Born in Parma in 1963, Andrea Grignaffini is one of the most experienced critics and gastronomists of our days. This is thanks to two talents it’s usually hard to find in the same person: the palate of a foreseer (according to Richard Geoffroy, chef de cave at Dom Pérignon, he simply has «the best palate in the world») and a profound culture. Two achievements that are as important as the third one, the fact he’s anti-social: you’ll never see his name on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Maybe only on Pinterest, the most discreet network of all. Yet while Gnaffo – the nickname his colleagues use – is virtually anti-social, food always offers an excellent source of inspiration for his fun anecdotes, the result of a strong propensity to humour and the surreal.
Grignaffini, however, does nourish his talents: he’s the first to admit that in order to do this job, you don’t need to be blessed with taste, but to follow your curiosity and use a critical spirit. He has both, since he was a child, when he’d raise a paddle at an animal show or when visiting a nativity scene with his parish church.
Soon after graduating in Law, in 1988 he starts writing about football – his other love – for "Gazzetta di Parma" and a couple of years later he meets a person who changed his life: Luigi Veronelli, the maestro of Italian wine and food critics. He starts writing for "Etichetta" and soon runs "Cose buone di Veronelli", a yearly publication that analyses the best Italian products. «I owe him a lot», he says today, «he immediately threw me into the First League of gastronomy, leaving me totally free to express myself and teaching me the value of humanity behind every technicality. Lessons I try never to forget».
In 1998 there was another important turning point: with Luigi Cremona, Paolo Marchi, Alessandro Masnaghetti and Andrea Vincenzi he launches “Torpedo”, a magazine dedicated to cigar culture. «It cost me a car», he recalls, but that’s when he starts building the networking and competences he still has these days. At the beginning of the millennium, the magazine becomes an insert of “Monsieur” (now "Arbiter"). It’s the beginning of a fortunate still-ongoing professional liaison with publisher Franz Botrè: Grignaffini is the creative director at “Spirito Divino”, a magazine he leads to become an authoritative and cult publication in the wine industry.
He has countless roles today: among others, he teaches enogastronomy and is a member of the scientific committee at Alma in Colorno (Parma), the curator of the Guida ai vini and vice-curator of the Guida ai ristoranti published Gruppo Espresso; curator of Biwa, the Best Italian Wine Awards. He’s also written many books (the latest, "Il vignaiolo universale. La cultura nel bicchiere", 2018, Marsilio) and has received many awards. The most prestigious of which is the Prix du Sommelier, from the Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie, an organization that rewards the best chefs, critics and professors in France and internationally.
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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Paolo Marchi and Claudio Ceroni in the middle of Teatro Manzoni's stage in Milano for the presentation of the first edition of Bollicine del Mondo, the free app that presents 500 wineries and as many labels selected on an international scale. The presentation was directed by Filippo Bartolotta, expert sommelier and wine coach, world renown wine communicator (all photos from OnStageStudio)
Filippo Bartolotta, Paolo Marchi and Cinzia Benzi at the presentation of the new guide Bollicine del mondo, last week at Teatro Manzoni in Milan