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Grana Padano

Cannoli in Buenos Aires: Donato De Santis’ sweet tribute to Sicily


La Vita è dolce arrives in the capital of tango four its Step nº 14. The protagonists are Cannoli Siciliani and Donato De Santis, who will serve the Sicilian specialty in his Bruni Restaurant and in his Da Donato Cucina Pardiso. For La Vita è Dolce Donato composed a kind of pastry poem, in which authentic cannoli siciliani finished with special Bronte’s pistachios are the centrepiece, and they are surrounded by a minimalist decoration of sesame croccante, with precious pricly pears (Fichi d’India), honey, candied oranges and a custard of the same pistachios of Bronte.

Donato de Santis is a talented Italian Chef and a GVCI Board Member. He was Gianni Versace's Personal Chef for over six years. Previously he had had extensive work experiences both in Italy (Osteria del Teatro, Piacenza) and in the U.S., where he cooked in some of the finest Italian restaurants, including Valentino in Santa Monica (California) and Bice (Palm Beach, Coconut Grove FL, and Chicago IL).

Donato de Santis' Trinacria di Cannoli

Currently Donato is one of the stars of the South American Food Channel El Gourmet and co-owns Bruni Restaurant in Buenos Aires. Donato is a resolute educator, in his exquisite gastro-atelier (Da Donato Cucina Paradiso) he runs classes and workshops for food enthusiasts who want to learn the authentic Italian Cuisine.
Donato calls his composition of Cannoli: Trinacria, the ancient Greek name of Sicily, which means 3 promontories (Peloro, Lilibeo and Pachino, today famous for its succulent tomatoes).

Sicilian flag

The dish is a tribute to Sicily and contains some of the most iconic ingredients of the island: pistachios, oranges and prickly pears, their trees are the emblem and the essence of the Sicilian landscapes.

The presence of sesame evokes the strong influence that Arabs had on the life and culture of Sicily, from which most likely the cannoli, as a sweet, were born out. Donato’s effort is even more valuable because the ingredients he used in the dish come from Italy and, despite the strong cultural relations Italy has with Argentina these, are not easy to find in Buenos Aires. One curiosity: Donato invented a neologism (scivolata) to explain how the custard of Bronte pistachios were “slided” in the dish. Bronte, a town in the province of Catania, is known as the Italian Capital of pistachio.

Bronte's pistachio
Prickly Pears
Salvo Caramagno´s
painting with Oranges