The present and future of Italian cuisine

In Palazzo Reale in Milan, a fertile discussion among chefs (and not only them)

11-11-2013
The present and future of Italian cuisine: this is

The present and future of Italian cuisine: this is the theme of the meeting organised this morning by Acqua Panna-S.Pellegrino and The World's 50Best Restaurant with some great actors of Italian gastronomy. Left to right we can see Massimo Bottura, Davide Oldani,Gualtiero Marchesi, Clement Vachon, Rosanna Binacchi, Davide Rampello and Oscar Farinetti (photo by Sonia Santagostino)

The present and future of Italian cuisine – this was the theme discussed this morning in Palazzo Reale in Milan. Three world renowned chefs – Gualtiero Marchesi, Massimo Bottura and Davide Oldani – debated on this together with three experts, namely Rosanna Binacchi, the International Relations manager for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; Oscar Farinetti, patron of Eataly, and Davide Rampello, artistic director of Padiglione Zero at Expo 2015. The meeting was coordinated by Clément Vachon, Communication Director of Acqua Panna-S.Pellegrino, the brand that wanted this meeting.

Curiosity, simplicity and the desire to always keep an eye on what’s happening around you are the cardinal points, according to Gualtiero Marchesi. And not only in the kitchen: “Every time I have found myself in front of an artwork, I learnt something”, the Maestro said in the beginning. “Only if we understand raw materials we can respect them and create something simple”. Massimo Bottura underlined that valorising what makes Italy unique – including food – is essential if we want people abroad to discover our country: “In order to be understood and known, Italy needs to take back its strong points and what makes it special. We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and start to react”, concluded the chef before letting Davide Oldani speak.

LEGENDS. Gualtiero Marchesi and Nadia Santini

LEGENDS. Gualtiero Marchesi and Nadia Santini

The latter underlined how, in the past 15 years, Italian cuisine has changed both in terms of shape and substance: “We have pulled down the wall between sweet and savoury and flavours are now lighter. However, we are still guided by seasons and products”. What is Oldani’s view of the future? “A community of chefs who speak to each other, who share experiences and appreciate each other because they believe in a clear and strong territorial identity”. A first sample of this was seen in the past few months thanks to the Year of Italian culture in the United States. “In 2013 there was an intense activity of presentations of Italian excellences in the United States, both in the field of art and music”, underlined Rosanna Binacchi. “These were sided by great chefs, with the objective of enriching the presentation of our culture”.

SMILING CHEFS. Fulvio Pierangelini and Carlo Cracco

SMILING CHEFS. Fulvio Pierangelini and Carlo Cracco

“Why don’t we unite our artistic heritage with high quality food products?”, was the provocation of Oscar Farinetti. How can we do so? “Let’s remove the paintings of our great artists from the cellars and show them in the restaurants of the best Italian chefs. Then we cab publish a book and we spread it around the world to attract foreigners to Italy”. Davide Rampello is also convinced that food is culture, metaphorically speaking and in practice too. “The leitmotiv of this morning’s talks is the concept of culture. In fact, it is on this same aspect that we are structuring Expo 2015. I believe high quality cuisine should become a cultural agency: with their businesses, restaurateurs support other activities, including the landscape, the fruit of the intervention of men cultivating the land and breeding their animals”.

GREAT PIEDMONT. Davide Scabin (in the photo) and Enrico Crippa

GREAT PIEDMONT. Davide Scabin (in the photo) and Enrico Crippa

“Whoever wants to join this conversation can do so with a tweet, using the hashtag #futurocucinaitaliana”, concluded Clément Vachon. He then opened the door of the Sala delle Otto Colonne (the room of the Eight Columns) for a lunch based on Italian gastronomic specialties organised by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants with the support of Lavazza, Vueve Clicquot, Diners Club, Restaurant Magazine. And to celebrate ten years of Italian excellence, came the representatives of Cracco, Dal Pescatore, Combal Zero, Osteria Francescana, Piazza Duomo, Quattro Passi, Checchino dal 1887, Gambero Rosso, Alle Testiere e Le Calandre.


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