Authentic and traditional Venetian food (with the pure taste of the sea and the aromas of the earth) and the …
Authentic and traditional Venetian food (with the pure taste of the sea and the aromas of the earth) and the chef Lionello Cera’s love of experimentation are the hallmarks of Antica Osteria Cera, where fish reigns supreme as the primary ingredient of each dish.
Chef Lionello Cera was born in 1966, the year in which his mother Silvana, a native of Vicenza, opened a bar-osteria in Campagna Lupia in mainland Venice. He and his brothers Daniele and Lorena, with whom he still works today, were brought up in a stimulating environment according to the sound principles of a good Venetian family, and learnt how to always value and reinvent traditional local gastronomy.
Today, over 50 years later, the Antica Osteria Cera is a restaurant with two prestigious Michelin stars (the second one was received in 2013) run by Lionello Cera, the chef, and Simonetta Semenzato, manager of the restaurant and external projects.
At the age of 10, Lionello helped by taking water to the tables and changing the paper napkins; and later, in the 1980s, after completing his studies, he took over the reins of the tavern with some very clear ideas in mind, knowing that the time had come to do something new. The essential elements of the culinary philosophy of Antica Osteria Cera can be summed up in three words: experience, tradition and creativity.
The chef declared that “The material comes first, and the art follows on”: in other words, the ingredients should be chosen with care, and elegant combinations can then be created to enhance the quality, without altering the characteristics and flavour of the dish.
The raw material is fish, and both this and the vegetables that accompany it are strictly seasonal – as are also the aromatic herbs from the greenhouse annexed to the restaurant. The supply chain of the fish is of course controlled: it is purchased at the Mercato di Chioggia (scallops, brill, sea bass, squid, cuttlefish, clams and mussels) or selected through a broker at the port of Ancona (scampi, calamari, snapper, amberjack, sword fish) and when catch from the Adriatic is not available, the source is the Tyrrhenian Sea, primarily Porto Santo Stefano.
In the Cera kitchen, much care is also taken to reduce waste, and to develop new vegan and vegetarian recipes.
The chef said: “Simplicity is perhaps the most difficult concept to interpret: the aim is to create dishes that differ in nature but are based on the same essential logic.”
The earth and the sea are the two elements that are inextricably linked in the chef’s dishes, and represent the roots and the common thread of over 50 years of history: a history in which his family and good food are the main protagonists. Lionello Cera will star in Summer Dinners with Chef Pasquale Palamaro on October 17th.