The history of RISOTTO FLAMBÉ

When Ketty & Tommy took over their parents’ restaurant business in 2013, no one knew where this journey would lead.

But one thing was already clear there… That they will always bring super quality and very good service to the guests.

Early on, Ketty & Tommy realized that they did not yet have a dish with recognition value… As they regularly change their menu and always refer to the seasonal products. This has not changed to this day.

When they were invited to an event where risotto in a parmesan loaf was served to 50 guests, that’s when they got the idea to offer such a dish on their menu.

Her thought behind it was this: 

  1. It should be a show and people should talk about it!
  2. It must always look the same and offer the same taste.
  3. It must be possible to prepare it for one person without a minimum number of people.

(There are so many dishes where you always have to be at least two and most of the time your friend/partner doesn’t want to join you and you are disappointed that you can’t eat the dish…)

Then came to them the thought of exactly what kind of products to use….

  1. It should be something with saffron risotto, since this is the dish par excellence in Ticino….
  2. It should not be prepared in the usual parmesan form, but in another form that is smaller, and has its own flavor.

And so Ketty’s Mamma Elena and Papa Giovanni Carmine were tasked with organizing a cheese mold to fit…

In Switzerland they did not find a cheese that suited everyone’s taste and then Nonno Giovanni said that he had eaten a cheese from Friuli and that it was very special….

And so the right cheese was found. But to turn the risotto only in the cheese form was too unspectacular and one already knew this procedure with the risottos in the Parmesan loaf…

Nonno Giovanni has always had a love for grappa, which he distilled himself. The sweet little Ticino grape AMERICANO which in the German-Swiss dialect is also called Katzenseuche.  As a joke, he added, “just flambé it and put some king prawns in it.” ( he loves shrimp )

This joke turned serious….

They tried it and the very first time it was an absolute hit!


The Asiago-Montasio mold with a hollow in the center is released from the kitchen where the cheese is then grated out by the service staff….

The hot saffron risotto comes in a pan from the kitchen and is ladled into the trough where the cheese then slowly begins to melt… It is peppered a little and then flambéed with the Grappa Americano, which gives the whole thing a certain sweetness….

The risotto should go with the wave, “Con l’Onda” means it should always be creamy….

Then the king prawns are added and it is peppered a little again….

RISOTTO FLAMBÉ specialty in Ascona pepper

If someone does not like shrimp, you can get risotto with strips of fillet or the vegetarian version with vegetables…

Thus, the Risotto Flambé was born in March 2014 and has always been listed as a bestseller in the Osteria menu…

Since 2021 it is served also in the restaurant of the Albergo Carcani and 2022 in their fish restaurant Osteria Boato in Brissago. 

The Osteria alone sells an average of about 3500- 4200 servings per year….

As a small GAG, they have a bet going on with the kitchen crew in each restaurant that starts anew every month. 

If the kitchen team creates another dish that is sold more times in a month than the Risotto Flambé, Ketty & Tommy invites them all to a 3rd star restaurant. But since 2014, the bet always goes to Ketty & Tommy….

Variations of the Flambé have also been created, but the guests always prefer the original….

Buon appetito!

Enjoy the house specialty Risotto Flambe at Albergo Carcani in Ascona Switzerland
Enjoy the house specialty Risotto Flambe at Osteria Ticino in Ascona Switzerland

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