Corrado Assenza

Born in Noto (Siracusa) at the beginning of the 1960s, he enrolled after finishing scientific secondary school in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Bologna. 

Gastronomy and Wine Pastry

Here he met Giorgio Celli, who instilled in him a passion for entomology, leading him to specialize in beekeeping. In 1983, and before he could graduate, he went back to the city of his birth to take charge of the family’s confectionery business – the one where he had worked as a shop boy in his childhood – the celebrated Caffè Sicilia, which has acquired the status of a sancta sanctorum of the ancient Sicilian art of confectionery. Corrado Assenza’s desserts and pastries shun the manneristic perfection of geometry, the lacquered appearance that often covers up a blandness of taste. The aim of his creations is to bring to life and convey the beauty and anarchic delight of a piece of fresh fruit or a dash of honey, proposing them as sensory experiences of natural purity. To zero food miles he prefers what Italian chefs call the chilometro buono, i.e. placing the emphasis on quality as well as sustainability, producing pastries with no frills, intimately linked to the territory – material as well as cultural – and devoid of an intransigent myopia.

Corrado Assenza, dubbed ‘le plus grande confisieur du monde’ by Alain Ducasse, is an enhancer of seasonal flavours, a ‘conservator of freshness’, an explorer of local and global ingredients, a trapeze artist who challenges culinary dogma, staying in balance and changing the rules on each occasion, breaking down walls and erasing boundaries. His intelligence is a sound one, versatile and without constraints of form, that has been able to unite the aromas and tastes of his Sicily in a unique gustatory experience governed by the laws of harmony.