Monday, Jul 15, 2019

Prime

Dario Cecchini’s personality is big…bold – memorable. So, it should come as no surprise that the offerings at Carna by Dario Cecchini, a contemporary steakhouse concept this legendary butcher conceptualized with sbe at Baha Mar, is just as big and bold.

At Carna, Cecchini, an eighth-generation butcher from the village of Panzano in the Chianti region of Tuscany, Italy, offers the finest cuts of meat for an unforgettable dining experience at the restaurant, his first outside of Italy.

Having practiced this ancient art full of skill and ritual that was passed down to him for 45 years, Cecchini is not just a butcher, he respects the animals and honors their life and death by constantly trying to improve himself in his art to get the perfect cut, and cooking for every piece. Respecting the animal is his philosophy.

 “I’ve been a butcher for 45 years and this has supported my family and I for decades, but it has never been just a job – it is also my philosophy – a way of life. I wanted to bring the philosophy behind my craft to Carna by Dario Cecchini by way of choosing to source our meats from the best ranchers, the best animals, and using the best butchery techniques and cooking methods for each cut,” he said.

Whole roasted lobster.

They butcher in-house daily the product that has been sourced from farmers around the globe with a focus on unrivaled quality of all-natural humanely raised beef. He butchers from head to tail, and his beef and pork aren’t of any specific breed, but they are raised in Catalonia, Spain, by people he has known for decades and he trusts.

Throughout his years as a butcher he said he learned how to utilize beef well in terms of technique, aging, selection and quality, which he said is the importance of his work as an artisan.

Dry-aged cuts feature prominently on the menu.

The effect of dry-aging is that the meat becomes concentrated with flavor, and has an even more tender mouth feel due to the natural breakdown of the beef’s enzymes that occur during the process.

It’s a meat management process where the beef is hung or placed on a rack to dry for several weeks. But it’s also a process that he said is essential to do it well. At Carna, Cecchini said they do it very well.

The menu features a dry-aged cowboy ribeye, a Niman Ranch Black Angus Prime; a 21-day aged Black Label Bistecca Fiorentina; a 50-day dry-aged prime bone-in rib steak, both Linz Heritage Angus Prime; a Delmonico ribeye from the Niman Ranch Black Angus; a wood grilled and broiled Tomahawk steak, Darling Downs A5; as well as a 28-day Darling Downs center cut filet, beef tenderloin and New York Strip.

“Fit for a King” seafood and shellfish tower. PHOTOS: BAHA MAR

 “For us, that includes close supervision of the aging process for a minimum of 30 days in a cold and dry atmosphere to provide the best taste and tenderness in the meat,” said Cecchini. He said they seek to provide maximum joy to diners at Carna, and guests of Baha Mar through the quality of meat and commitment of respectfully preparing it that comes from their hearts.

 “I want our guests to feel happy – as happy as I am when I sit down to enjoy a cut of beef that has been treated with the respect it deserves,” he said.

Also, on the menu you will find dishes such as their Tuscan steak tartare; Dario’s sugo papparadelle with roasted wild mushrooms and bone marrow crumble; as well as what Cecchini says is a super hamburger, all of which are made using other cuts of their “great meat”.

Roasted beet salad.

“The menu is constantly evolving and other dishes will appear soon as well – all supporting our philosophy to protect the art of butchery at Carna with a belief that all cuts of meat can be utilized when cooked appropriately, eliminating waste and promoting sustainability,” he said.

Australian lamb chops with charred eggplant and apricot mussels.

As a butcher who respects animals, the thing that bothers him most is when an animal’s life is sacrificed for only a filet or steak. Respecting the animal is the Cecchini philosophy, and he said his job is to sell the whole animal.

As for bringing Carna to The Bahamas, Cecchini said he chose this “earthly paradise to launch a message of sustainability, respect and responsibility for the life and death of animals”.

Cecchini’s a believer that happy animals make for happy meat and for happy people.

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.
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