The cuisine of northern Europe
The cuisine of Magnus Nilsson: where nature dictates the menu. A cuisine open to innovation and global influences, but firmly rooted in its region, in this case the Jämtland area: these are the strengths of Magnus Nilsson, a new face in Swedish cuisine, often associated to the generation of young chefs that international critics call the Nordic wave. Magnus’s cooking relies on an extremely tight relationship with nature and local products: game and fish, but also berries, lichens and whatever the Fäviken Magasinet vegetable garden offers. At this restaurant, hidden among the woods of northern Sweden, the menu is not freely chosen: dishes are prepared according to seasonality and shaped following the chef’s imagination. “We exploit our knowledge and experience to maximize the potentials of each product before choosing what to use. We do not follow fashionable trends. We serve what we want, and when we want”. Magnus Nilsson: profoundly Jämtland – Theater of Taste, Monday October 29 at 01:00 pm.
Here come the young!
Apparent simplicity: the cuisine of Lorenzo Cogo. “High cuisine does not exist”: this is the starting point of the culinary adventure of young Lorenzo Cogo. Following this idea, and after travelling the world, he finally landed at his El Coq in Marano Vicentino (Veneto, Italy). His provocative statement hides a very clear view, which puts quality above anything else. “It does not exist simply because cooking cannot be categorized into levels. Those who cook with a few, extremely high quality ingredients can fairly say they have a high cuisine restaurant”. The true heart of Lorenzo’s cooking – in addition to the great care for ingredients – is the human side. “In this job, it’s people who make the difference: from the owner to the entire team. The determination and awareness to offer a unique product are essential. And the search for one’s own identity should never be overlooked. This is what allows every great chef to stand out”. The identity of the new, young, Italian cuisine will be showcased at a dinner cooked by four emerging chefs: Lorenzo Cogo, Damiano Donati, Iuri Chiotti and Enrico Panero. Four young Italians – Dinner Date, Sunday October 29 at 08:30 pm, Gruppo Abele, Fabbrica delle “e”, Corso Trapani 91B, Turin.
Exotic South America
Beto Pimentel, a journey through the fruits of Brazil. Achachairu, umbù, licurì, biri biri: these are only a few of the fruits that Beto Pimentel uses at his restaurant Paraìso Tropical in the heart of Salvador de Bahia. Here the Brazilian chef, who boasts an education as an agronomist, works on a project to promote typical local fruit varieties with a 60 ha. orchard and over 6,000 indigenous fruit trees. Each of these varieties becomes a precious ingredient in the hands of Beto, who has fully embraced the principles of good, clean and fair. “Slow Food, if taken seriously, can change and save the world”. And Beto plays his part, using his creativity to continuously find new ways to show the riches of his region to Brazilians and the rest of the world, and helping local small-scale producers to grow local products. “If we are not the first to value our food, who will?” Que maravilha, quanta fruta hoje – Theater of Taste. Thursday October 25 at 07:00 pm.
Gaston Acurio: the flag of biodiversity. “Turning biodiversity into a flag, looking at cultural diversity as a resource, exploring new approaches where the language of dishes goes beyond tastes and includes the history behind them… this is what makes us unique in the world”. These are the words of Gaston Acurio, one of the most famous cooks in Latin America, certainly the first in Peru. His cooking is based on the experience gathered working side by side with Ferran Adrià, but also on a social mission. he wants to relaunch Peru, starting from cooking – already one of the strengths of the country, thanks also to the extraordinary resources offered by its land. A key element of Gaston’s cuisine is the total immersion of the customer in the environment of the restaurant and in the atmosphere which surrounds each dish – from tastes to smells and service itself. “The goal is not the dish, but the experience. We are successful when customers come back. We want a long-standing relationship”. Terra Madre network: Europe meets Latin America – Dinner Date, Sunday October 28 at 08:30 pm, Hotel Golden Palace – Winner Restaurant, Via dell’Arcivescovado 18, Turin.
Terra Madre in the kitchen
The couscous of Sid Alì Lahou and Marilù Terrasi. Much more than a dish of Berber culture, couscous has crossed borders following people and trade flows and taken on unique features and local influences. The trip of this dish from Algeria to Sicily is the topic of a unique Taste Workshop with chef Sid Alì Lahou and cook Marilù Terrasi. Sid is currently the leader of a cooperative which produces up to 3 tons of semolina each day for 14 different types of couscous. For him, participating in Slow Food initiatives has been an opportunity to promote a food model based on organic and artisanal productions, but also to get in contact with other producers in the world. “It is always exciting to find out that, all over the world, there are passionate people who work hard every day to defend a certain type of food. In Algeria I felt on my own, but then I found out there are extraordinary initiatives in all countries”. On the other side of the Mediterranean, Marilù serves her couscous accompanied by traditional ballads and songs. One of the most important secrets of this dish is slowness, as Marilù likes reminding her guests: “Couscous is a celebration of waiting. It takes patience, time, and calmness”. Terra Madre Network: Algeria and Sicily cous to cous – Taste Workshop, Monday October 29 at 02:30 pm 14,30.
Altin Prenga: cooking, poetry and tradition. “Albanian cooking is everything but simple”. This is the starting point to understand Altin Prenga, who combines essentiality and creativity at his Mrizi i Zanave restaurant (literally, the shadow of fairies, the title of a work by Albanian poet Gjergj Fishta). The memories of Altin’s childhood are linked to life under the communist regime, with no variety of products and no possibility to choose. The turning point happens when he is twenty. He then lived in Italy and worked as a dishwasher at a starred restaurant in Trentino: “Maybe that’s where I fell in love with cooking and good wine”. Twelve years later, Altin went back to Albania and used the lessons learnt to promote the culinary tradition of his country, inspired by initiatives such as Slow Food. A hard battle in a country which is suffering the less virtuous aspects of globalization: “Today, Albanians crave for imported products, which are seen as more fashionable and tastier. Rural areas have been abandoned, and it takes all our effort to revert this trend”. Altin personally contributes to achieving this purpose involving all the local producers in his work. “My fellow townsmen and women are also my suppliers. Every morning, farmers queue in front of the restaurant with cream, egg, goat’s milk and whatever our land has to offer”. Terra Madre Network: Albania’s Riches – Taste Workshop, Saturday October 27 at 07:30 pm.
Read the interview with Benedict Reade, Head of Culinary Research and Development at the Nordic Food Lab and alumni of the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG).
Read the interview with Roberta Sudbrack, chef-patron of the homonymous Roberta Sudbrack restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Read the interview with Virgilio Martinez, chef-patron of the restaurant Central in Lima, Peru.
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