Alessandro Laganà from Francescana Group reveals how modern meets tradition in Maranello
The region Emilia-Romagna divides North and Central Italy and it’s always been melting pot of cultures, traditions and languages. In fact, in ancient times it was a stepping stone for pilgrims on their way to Rome. Even today, this cultural bustle survives. Emilia-Romagna is one of the richest regions when it comes to food, wine, and cars. It's the home of Parmigiano Reggiano, aceto balsamico, tortellini, Prosciutto di Parma, but also Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati, and Ferrari.
The name needs no introduction. Born in Maranello it is a milestone in Italian history and culture. But maybe not everyone knows that the founder, Enzo Ferrari, chose to open a very traditional trattoria next door: ristorante Cavallino, literally “little horse”, the nickname of Ferrari, recalling its iconic logo.
Enzo Ferrari founded Cavallino in 1950 with the idea of creating a second home for his his staff, clients and close friends, completing the sense of place and hospitality which made Maranello worldwide famous. Before that, the location served as a cafeteria for Ferrari's employees and staff.
In the most recent years, Ferrari had a dream to give a new life to the historic location, adding a visionary and unique touch. And when you're talking food, tradition, and innovation in Italy, only one man comes to mind: Massimo Bottura. Too good to be true, Ferrari partners with Bottura and his team to revamp Cavallino and bring together slow food and fast cars enthusiasts.
The thrill starts at the door. Red (Ferrari) and yellow (Modena) are the prominent colors, conveying an exquisite touch of Italian elegance and unique motor pieces. Behind the renovation is India Mahdavi's touch. The French architect was hired to modernize the restaurant's design while maintaining its welcoming feel. Enzo Ferrari's private room - the one where he would host his closest friends and would often watch the Grand Prix from - was kept in its original shape as much as possible (the original fireplace was kept untouched). Lastly, the beautiful internal garden and veranda have been redesigned by Marco Bay.
The cuisine maintains a strong tradition with Emilia-Romagna, as explained by chef Bottura: “We have to keep the tradition in evolution”. The flavors are the decisive ones of the Modenese cuisine and the local ingredients are selected with the utmost care.
The handmade tortellini, gnocco fritto (fry dough) and the delicious local cold cuts invite guests to feel the traditional atmosphere while stepping into the future. Every dish and every gesture are intended to elevate the trattoria experience.
“Cavallino has revisited the purposes of a traditional trattoria, preserving the emotions and successes that have marked the history of Ferrari but with a contemporary approach, from the cuisine to the service“ - says Alessandro Laganà, in charge of running events and special projects at Francescana Group since 2012. “Cavallino is a welcoming place where you can celebrate and enjoy authentic food and wonderful memories.”
Chef Riccardo Forapani is the chef de cuisine at Cavallino. After a ten-year experience at the Osteria Francescana, he's able to confidently bring forth a cuisine that has long and solid roots in the Emilian tradition and in the excellence of local raw material. Luis Diaz, awarded as best young maitre in Italy in 2016, is Cavallino's floor manager, supported by sommelier Silvia Campolucci.
Cavallino is a celebration of flavors and a centenary brand, never meant to slow down.
Via Abetone Inferiore, 1, 41053 Maranello MO, Italy - +39 0536 944877