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From Adrià to Acurio

Over 10 years, the best chefs in the world have come to Milan. This year is no exception

Peruvian Gastón Acurio during his lecture at Iden

Peruvian Gastón Acurio during his lecture at Identità Milano 2012. The patron-chef of Astrid y Gastón in Lima (and of dozens of other establishments in Latin America and Europe) returns with an awaited lecture on Monday February 10th at 2.30 pm

All the greatest chefs that have dropped by at Identità Golose over these ten years, from Ferran Adrià to René Redzepi, from Andoni Luis Aduriz to Wylie Dufresne, from Pascal Barbot to the Roca brothers and then the Troisgros, Colagreco, Blumenthal, Atala, the Arzak, Aizpitarte, Ducasse with Franck Cerutti, Patterson, Alvin Leung, Magnus Nillsson, Narisawa, Daniel Humm and many more. This is a sort of trip around the world of creative cuisine that, step by step, has accompanied the parallel growth of the Italian ambassadors, which has understandably become more and more central, within the congress.

Identità Milano 2014 thus lines up a dozen of prestigious international speakers, about half of whom are debuting this year: three for Identità di Sala, Identità in the Dining Room (Jeff Katz of Del Posto in New York, Julia Scavo of L'Âne Rouge in Nice and Bruno Scavo of Monte Carlo’s Société des bains de mer in Monaco), as many in the kitchen, that is to say Yoshiaki Takazawa (of the homonymous Japanese-French fusion restaurant in Tokyo, ten clients at most per time) and the duo formed by Jeremy Bearman and Kristy Del Coro of Rouge Tomate in New York – for them, a double task, first at Identità Naturali and then on the stage of the Auditorium hall.

Yoshiaki Takazawa, Jap-French fusion in Tokyo (photo by livingasif)

Yoshiaki Takazawa, Jap-French fusion in Tokyo (photo by livingasif)

A long known couple returns to IG: Iberian approach and fourth participation. Quique Dacosta will speak twice: first in the Auditorium hall, then at Identità d’Acqua, with an awaited lecture on cooking in sea water. He was among the magnificent international chefs (among whom were also Adrià, Fau, Aduriz and Dufresne) who debuted during the first edition, in 2005. Since then his restaurant in Denia has grown, has changed name, obtained the third star and has affirmed itself as a classic of contemporary avantgarde.

Honours also need to be fully celebrated for Josean Alija, of Nerua in Bilbao, considered by many (including the author of this piece) even too underrated: not by the Identità Golose guide, however, which nominated him as “Best foreign chef” already in 2010, when his naturaleza also charmed the audience of the congress, just like he had done the previous year, with a cult dish such as Lacquered aubergine with liquorish, and would repeat the following year (with his famous Tomates en salsa), in a trio worthy of a standing ovation. This time his speech is scheduled within Identità di Pasta.

Jean-François Piège, the most modern chef with a classic training (

Jean-François Piège, the most modern chef with a classic training (

Together with Alija and Dacosta, 2009 saw the speech of a third “big” who will return this year: Jean-François Piège, of the homonymous Parisian restaurant, considered the most modern chef with a classic training, to quote Enzo Vizzari for IG. At the time, he told us about tradition permissive, that is to say a sort of bohème of classics, necessary, for instance, to re-interpret the preparation of a nevertheless sumptuous Bresse chicken. Not distant from Piège, though only from a geographical point of view – we will also see, once again, Belgian Kobe Desramaults (In De Wulf in Heuvelland), who last year was already one of the protagonists among the team of great Flemish promises and this year is the “Best foreign chef” according to our guide.

For the last three guests, we need to move much further East and West. In the first case we will bump into Yasuhiro Sasajima: in Kyoto he runs a restaurant whose name, Il Ghiottone, unveils a clear Italian influence, and in fact his cuisine was defined as “Italian fusion”, using Japanese raw materials and techniques. In Milan in 2007 he impressed the palates by exhibiting a conger skewer, a fish similar to eel, and confessed: «I brought it in my suitcase».

Rodrigo Oliveira, talento paulista (

Rodrigo Oliveira, talento paulista (

From the New World, instead, come Rodrigo Oliveira, of Mocotò in Sao Paolo, and Gastón Acurio, of Astrid y Gastón in Lima: we’ve seen both of them on the same stage two years ago, a testimony that the growth of South American cuisine was caught in advance by Paolo Marchi’s sensitive feelers.

Primo piano

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Carlo Passera

journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief

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