via Lame, 248
Trebbo di Reno (Bologna)
International cuisine is increasingly craving for fish (Remember Ferran Adrià’s 23 points? Well, read number 4 again). However, something doesn’t add up. To understand this, you just need to visit the Eurofishmarket website, a quarterly directed by Valentina Tepedino, a preeminent consultant in the fishing industry. Here you can read which single fillet is real, and which one is a fake – as if it were a monthly gossip magazine. Thing is, it’s increasingly difficult to distinguish fresh from defrosted fish, wild quality from cultivated, a precious species from a cheaper one, let alone unmentioned additives. In other words, even chefs and gourmets seem to need a lot of consultancy to understand if the fish is genuine or not.
Mother of a beautiful boy called Indro (a homage to Montanelli), Valentina lives in Trebbo di Reno, a few kilometres from Bologna, even though she was born in Milan. Her curriculum is that of a first rate technician: a graduate in Veterinarian Medicine at the University of Milan, she specialised in breeding, hygiene and diseases of aquatic species and in Veterinarian law and legislation. «I chose my faculty with the only objective of becoming a food inspector and defend consumers, because I love food», she says. «My passion for fish only arrived at the end, because I knew nothing about this sector (in my family we hardly ever ate fish); but during the first lesson I was captivated and began to hang around the market in Milan almost every night... a fascinating world and most of all an unlimited source of motivation to do more, because information in this sector is extremely incomplete. And as I enjoy challenges, I thought this would be the right path to take».
Today Valentina is an inspector, a journalist, a lecturer at various universities and the director of Aquatilia, a nonprofit organization with the objective of valorising products, protecting consumers and the environment. Her encounter with the restaurant industry was a love one, thanks to her relationship with Marcello Leoni from Leoni in Bologna, with whom she takes care of supervising fish products. «I offer chefs a consultancy on how to be sure to buy the fish they want, defending them from commercial fraud. I have fun when my husband and I give lessons together at the university in Colorno, or during Slow Food dinners, when I show various examples of market frauds while he’s next to me, preparing a fish and its “lookalike”, for instance, and then making people appreciate the difference».
Umbra di Perugia con residenza a Bologna, è giornalista e scrittrice di cucina. Tra i numeri volumi tradotti e curati, spicca "6, autoritratto della Cucina Italiana d’Avanguardia" per Cucina & Vini
Please fill in the fields below to search our Protagonists' database.