The roads of moz­zarella

Interview with Lu­ciano Pig­nataro: com­bin­ing fu­sion cui­sine with so­cial in­te­gra­tion

Where Naples Coast & Islands - - DINING -

The most im­por­tant event in April was the ninth edi­tion of the in­ter­na­tional congress of haute cui­sine en­ti­tled ‘Le strade della moz­zarella’. For two days, at the Savoy Beach Ho­tel in Paes­tum, chefs from all over Europe of­fered au­di­ences their per­sonal in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Italy’s most renowned sig­na­ture prod­ucts, in­clud­ing buf­falo moz­zarella, Grag­nano Pasta and ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. The theme of the event was ‘fu­sion’, with a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis on cul­tural fu­sion be­cause, as con­firmed by the or­ga­niz­ers “us­ing raw ma­te­ri­als while re­spect­ing their qual­ity and think­ing out of the box means en­rich­ing the the whole world’s gas­tro­nomic cul­ture”. We talked about this and other is­sues with Lu­ciano Pig­nataro, a jour­nal­ist for Il Mat­tino who, for years, has worked as the news­pa­per’s food and wine colum­nist.

How im­por­tant is fu­sion in cui­sine?

«Fu­sion is essen­tial to both life and cui­sine. Nowa­days, peo­ple think that prob­lems, in­clud­ing so­cial prob­lems, can be re­solved with­out ei­ther in­volv­ing oth­ers or get­ting their hands dirty while, in fact, it the ex­act op­po­site”.

Lsdm 2016 adopted the quotation by An­thelme Bril­lat-Savarin: “The dis­cov­ery of a new dish does more for hu­man hap­pi­ness than the dis­cov­ery of a new star”. What’s your opin­ion?

it passes muster. Who knows, at some point we might dis­cover that life ex­ists on other plan­ets (Editor’s note: he laughs). How­ever, it’s true: cre­at­ing a new dish has an im­por­tant, sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on each of our lives”.

What is the plus point of an event like Lsdm?

«Con­ven­tions at which ideas are cir­cu­lated are im­por­tant. They serve as an op­por­tu­nity to give life to new for­mu­lae and new ap­pli­ca­tions. It’s a lit­tle like For­mula 1. Although it doesn’t in­ter­est ev­ery­one, it serves as a means of demon­strat­ing new dis­cov­er­ies in the au­to­mo­tive world”.

What was your most sig­nif­i­cant ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the two days of Lsdm?

«Prob­a­bly the one with Gert De Man­geleer, the youngest, three-starred Bel­gian chef in the world who pre­pared an un­usual dish con­sist­ing of a com­bi­na­tion of moz­zarella, wa­ter­melon and caviar, and an el­e­gant dessert made from buf­falo ri­cotta and yuzu. We chose him be­cause he came from Bel­gium, a coun­try that has nu­mer­ous prob­lems in terms of in­te­gra­tion and ter­ror­ism. We saw our choice as a mes­sage of open­ness and sol­i­dar­ity».

Lu­ciano Pig­nataro

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