#BestGreen at Identità Milano / 1

Lisa Casali and the most interesting ideas on sustainable nutrition at the 2015 congress

This photo of Massimo Bottura is now a “classic

This photo of Massimo Bottura is now a “classic”: on the stage of Identità Milano 2015 he spoke about recycling culture and the fight against waste. With this article in two episodes, we retrace some of the most significant “green” moments in the Congress dedicated to a "healthy intelligence"

Is Milan only about fashion and design? Do people in Milan only speak about sustainable nutrition because of the approaching Expo? Those who, like me, live in this city and participate in the Identità Golose Congress since its early editions know that both statements are false. Vegetal food and food with a low environmental impact is, indeed, increasingly central both in the culinary offer of our territory, which year after year sees more and more chefs offering menus that pay attention to these themes, and in international events, already before the one coming up in 2015.

For 5 years Identità Golose has presented a day entirely dedicated to Identità Naturali, the so called natural identities, and it is starting from this stage, which I’m lucky enough to animate, that I have collected the ideas that during the entire event emerged on sustainable cooking. I’ve chosen three green topics to tell you what I liked the most: from fighting waste to vegetal and sustainable cuisine, to the maximum valorisation of local products, including the most unknown and difficult.

Recycling and fighting waste
The masterful and unforgettable speech given by Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena) who literally brought on the stage a bin full of waste to tell about his recycling philosophy, so ancient yet so contemporary. Stale bread became a “Bread and milk soup” pudding, he created an ice cream with the skins of the blackened bananas and a cider with their fermented pulp. Sharing his intent, I can only wish for his speech to influence as many people as possible and be virally contagious with the rest of the restaurant scene.

Roberto Flore’s lesson at Identità Estreme was a source of very interesting discoveries

Roberto Flore’s lesson at Identità Estreme was a source of very interesting discoveries

Even Roberto Flore’s research (he’s the Head Chef at the Nordic Food Lab), follows the theme of recycling, in less direct ways but with extremely interesting potential benefits for the environment. Roberto is a scientist-chef, working on retracing the boundaries between what’s edible and what’s not. The goal of his work at the Nordic Food Lab is first of all to promote diversity in taste, especially through products that are usually considered as waste, such as offal, fish by-products and other food that usually does not end up on our table but becomes waste. The studies the Nordic Food Lab is conducting on the use of insects in the kitchen, not only as a source of sustainable proteins but of flavour too, also deserve mentioning.

In a more subtle way, the philosophy of recycling as well as the valorisation of every part of a food, including the less noble ones, was also covered by Antonia Klugmann who chose the knees as the cut of meat for her dish – they are rich in marrow and nerves, from which one can also obtain broth and demi-glace. Paolo LoPriore’s Cassoela followed the same theme, because it recuperates ancient cooking techniques but with an innovative approach. All the cuts of meat used are scraps with an almost inexistent commercial value, as with pig’s ears, nose and feet. The Cassoela is served “broken down”, so that guests can have a real sharing experience at the table, a ritual celebrating pork and a dish full of history and tradition such as this.

Lisa Casali on the stage of Identità Naturali, here with Loretta Fanella

Lisa Casali on the stage of Identità Naturali, here with Loretta Fanella

A special mention also goes to the powdered prawn heads made by Carlo Cracco (Cracco, Milano) for one of his dishes in which prawns are valorised to the fullest, or the anti-waste chips made by Daniel Burns (Luksus, NY), almost a business card of his restaurant-beer bar in New York.

Alessandro Negrini and Fabio Pisani (Aimo e Nadia, Milan) have also always stood out both for a real sensitivity towards waste and for their educational commitment to make people sensitive to this theme, as demonstrated by this fun video they created: Spaghetti with garbage in which, of course, “garbage” is not to be considered literally, but as “ingredients” that need to be enhanced in the kitchen.

1 - to be continued



Tecniche, ingredienti e iniziative della ristorazione attenta all'ambiente e agli ideali di Expo 2015, viste da Lisa Casali


Earth Day 2016