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America's Cup, what's in Luna Rossa's galley

The dishes, the secrets and the food & beverage sponsors of the Team Prada Pirelli/Gallery

Speak chef Manuel Sanna da San Gavino Monreale, 37 year old Sardinian from Medio Campidano, chef in charge of the Italian team, and Camilla Lunelli, head of PR and Communication of the group exclusive supplier of bubbles for the Italian team.

At 19 thousand km away, while in these hours we are discussing parity, assets and winds, always unpredictable in the Hauraki Gulf, there are those who ask themselves the question of what to bring to the table. Because to boost the 11 Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli athletes, who are currently involved in the final in the America's Cup match against the defender Emirates Team New Zealand, it is also necessary to carefully calibrate the meals. Manuel Sanna from San Gavino Monreale, Sardinian from Medio Campidano, 37 years old, chef in charge of the Italian team, in the galley together with four other fellow countrymen knows this well. Which, starting in September from Cagliari (the team's operational base at the Ichnusa pier since 2018) sent 1000 kg of Tuscan pasta, 500 kg of Sardinian peeled tomatoes and the same number of Oristano rice, 400 liters of extra virgin olive oil and well 700 kg of Parmigiano Reggiano, the company's official agri-food sponsor. Together with the Lunelli Group, partner not only with an unspecified number of Ferrari bubbles but also with Surgiva mineral water ( the average daily consumption of water at the base is three liters per person) and the still wines of Tenute Lunelli.

A very respectable task, that of Sanna. Since the crew cannot exceed 990 kg overall on board. And that sailors are weighed every day and before each regatta (competition is best of 13), consisting of relatively short challenges at a rate of two per day. “Not only the quality is important but also the quantity”, explains Sanna via whatsapp from Auckland. “Because if at the buffet it is possible to choose salads, fruit and bread, first and second courses are tailor-made in the kitchen. Each has its own weight to maintain, depending on the physical effort: and if the grinders ( the athletes called to pump on the hydraulic systems of the Ac75 monohull so that it can soar in flight thanks to flaps and tilting foils ed) eat a little more, the helmsman Checco Bruni or the randista and strategist Pietro Sibello have to be more careful. It is a question of balance. But I must say that everyone is very good at self-regulation”.

Under the sails of the Moon, however, the dialects spoken are many, from Palermo (the Circolo della Vela Sicilia is the challenging yacht club in this 36th edition) to Ligurian, passing through Emilia, Trentino and Neapolitan. So many regions, so many flavors? “I try to please everyone”, Sanna continues, “preparing pasta alla Norma, cacio e pepe, risotto alla Milanese from time to time. In general, however, they are dishes of Mediterranean cuisine, simple, easily digestible, cooked to perfection and in the required timing. Parmesan cheese? It goes very well, we consume an average of 3kg per day for the whole base and 1kg daily only for the crew, who sometimes take it on board in flakes in special trays during training. The bubbles for the team are instead sipped, reserved for days of celebration. But I have blended some herb risotto with Ferrari”. In short, no nostalgia for Made in Italy.

“We feel at home, we have everything. An importer supplies us with cured meats and cheeses. And then here there are excellent fresh products, from vegetables to beef, to fish, such as snapper, a relative of our red snapper". If the Covid emergency limited the usual hospitality at the base, a true showcase of Italian (finger) food and drink, the sparkling wines Ferrari, sparkling partner of the Moon, held the stage: on 21 October last, the Italian victory of the Prada Cup (the competition that selects the challengers at the America's Cup, also held in Auckland) by Maximum Blanc de Blancs Trentodoc. The photo of which went around the world, thus sharing the stage with Mumm champagne, the official sponsor. “We are two brands on the same sporting event but with two well-defined functions, in full respect of the roles of others”, underlines Camilla Lunelli, PR and Communication director of the Group. “In fact, we are the official sparkling wine of one of the teams, Mumm of the entire event: everyone therefore has their moment. But of course we remain champagne competitors everywhere, on all markets”.

Leader of the sector in Italy, with 4 million and 800 thousand bottles produced in 2020 and a 2019 turnover of 79 million euros, Ferrari exports its Trentodocs to over 50 countries (with Japan, Germany and the United States in strong growth). Is the southern hemisphere next to penetrate the market? “For us, such a collaboration is above all a communication operation”, Lunelli explains, “and sales in the southern market have never been a priority choice. Luna Rossa and the whole America's Cup are in fact a magnificent lifestyle platform for everything related to Italianness and we are proud to be part of this adventure that is thrilling the country. We have been following Luna Rossa since October 2019, with the launch of the boat in Cagliari by Miuccia Prada. And if it hadn't been for Covid we would have followed, with events, even the first regattas, unfortunately skipped, in Italy and Great Britain, certainly the most interesting outlets in New Zealand. Paradoxically, the first market of this operation remains Italy: it is true that the America's Cup has a great worldwide resonance, but the fact of having supported a totally Italian adventure was very much appreciated by our compatriots, sailing enthusiasts and others".

Proof? The resounding success of the Limited Edition Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, a special bottle of Ferrari Maximum Blanc de Blancs dedicated to the team, produced in 2021 numbered copies (to celebrate the year so full of challenges). It immediately sold like hot cakes after its presentation in early February. But not only bubbles drinks the Moon.

In fact, the Group's wines are also tasted on board (107 million total turnover in 2019), namely the Aliotto Toscana Rosso IGT Tenute Lunelli, produced in Podernovo, in the province of Pisa, the first organic wine of the Tenute, and the chardonnay Pietragrande Vigneti of the Dolomites IGT. "They represent the two souls of Tenute Lunelli, the more Mediterranean and the more Nordic", explains the PR director. “How were they chosen? Because of their great flexibility in combinations with dishes". As we have seen, they are very varied on board.

James Spithill, Australian ace co-helmsman of Luna Rossa, is well aware of this. When asked what was the difference between making the Cup with an Italian team or with a Yankee, he had only one answer: “The kitchen!”. On the way like this.

Photo gallery Lo chef Manuel Sanna e il suo team Lo chef Manuel Sanna e il suo team Lo chef Manuel Sanna e il suo team Lo chef Manuel Sanna e il suo team Lo chef Manuel Sanna e il suo team Lo chef Manuel Sanna ai fornelli Lunelli sponsor Luna Rossa Lunelli sponsor Luna Rossa Lunelli sponsor Luna Rossa Lunelli sponsor Luna Rossa
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EFA News - European Food Agency
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