Vegetables Tomatoes

Tomato Steak: 100% Vegetarian "Faux Meat" to Make at Home. Carmine Cinque's Recipe

copertina bistecca di pomodoro carmine cinque

Carmine Cinque's Recipe: Tomato Steak. A "fake main course" that deceives the senses through careful presentation and the use of entirely vegetarian ingredients.

Thanks to his Neapolitan origins, Chef Carmine Cinque's creation tells the story of the Mediterranean and the dishes that were once prepared after a day at the sea. With minimal processing and the use of fresh ingredients, this dish is both immediate and impactful. The recipe aims to highlight the plant-based component, celebrated in its purest form through minimal processing. This philosophy is grounded in the experiences of the chef in Italy, Spain, and finally in France, where Mauro Colagreco called him to lead Grand Coeur in one of the most elegant neighborhoods of Paris.


For the “tomato steaks”

  • Beefsteak tomatoes as needed 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sunflower oil 
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • Hand-torn basil stalks 
  • Salt


Slice the beefsteak tomatoes to a height of 2.5 cm. Season them with extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil. Add the other ingredients and let them marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

For the Aioli

  • 2.5 g of garlic 
  • 60 g of milk 
  • 175 g of sunflower oil 
  • Salt


Using an immersion blender, mix the milk and garlic. Once blended, gradually add the oil like making mayonnaise.

When you achieve the desired consistency, season with salt as desired and refrigerate.

For the Lemon Gel

  • 150 ml of fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 g of Agar Agar


In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice and Agar Agar. Stir and let it boil for one minute. Refrigerate for an hour.

After this time, blend the mixture and strain it to remove any lumps.

For the Mozzarella Milk

  • One large buffalo mozzarella 


Blend the buffalo mozzarella with its preserving liquid, without adding salt.

After completing the process, strain it through a fine-mesh sieve.


Plate by placing the mozzarella milk at the bottom. Arrange the tomato steak on top, garnished with aioli and lemon gel.

Who is Carmine Cinque

We find ourselves in the heart of Paris, in the refined Marais district. Here is where Chef Carmine Cinque, with Neapolitan origins, expresses his creativity in the kitchen of the Grand Coeur restaurant. Unlike many of his colleagues, Carmine started in the restaurant world through his father's butcher business, learning the importance of respecting raw materials and how to work them without waste. At a young age, he took his first steps in the Parmesan kitchen at the "Al Vedel" restaurant, where Sous-Chef Matteo Bersellini introduced him to the world of fine dining, marking the beginning of his gastronomic growth. His experience in Parma helped him develop a cuisine that blends the north with the south, and in 2015, he decided to move to Paris for the opening of an Italian restaurant. However, after a few years, he returned to the world of fine dining and joined the Grand Coeur as a Chef de Partie. Here, he met Mauro Colagreco, who imparted a love for French cuisine, respect, and care for every ingredient. This marked the start of the chef's professional growth, and after a few months, he became the Sous-Chef of Grand Coeur. With a desire to expand his horizons and knowledge, he gained experience in Michelin-starred Spanish restaurants alongside Paco Roncero and Jose Carlos Garcia. During an event in Madrid in early 2022, he reconnected with Chef Mauro Colagreco, who offered him the opportunity to return to Grand Coeur. As of June 2022, Chef Cinque leads the French restaurant in the heart of Paris, bringing his gastronomic expertise to the forefront.

All photos from Francesco De Marco

Carmine GrandCoeur Francesco De Marco 84 2023 09 05 15 31 20

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