Chef and Patron of the Capitolo Primo restaurant at Montallegro

"Philosophical" cuisine

Poetry in a dish

Damiano Ferraro's cuisine expresses a wealth of colours and flavours, thanks to the ingredients that the chef transforms into the culinary creations of the Capitolo Primo restaurant.
Damiano Ferraro's cuisine expresses a wealth of colours and flavours, thanks to the ingredients that the chef transforms into the culinary creations of the Capitolo Primo restaurant. The chef describes his cuisine as “a revisitation, a rediscovery of the traditional recipes of a sunny country kitchen”, featuring local ingredients like those used by the peasants in their meals,with the addition of the experiences that help you to find your way”.

Whimsical, refined, linked to the traditions of the land of Sicily, the cuisine of the Capitolo Primo restaurant at Montallegro, inside the Relais Briuccia boutique hotel, blends fantasy and elegance, tradition and innovation, laced with a gentle philosophical balance.


Damiano Ferraro, Chef and Patron

Damiano Ferraro, chef and patron of the Capitolo Primo restaurant at Montallegro, combines fantasy and elegance, sea and land in his culinary proposal.
Hospitable and whimsical, untiring, bound to his family and to the traditions of his land. His experiences as a cook started and were consolidated abroad: in Switzerland at Gstaad; then Grindelwald; at Le Richemond in Geneva; at the Hermitage of Zurich; continuing then at the Dorchester in London and at La Gavroche of the Roux brothers. On returning from Britain and before ending up at the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento, came an important year-long professional experience at Ezio Santin's Antica Osteria del Ponte at Cassinetta di Lugagnano, an old three-Michelin-star restaurant that traces the history of excellent Italian catering.
OToday Chef Ferraro creates his dishes in the heart of Sicily, half way between Agrigento and Sciacca, where he can be found in his kitchen or in the dining room of The Capitolo Primo restaurant, part of the elegant Relais Briuccia that he runs together with his wife Adriana.
Superb cooking and great wines, Chef Damiano's cuisine is a workshop of comparison between the depth of history, modern taste, innovation and the unique characteristics of Sicily's food, wine and gastronomy.

A Reflection

"Sometimes, driven by my secret obsessions and by my moods, I start thinking, perhaps with nostalgia, about the years of trepidation and sacrifice, ambition and delusions that have characterised my professional path. If today I can discuss and interpret the art of haute cuisine with the necessary expertise, it is mainly because of the formative period of my youth; from the years spent among the perfect mechanism of the great Swiss teams, to the unlimited luxury of the grand hotels of London and to the almost maniacal chain of command and perfection in the kingdom of French tradition in England: "La Gavroche" of the Roux Brothers. Continuing with the refined simplicity of a great master, Ezio Santin.

These moments of life, spent in the close company of professionals and cultures ranging from far and wide, have of course influenced my way of cooking, but after all we are discussing an art form and as such, it must be without limits, while at the same time it must be strict and never approximate.

As for me, my culinary expression is a fusion between technique and culture. I am lucky enough to work in a territory where even the simplest ingredients awake emotions and where the culture of eating well has flourished through the centuries, gradually enhanced and refined thanks to the contribution and the experience of the many peoples who have dominated Sicily. From the use of the fine produce grown in the sun and precise techniques, from the habitual good taste which I have possessed since childhood, from the aromas, the sense of being at home, from the sounds and silences of the places, springs an interpretation in the preparation of food that is almost global, full of sentiment and love for the burgeoning nature of this land.
My natural approach to cooking, as if I were a craftsman of the hob, frees me from boundaries and allows me to express myself with and for my senses."

Damiano Ferraro

Capitolo Primo and Relais Briuccia

Damiano and Adriana have transformed into a splendid reality the dream of two young people

Chef Damiano Ferraro, together with his wife Adriana Baglio, in 2009 made their childhood dream come true: a charming boutique hotel with a refined restaurant at Montallegro, a village in the province of Agrigento. Local produce, lots of passion expressed by the originality of the dishes, and, above all, a warm, unmistakably Sicilian hospitality.

"We will never tire of welcoming our guests with a smile and the enthusiasm of the first day... we have created a little oasis and we want to share it with those who come to visit us in our beloved country."