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Niko Gioacchini’s Return to Italy

“Is it easier to take a penalty kick or cook Risotto alla Milanese?”, asks Niko Gioacchini, the new striker for Como 1907, who became sous chef for a day, at restaurant, “Il Terzo Crotto”.

Sergio Melluso, owner of the restaurant that is located on Via Alessandro Volta in Cernobbio, explains what a Crotto is: “It’s a natural cavity that penetrates inside the remains of ancient landslides, creating an ideal environment for curing meats and aging wine. We are the third crotto along this street, but we are the only one that has continued its activity, which began in the late 1800s.”

In the kitchen with Gioacchini is chef Samuele Luraschi, who talks about the style of dishes at ‘Il Terzo Crotto’: “We follow tradition, we want people to feel just like at their Grandma’s: eat hearty, leave happy.”

And happy and delighted is Gioacchini. He measures the ingredients, tastes the rice, laughs amidst the flames of the kitchen, ready to prepare Sciatt and Risotto alla Milanese, typical dishes from Lombardy, “I haven’t had risotto like this since 2011. And I can say one thing: after 13 years it tastes even better.”

Yes, Niko: but is it easier to shoot a penalty kick or cook a risotto? “No doubt about it: taking a penalty kick!”