Coin, snap-shots from a journey

A series of events dedicated to the palate ended in Milan. A photo gallery with the best moments

08-11-2016

A shot from the meeting last Friday at Coin - Spazio Cargo Etc. in Piazza Cinque Giornate in Milan, with chef Cesare Battisti and professor Severino Salvemini. The "Storie di gusto e di passione" series organised in collaboration with Identità Golose involved six more cities: Bari, Bergamo, Catania, Naples, Rome, Treviso. In the following piece we publish a photo gallery with participants, dishes and the best moments in these 7 events

Photogallery

BARI. A curious audience in the Coin store in Via Noicattaro, inside shopping centre Casamassima
BARI. The speakers with Paolo Marchi were Felice Sgarra (in the photo), chef at restaurant Umami in Andria and Vincenzo Del Monaco of Bottega del Monaco in Grottagle (Taranto)
BARI. Felice Sgarra cooked a Cream of black chickpeas from Murgia with red prawn from Gallipoli and raspberry
BERGAMO. Three pillars from the Cerea family spoke at Coin: next to Paolo Marchi, there’s signora Bruna and her children Rossella and Chicco

4th November, Coin in Piazza Cinque Giornate in Milan. This was the last of seven events within the “Storie di gusto e di passione” series which Identità Golose conceived together with the famous clothing and accessories retail chain, founded by Vittorio Coin almost a century ago (here’s a nice summary of the group’s history).

Last Friday, on the -1 floor at Spazio Cargo etc., just like with the events in Bari, Bergamo, Catania, Naples, Rome and Treviso (see the photo gallery to the right), there were three people taking part in the debate (the room was full, with many people standing): Paolo Marchi, founder of Identità, Cesare Battisti, chef at Ratanà in Milan and economist Severino Salvemini, professor of business organization at Bocconi university.

The topic was “kitchen and creativity” and the place couldn’t have been more suitable, surrounded as it is by large signs on the walls with words like creativity, courage, fantasy, heart… After the welcome given by Alessandro Massa, sales director at CoinMarchi opened the debate: «Today we wonder why Milan loves creativity and innovation so much, both in the kitchen and in everyday life. Our town has never identified itself with its excellences, it doesn’t take them for eternal and unquestionable. So much so it’s easier to find sushi than good risotto alla milanese».

Paolo Marchi, Cesare Battisti and Severino Salvemini

Paolo MarchiCesare Battisti and Severino Salvemini

Speaking of risotto, Battisti meanwhile started to prepare a large pot with a tasting for 250 people «It’s Risotto with pumpkin from Mantua, with earth of olives and 'nduja. The idea was: how to enrich the sweet taste of pumpkins? With the spiciness of ‘nduja, which we dehydrated like the black olives. We call it ‘earth of olives’ because the jars we have at Ratanà look exactly like earth».

The topic of the meeting was fully investigated by Salvemini: «Milan’s rate of innovation is real and measured by statistics and analyses. Sociologists of the territory affirm that creativity is the sum of three variables: orientation to technology, talent and tolerance. The more tolerant a town is, the more it is open to crossbreeding. And Milan is traditionally a hospitable city, as we can see from volunteering and non-profit projects».

There’s also another aspect in which Milan has always championed: interdisciplinary dialogue: «If we put aside a short period of obscurantism in the Seventies, and the Milano da bere period the following decade, great writers, musicians, artists and playwrights have always discussed their respective topics. Think of those at Bar Giamaica in Brera in the Sixties: you might have seen QuasimodoMontaleBianciardiAlbiniBob Krieger, journalist BuzzatiCastellaniCampigli all at the same table... The Rai headquarters had just been opened. And Piccolo Teatro was starting to feed the establishment, to build the spirit of a moral capital».

The Risotto with pumpkin from Mantua, earth of olives and 'nduja prepared last Friday at Coin by Cesare Battisti, chef at Ratanà in Milan

The Risotto with pumpkin from Mantua, earth of olives and 'nduja prepared last Friday at Coin by Cesare Battisti, chef at Ratanà in Milan

Now chefs also sit with the maître à penser, accepted from the kitchen thanks to the media. «Attention though», admonishes Salvemini «the image we get from TV these days distorts reality: restaurants are not the fruit of a one-man-band but an entrepreneurial activity. Creativity is nothing if the numbers don’t add up».

Battisti confirms: «Being creative in the kitchen is fine but our profession has turned into a show while it should prioritise on conveying culture, a container of popular richness than needs to be kept awaken. Everyone wants to be like Cracco and Cannavacciuolo, but few know these chefs worked hard for decades before they got famous. Those who approach this profession should take on a social responsibility: conveying an intergenerational knowledge, which was once handed to mothers and grandmothers».

While the audience happily tastes his risotto, the atmosphere becomes light. With interesting and fun anecdotes. Battisti: «In my house there’s always plenty of knives and containers of all sorts. And I have a weak point in the kitchen: I don’t know how to handle cloves». Salvemini: «As a young man I ate terribly because I had no culture: today many of my students prepare real delicacies at home». Marchi: «Today people meet around a table in a café but they don’t speak: they turn on a computer». Anecdotes that certify the format works perfectly.


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Reviews, recommendations and trends from Italy, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose


Photogallery

BARI. A curious audience in the Coin store in Via Noicattaro, inside shopping centre Casamassima
BARI. The speakers with Paolo Marchi were Felice Sgarra (in the photo), chef at restaurant Umami in Andria and Vincenzo Del Monaco of Bottega del Monaco in Grottagle (Taranto)
BARI. Felice Sgarra cooked a Cream of black chickpeas from Murgia with red prawn from Gallipoli and raspberry
BERGAMO. Three pillars from the Cerea family spoke at Coin: next to Paolo Marchi, there’s signora Bruna and her children Rossella and Chicco
BERGAMO. Chicco Cerea prepared a...
BERGAMO. ...Chestnut polenta with spicy tomato and pecorino
CATANIA. In Catania, the event took place on the third floor of Spazio Cargo Etc. inside Coin in Via Etnea 116/124 with Corrado Assenza of Caffè Sicilia in Noto, Paolo Marchi and Bianca Celano of restaurant QQucina in Catania
CATANIA. Bianca Celano
Grilled octopus on emulsion of hazelnuts from Etna, beetroot gnocchetti with Mielarò, wild fennel and sea urchin sauce by Bianca Celano
CATANIA. Corrado Assenza, Bianca Celano and Paolo Marchi
NAPLES. This was the dish presented at Coin Napoli on the 4th floor of Spazio Cargo Etc., in Via Scarlatti 90/98. It’s a soup with eight beans, sconcigli and porcini by Marianna Vitale of restaurant Sud in Quarto (Naples)
NAPLES. With Marianna Vitale and Paolo Marchi – in the middle – there’s Elisabetta Moro (second to the right), professor of Cultural Anthropology and co-director at Medeat Research, the Centre for Social Researches on the Mediterranean Diet at Università degli studi Suor Orsola in Naples