Many journalists have travelled across the valleys, up and down the hills to reach Albaretto, meet Cesare and sample his cuisine. Many of them have ended up as friends of his and have followed him and his whereabouts, in and out of the Langhe, in all seasons.
These visits have resulted in numerous articles published in local gazettes, daily papers or specialist magazines, both in Italy and abroad - in Germany, the United States, Japan, and Brazil.
Cesare has not collected them. It is not in his nature: a free spirit, creative and brilliant as he is, cannot gather and keep scraps. He just remembers faces and dinners, certain conversations and evenings, often what the journalists ate - but he does not trouble himself with names or dates.
Some articles still stick in his memory, maybe by chance or out of a specific need; some were written by friends who often sat at a table in his dining room; some were hung on walls by relatives on special occasions, so they can be still read. Many others, which had been collected by Cesare’s sister-in-law, were lost in a kitchen fire.
The first article I know of was at the beginning of the 1970s, by Carlo Gramaglia in La Gazzetta del Popolo in Turin. In the following years two more articles (now lost) were written: one for Playboy (Cesare talks of it with ironic satisfaction, but adds that he couldn’t show it to his mother), the other for Famiglia Cristiana (he did show this one to his mother, who suggested buying 50 copies, but unfortunately he did not).
Later in the 70s, many famous journalists (such as Cesare Pillon, Gigi Veronelli, Giorgio Bocca, Cino Tortorella and Giulio Biason) wrote about Cesare’s “Ristorante dei Cacciatori”.
In 1982 one of the most prominent gastronomic German journalists, Johann Willsberger, director of the magazine Gourmet, came to see Cesare. He took some pictures of his dining room and its fireplace, of the onions in salt (which Cesare supplied the recipe for) and of a tenderloin in pastry. In the Spring issue, devoted to Italian cuisine, under the heading “Zu Gast bei Cäsar” (“A Guest at Cesare’s”), he wrote: “Every gourmet dreams of the ideal dinner, where everything is in harmony: the good quality of the products, the cook’s art, the atmosphere. This dream seldom comes true; three stars are in fact no guarantee at all. Gourmet has experienced the ideal dinner in the restaurant of a remote Piedmontese village, which is still a well-kept secret among the connoisseurs.”
In the 90s, leading articles by Jeffrey Steingarten were published in Vogue; in 1994, Patricia Wells numbered Cesare from Albaretto among the 10 best cooks in the world in The Herald Tribune, New York.
In August 1996, S. Irene Vibrila, a well known and highly respected restaurant critic from the USA, praised Cesare’s skills in Los Angeles Times.
An original piece signed by Alberto Gedda appeared in July, 4th , 1990 in La Stampa Sera. Its title – “Rabbit? It’s Art to Eat. A funny and rather crazy debate around the Avant-Garde” – is followed by a reflection involving art and cuisine. It also shows the picture of a young Cesare holding a tray with a local rabbit. This cutting, somewhat yellowed and scribbled on, has been framed and displayed in the restaurant’s cellar.
To come up to date, in 2005, when Cesare re-opened the old restaurant “L’Angolo di Paradiso”, many articles were written on Cesare’s new dream: Enzo Vizari in L’Espresso titles “The Return of Divine Cesare”; Paolo Massobrio, in Dolce & Salato, “Albaretto Torre, a Corner of Paradise”; Carlo Petrini in La Repubblica, “With Cesare, the King of Lambs”; Camilla Baresani in Il Sole 24 Ore, “A Palette of Tastes”.
But there are more in La Cucina Italiana and La Nuova Cucina Italiana, in several issues of Barolo &Co. edited by its director Elio Archimede. Also articles by Gigi Garanzini and Gianni Mura in La Repubblica, by Roberto Fiori in La Stampa, by Enrico Sanna and Davide Paolini in Il Sole 24 Ore (the last one written on the occasion of the Prize “IL GASTRONAUTA 2007”), by Lorenza Scalisi in Traveller (April 2012) and many more.
Finally, in 2010, in the New Castle of Stuttgart, Cesare Giaccone was given the prestigious “Internationaler Preis Eckart Witzigmann”. Here are the words of Thomas Keller, number one in American cuisine and winner of the same prize in 2006: “Cesare Giaccone is an extraordinary man, endowed with a unique vision of his cuisine. His dishes are elaborate and at the same time simple; their taste is unforgettable.”