Identità 2017 will be a record edition

96 lessons in Milan, in March, 12 of which dedicated to the New Italian Cuisine. Starting on a Saturday, an important change

20-12-2016
Prawn cocktail with late radicchio by Enrico Cripp

Prawn cocktail with late radicchio by Enrico Crippa is the dish representing the 13th edition of Identità Golose, scheduled in Milan, from Saturday 4th to Monday 6th March

Online! Yesterday, Tuesday 20th December we published the programme of Identità Milano 2017, 13th edition, from the 4th to the 6th March. With a big change: the congress will start on Saturday, a first, and no longer on Sunday. It will end on Monday night. A long weekend with an attached extraordinary Monday, with lessons, meetings and tastings.Saturday is quite an unusual day to start an event such as this. It’s always been thought and said that there’s no day when chefs work and earn as much as on Saturdays. That you won’t get them out of their kitchen. It’s true, but things, this decade, are different compared to when gourmet congresses were born, first in Spain, San Sebastian (late Nineties) and Madrid, and then our congress in Milan in January 2005 and Paris with Omnivore, which debuted in the winter of 2006, and gradually everywhere as good ideas are contagious. Still, everyone was always started on Sundays.

The selfie-mania has infected Enrico Crippa too

The selfie-mania has infected Enrico Crippa too

With the team at Identità we wanted to break this custom. After all, we said, we must find topics and people who are less tied to the Saturday night packed restaurant. We basically anticipated Dossier Dessert from the third day, on Tuesday, to Saturday, adding the event dedicated to ice creams (surely March is not high season for ice cream cones and cups), the one dedicated to cheese and Identità Naturali. A total of 31 lessons plus the tribute to Iginio Massari of Pasticceria Veneto in Brescia, the father of Italian pastry making.

On Sunday there will be as many as 34 lectures, a first, as well as the total number of events, 96. How strange to think that on the very first year, 2005, there were 18 lectures over two days. In two months and a half we’ll have ten conferences in the Auditorium and nine in Sala Blu one, with Identità di Pasta, as well as three in Sala Gialla, the same on Saturday and Sunday, dedicated to Champagne. In Sala Blu two we’ll analyse a topic that has always characterised Identità but which we’re now going to emphasises with a different space and light: the New Italian Cuisine, made by chefs who are a little above or below the 30-year old threshold and stand out thanks to their intelligence and brightness, taking on the route of 50-year old masters such as Bottura and Cracco, Alajmo (now 40, he was already great at 18) and Crippa, Cedroni and Uliassi, Beck and Sultano.

Carlo Cracco in the backstage of the Auditorium at Identità Milano 2016. This coming March, Cracco will hold a lesson in each day of the congress: his natural vision on Saturday, Identità di Pasta on Sunday and Il Viaggio [The Journey] on Monday

Carlo Cracco in the backstage of the Auditorium at Identità Milano 2016. This coming March, Cracco will hold a lesson in each day of the congress: his natural vision on Saturday, Identità di Pasta on Sunday and Il Viaggio [The Journey] on Monday

On the Sunday of the young lions 12 stories will be told, no more than half an hour each, regardless if it’s a single chef or a couple of brothers (Pellegrino from Lecce, Spadone from Civitella Casanova in Abruzzo and Torsiello from Valva, Salerno). Twelve lessons, but they could have been more because it’s not a question of making a list, but of highlighting different paths and vocations, giving practical examples to those who are little over 20 and want to understand what’s best to do. There will be the children of starred chefs, Fabrizio Mellino of Quattro Passi in Nerano (Naples) for instance, or children who soon got emancipated from their parents, such as Luca Abbruzzino in Catanzaro. And then again an apprentice abroad, like Riccardo Canella who’s in his twenties and has been at Renè Redzepi’s Noma for a few years now, and a graduate who at 28 heard her vocation for pots and pans and changed her future completely: Marta Scalabrini from Reggio Emilia.

 

Corrado Assenza from Caffè Sicilia in Noto, Siracusa. The Sicilian pastry chef will participate in Identità 2017 as well. With a lesson on Saturday 4th March

Corrado Assenza from Caffè Sicilia in Noto, Siracusa. The Sicilian pastry chef will participate in Identità 2017 as well. With a lesson on Saturday 4th March

Final day on Monday: Cracco and Romito, Bottura and Bartolini in the Auditorium, pizza in one of the blue rooms, sea and mountains in the other. Sarah Minnick, pizza (and ice cream) chef from Portland, Oregon, will give her second lesson after the one with Franco Pepe on Sunday. Everyone will follow the theme of the journey as a synonym for freedom, which has strongly been threatened as I wrote in the presentation: «Freedom of thought is essential, like the freedom to move, travel, a gift that is now severely questioned by the events of this decade, by the widespread intolerance, by wars and terrorism, by the ever lower desire to understand others, exasperated and horrified by the crazy violence that almost every time affects the population.

«Choosing TheJourney as the theme for Identità Milano 2017 serves to reaffirm that all that we eat, as soon as we leave the slavery of poverty that forces us to put into the stomach what’s available, is the result of journeys. Everything travels, this has always been the case: men travel, products travel, ideas travel».