You are on page 1of 2

Legend of the Monz

When Napoleon invaded Naples in 1798, Sicilian cuisine was forever changed. At that time Naples and Sicily were collectively known as "The Kingdom Of The Two Sicilies". The monzu introduced among other things, butter and cream into the kitchens of Sicilian nobles. Their roots were in the French culinary tradition, but their flavors were connected to the bounty and history of Sicily. The cuisine of the monzu was, more or less, a Sicilian/French fusion. With time "Monsieur" became "Monz", and if a particular Monz served a particular family for a long time, he was referred to as Monz, followed by his employer's last name, while the best dishes he created (perhaps at the suggestion of the employer) were given his employer's name, and kept quite secret. Endowed with great prestige and influence, the Monz also added such foods as consomm and foie gras to the Sicilian menu. In the early decades of the 20th century, Sicily emerged as a favorite winter resort for European royalty, and the Palermo Monz chefs cooked for kings and Kaisers. As the era of Sicilian aristocracy faded around the turn of the 20th century, the time and energy spent on preparing such foods made it difficult to continue this noble tradition and it quietly fell out of fashion. With the decline of the aristocracy the great Monz were forced to leave the employ of their masters; some turned to cooking for social clubs of one sort or another, while others opened restaurants, and to this day Neapolitans and Sicilians use the term Monz to refer to a great chef. Here at Ortygia, we bring to you not only the cuisine of the Monz, but also

the simple, yet delicious food of the common people, "La Cucina Povera". All fresh ingredients are purchased through local independent merchants whenever possible.