Italian family companies that have touched the 200 years of history, uninterrupted, there are not many. Among these, the hotel restaurant Cacciatori di Cartosio, in the province of Alessandria, in the Monferrato area.
Like many other local activities, the Hunters also saw the flow of travelers change and decrease, but kept its reputation as a reference point for those who came to hunt in the area and, thanks to the Acqui thermal baths, for the tourists from all over Europe, attracted by genuine cuisine.
It was 1818 when the Milano family opened an inn, then became a Trattoria and a reference point for those traveling along the road of Sassello, which connected the Piedmontese plain to Liguria.
The story of Massimo Milano, current manager of the business together with his wife Federica Rossini, focuses on what he has inherited from the long professional history of his family and speaks of dedication. He explains to parents and grandparents who are always attentive: attentive to the quality of work, service and hospitality. But also with a good deal of foresight, the dowry that probably made the right decisions at crucial moments.
During the ’60s and’ 70s, for example, art became part of the venue, thanks to visits by painters of the Italian informal movement (Ruggeri, Morlotti, Chighine, Music, Lavagnino, Ruggero Savinio), first customers and then friends of Carla and Giancarlo, Massimo’s parents. Still, important paintings from that period stand out on the walls of the dining rooms.
In 2006 the meeting between Massimo and Federica Rossini took place, and as a result of his studies, he collaborated as a consultant with Coldiretti and Cia, taking courses for operators. Attending Massimo and, inevitably, the Hunters, Federica begins to support mother Carla in the kitchen, becoming passionate and learning about the cooking technique with the wood stove, always a protagonist of the restaurant’s kitchen.
“It really made life easier for us to entrust the work to the architect Castellini – Massimo explains to me – because his familiarity with the place avoided that long but necessary period of rapprochement and mutual knowledge of the spaces and habits of those who he lives them. “
The 200th birthday of Ristorante I Cacciatori ends with the Christmas lunch, in the meantime, for those who want to take advantage of it before the new year, the restaurant is open from Friday to Tuesday for lunch and dinner and has seven hotel rooms, suitable to make the ‘experience really an escape from time and speed.
In 1985 there was an impressive renovation of the old building that housed the restaurant and the Milan family. The idea of Giancarlo was that, despite the logic, to reduce the number of covers instead of increasing them and completely transform the premises, leaving the brigade intact in the kitchen, led by grandmother Maria and mother Carla.
“Quando ho pensato di imparare a cucinare, mi sono fatta molte domande e molte ne ho rivolte ad altri. Mi è stato risposto di imparare da mia suocera. Per me la cucina non è una statica vecchia ricetta su un libro impolverato, ma è nel sapere che si tramanda”.
The 2018 is a very significant year for the Hunters and, after long meditations, the choice of Massimo and Federica has been to put the restaurant’s premises back by relying on those who had already taken care of it during the previous renovation, the architect Piero Castellini Baldissera.
While Federica elaborates the dishes in the kitchen, Massimo is in charge of the room, the reception of the guests and, above all (it is his great passion), of the cellar. His is a careful selection among the wines of the territory, between Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, but not only, Massimo offers a total of 380 references, among which French Champagne and 22 vertical of great red wines of Piedmont.