Bottega da Re 64

Luca Marchini has gone head over heels for leavened products. This year, there's the traditional, chocolate and pears, and plain dark chocolate panettone. It can be purchased at the restaurant or online at for 38 euros. Also noteworthy are the savory gastronomic panettone and the one with Modenese cold cuts (prosciutto crudo, mortadella, and ciccioli).


pandlce enrico marmo 2

He doesn't focus on panettone but on the Genoese pandolce—Enrico Marmo of Balzi Rossi in Ventimiglia. The recipe, developed in collaboration with the Sant'Agata d'Oneglia oil mill, includes candied Taggiasca olives for a subtle savoriness and persistence, along with Riviera lemon zest, using as little sugar as possible.

pandlce enrico marmo 5

"A specialty that won me over at the first taste, for the richness of ingredients and for the compact and crumbly, almost biscuity, texture, characteristic of the low version," describes the chef. Available for tasting at Balzi Rossi, it can be purchased for the price of 20 euros on the website and at selected gastronomies.


panettone salvatore morello

It's a new addition, the panettone by Inkiostro Parma, signed by Salvatore Morello from Calabria: available in classic and Domori chocolate flavors, it costs 55 euros for the 1-kilogram size and can be ordered via email by writing to or Upon request, it is also available in a gluten-free and lactose-free version. "For years, I made panettone as a gift for clients, and then last year, we started selling it because it was well-received. This year, we are very satisfied. We worked on it since January 2022, studying the yeasts and searching for the best candied fruits, those of Corrado Assenza, the only thing we purchase."


errico recanati panettone burro affumicato

Errico Recanati continues to refine his concept of a panettone with a grilled flavor, relying on the solid expertise of Andrea Tortora this year because fermentation, varying with pH, changes. It involves smoked butter, added in the second dough, extended in the mouth by salted caramel, always sweet, albeit lightened by sugars.

errico recanati panettone classico

The suggestion, if possible, is to warm it up again on the fireplace. It can be purchased for 50 euros in the tin box featuring the founder Andreina at the restaurant, online at, and in friendly shops. But there's also the classic option at 45 euros.


pasquale tozzi Panettoni e pandoro2

Pasquale Tozzi approached the art of baking at the age of 15 in a pastry shop where sourdough leavened products were crafted. An experience he enthusiastically resumed at the Grand Hotel Fasano in Gardone Riviera. The flavors include classic with orange, cedrus, and candied lemon; chocolate; white chocolate and orange; Rose of Garda, with lemon and olive oil, lactose-free; Passito di Pantelleria and Modica chocolate. It is sold on his personal Instagram account by contacting or in specialized shops for 30 euros.

pasquale tozzi Panettoni e pandoro

"To arrive at this recipe, I spent years constantly trying to improve. In my opinion, I've achieved a delectable yet not heavy panettone that entices for a second slice. I started working on it in August, conducting trial after trial with the thermometer alongside the pastry chef. My sourdough begins with a rice fermentation, so the aroma is more intense, with hints of jasmine and spring on a slightly alcoholic aftertaste. The rest follows the regulations, featuring Normandy butter with a creamy taste, fresh peels, and candied fruits from my friend Viviana Varese."

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