Blog by Chris Brennan
1960 Moto Guzzi Ercole “Motokitchen” by Moreno Fontana
Chris Brennan
Chris Brennan
02 Nov 2021

1960 Moto Guzzi Ercole “Motokitchen” by Moreno Fontana

This story tells about how his 1960 Moto Guzzi Ercole transformed into a “Motokitchen” became an instrument of personal redemption and professional fulfilment, sealing a man-Guzzi bond that ithink deserves to be share.

The path of Moreno’s culinary career began when he was just fourteen years old, guided by a passion for cooking and the determination to immediately make it to the top. It was a journey that, before returning home to a small town in the Veneto region, passed through his work as a chef in five-star restaurants in Venice and Dubai, then as a personal chef in villas and luxury yachts.

A tour of the world that led him to learn about different types of cuisines, all at the highest level, and gradually to the desire to offer his gastronomic creations to a more varied and interested public, not necessarily wealthy, with whom he could have a more direct relationship. At the same time, he had a growing desire to escape from that “steel cage” – as he called it – represented by the physical space of the traditional kitchen.
The most obvious answer, not for everyone but certainly for Moreno, was a Motokitchen with which he could bring sophisticated finger food to people’s homes.

Added to this change of professional perspectives and ambitions was a moment of economic difficulty that had left his family without its company and on Moreno’s shoulders the responsibility for starting a new business with the little that remained. In the middle was the 1960 Moto Guzzi Ercole 500 CC motorcycle truck that he had brought home half-destroyed years earlier unbeknownst to his parents and restored to its original condition in the little time left by his work as a chef. It was so important for Moreno as to take part in his wedding, though apparently impractical and obsolete. So why not start from here instead?

So, from the most widely used large capacity motorcycle truck of the Italian post-war period, starting from a sketch on graph paper, the Ercole was transformed into a fully equipped motokitchen, whose design freely recalls the lines of the famous American Airstream caravans from the 1950s.
Here the sink, here the refrigerators, here the beer tap and the soda siphon for making frozen cocktails; then the modular kitchen section, with interchangeable induction plate and lava plate and fryer exchangeable with pasta cooker. All this in a very compact space, which in this configuration became perfect for keeping everything under control when working alone, just as Moreno had started.

From the Motokitchen Moreno founded Brentana Food, a brand designed to delight private banquets and gastronomic festivals with finger food, mainly based on vegetables grown in the garden on the family hill bought back at auction. Then came the workshop for making preserved food mainly in jars, the educational farm and the beautiful shop in Colceresa (in the Veneto region) where they sell vegetables and gastronomic delicacies of the area. Because one of the main features of Brentana Food is the absolute quality of the raw materials, achieved by means of incessant work to recover heirloom seeds.

Not only does Moreno’s comeback story rest on the sturdy frame of his Moto Guzzi Ercole, but the brand “Brentana” itself (his grandfather’s nickname) also includes the motorcycle truck in the logo, and the name refers to the use of the Ercole trucks in the past to extract gravel from the Brenta River, which flows not far away.

“Up to 50 years ago, these vehicles were everywhere”, Moreno tells us, “then almost all of them ended up in the junkyard and only now are they starting to be reappraised. They are solid vehicles and even if they’ve been mistreated they can easily be put back in order, though none can become like mine. I’ve received several offers to sell it, but it’s like a tailor-made suit: it would be hard for anyone to wear it like I do.”

After eight years of living together, Moreno and his motokitchen are inseparable. Even though it’s slow (it reaches a top speed of 30 km/h), with brakes that don’t work too well, and it’s awkward to move, it makes up for all that as soon as it reaches its destination: “All I have to do is stop and start opening the panels and I see dozens of people coming up, even without having announced anything beforehand. And whenever a Guzzi biker sees it while passing by, every single one stops and comes to admire it, to have a chat and taste some of my food.”

Story from https://theclan.motoguzzi.com/

#guzzi #custom

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  • bill.lunz 17 Dec 2021
    Great Job my Friend!
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