The roads of mozzarella
Interview with Luciano Pignataro: combining fusion cuisine with social integration
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».