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Modernist Cuisine for Traditional Diners

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By Javier Rodriguez

Italians are traditional people, and when it comes to food even more. They have excellent reasons to be happy with their regional cuisines, all of them with strong character, simple and very expressive.

A few weeks ago, we asked our community on Facebook to recommend good modern restaurants in Italy as I really didn't know too many apart from the world known Osteria Francescana and Enrico Crippa’s Piazza Duomo. One of the most recommended was Metamorfosi, in the centre of Rome, and there I went.


Metamorfosi Restaurant

The name of this restaurant -which means "change" in Italian- is very suggestive. The chef’s style is definitely daring, but with great respect to tradition. Roy Caceres is the man behind Metamorfosi. The Colombian born chef has spent the last 20 years doing his training in Italy and learning the basics. He sure did it, but he still keeps that "outsider view” that gives him the freedom to play with the classics.

"At the beginning it was very hard, Rome is a city where – unlike other big cities in Europe like London or Barcelona- the latest trends hardly arrive. The people here are comfortable with their food, but they are slowly discovering us. Today we have a faithful clientele who is willing to try new things", says Roy. Maybe it took time for the people to discover them, but for the critics, Metamorfosi was a hit from the beginning. Among other accolades, the prestigious Michelin guide gave them a star.

"Italy has strong roots, and that is important for the gastronomic identity of every country. I'm always looking into the future, exploring and reading, but paying special attention to tradition", explains the modernist chef. Seems like he is playing, challenging his customers.  A recreation of the venerated-by-Romans pasta Carbonara? Yes, his creamy 65 degrees Egg Carbonara fits very well with his customers. Different in texture, fancy in presentation but very familiar in taste. This is one of Metamorfosi’s most popular dishes and Chef Roy Caceres shared this magnificent recipe with us.

Chef Roy also talked to me about evolution, “everything changes, evolves. Even the classics evolve. There are dishes that today are classic, but we couldn’t find in Italy 50 years ago. At the beginning everything is unknown, but maybe with time a new dish can be widely accepted as a classic”.

Chef Roy shared some incredible modernist recipes with us, such as his signature 65 degrees Egg Carbonara, that we’ll publish soon. Here are some other creations from Chef Roy to get you inspired.

Modernist Dishes at Metamorfosi

Spaghetti with Mussel, dehydrated oyster and parsley sauce

Spaghetti with dehydrated oyster

Eel, farro, marinade ice cream

Eel glazed with soy sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. Onion petals cooked in red wine vinegar. Marinade sorbet made with onions, celery, red wine vinegar, white wine, ginger, olive oil, black pepper and sugar.

Glazed eel with marinade sorbet

Chocolate, hazelnut gelato, hot coffee

Chocolate sphere on foam, filled with crunchy hazelnut gelato, brakes open at the touch the spoon, while the waiter poures freshly brewed hot coffee on top of it.

Chocolate sphere, hazelnut parfait, white rum foam, coffee, fruit, nut sand