“Dedicate an evening to dinner” a stone’s throw from Milan, in a farmstead from another time, immersed, almost hidden in complete nature. It’s called Cascina Guzzafame, in the Gaggiano neighbourhood, a Milanese municipality opposite the Naviglio Grande. Found almost by chance, this event in particular is called “A dinner beneath the stars”, a beautiful and captivating initiative for the proper teaching of good food and happiness. A unique, long, sumptuously decked table capable of entertaining up to a hundred people, set up under the eighteenth-century porch of the Cascina. With the help of the almost-full moon, the result is simply magical.
The Cascina Guzzafame, owned by the Monti family, has a historical tradition in the agricultural world, and it was Augusto Monti in particular who, in 1973, together with his wife Ada and their five children (Carlo, Cornelio, Lucilla, Letizia and Laura), decided to move and set up in the Giaggenese suburb of Vigano the new agricultural centre, which today consists of two restaurants, an organic garden – which covers two hectares and is dedicated to growing vegetables whilst completely respecting seasonality – and a ranch of around 400 cows from which they obtain salami and meat both for consuming on the premises and for selling to the public.
At the end of February 2016, the gourmet restaurant Ada e Augusto was founded, the evolution of the most classic agritourism (open only for lunch from Tuesday to Friday for a working lunch with a fixed price of €10 per head; Saturday and Sunday with an agritouristic menu for €30 per head). The spearhead is the Japanese head chef Takeshi Iwai, who has lived in Italy for many years, disciple of important Italian chefs such as: Adriano Baldassarre, Pino Cuttaia and his brother Alajmo, to mention just a few. The creative atmosphere is delicious, 30 enclosures and two taster menus to try out refined dishes which mix tradition with attention to detail. It’s only open in the evening from Wednesday to Saturday.
Frequently, especially at the end of the week, it’s in the on-site shop, pride of the Cascina, where one can buy high-quality products… you’re spoilt for choice! One can find exquisite salami, freshly-picked vegetables, sweets made by the pastry chef Maria Giulia Magario, and local cheeses, prepared naturally dal on-site cheese factory. The shop is also open for tasting and aperitifs.
Many activities of the Cascina are open to the public, especially schools and families: children can help, among other things, with milking the animals, cultivating the vegetables or preparing the dairy products. Final treat: the area dedicated to yoga lessons organised by Letizia Monti, enhanced by her experiences in India and in various yoga schools. A real “journey” of discovery of its very own, in which the path is more important than the destination.
As the song by Ennio Morricone goes “Dedicate an evening to dinner…” at Cascina Guzzafame!