Cooking is art, commitment, culture … but I disagree with Alessandro Borghese. Peruvian chef Michele Radicchia speaks.
Born in 1980, he claims to have put his legs in the kitchen for the first time back in 1997. In short: A young man who has been working in the sector for a quarter of a century.
He starts: “In my beginning, the work was definitely different than today. Professional chefs, restaurant staff, chefs and the kitchen brigade had a completely different approach to today’s modus operandi ”.
Too much improvisation. “Unfortunately, also thanks to the liberalization and the job crisis, we have had a sharp devaluation of the work in the restaurant industry, and reached the current violent improvisation in the culinary environments”.
What was lost? Taste and knowledge?
“The common thread of traditions is clearly broken. The knowledge, the study, the ancient basic tastes and the taste of the art of structured law have been lost (at least not the false social decorations) “.
The damage of low cost. “One of the problems is also represented by low-cost, ethnic cuisines, which have now invaded the market saturated with Chinese sushi, and decentralize the hinterland towards an unconscious, fashionable, cultural vacuum and also with low health benefits.”
What’s wrong with ethnic cuisine? “I certainly do not want to point the finger at the categories of ethnic cuisine. In fact, if it is well done and with impeccable craftsmanship, it has a higher price than you think “.
The quality? “Let’s think carefully about the low cost of a dinner, let’s ask ourselves what product we eat. In the long run, the mediocrity of raw materials can have negative consequences for our physical and mental health. “
Are reality shows good or bad for the category? Culinary reality shows certainly do not help (I can guarantee you, after being a part of the script / fiction) with their “relaxed” approach in the thinking of the average user who reinvents himself as a food blogger who improvises himself as a social platform reviewer. And it is here that true restaurant staff can never afford a false step (as if we were robots), as any service can be a source of judgment and prejudice from an inadequately prepared public.
What are the reasons for your disagreement with Chef Alessandro Borghese’s statements?
“Unfortunately, despite the fact that he considers him an excellent professional, I have to disagree with some expressions of his mindset, which are widely reflected on social media and mass media.”
Do you mean by his statement that apprenticeships should be free?
“Those who work, those who learn, must be paid, because that is right. Depending on the level of experience, of course. And it is not certain that for a good return you will have to stay in the kitchen 15 hours a day. Let’s face it: the opposite is true ”.
What is your experience in this regard?
“I was a tough guy in 1997 and no one has ever demanded that I do it for free and without rights. On the contrary: wages were far higher than today. There was no performance stress, precisely for the above reasons “.
Young people and citizenship income, what do you think?
“I agree with those who claim that citizenship income is a problem: it is partly true. It happens all the time that today’s twenty-year-olds prefer not to work or ask for illegal work and continue to receive that income.”
Who’s fault is it?
“Because many in the last ten years have been treated, in fact without respect and with a ridiculous and humiliating retaliation. Just like chef Borghese claims and also other famous colleagues and patrons in the restaurant business. That is why I feel I can defend young people and their rights ”.
Professionalism is needed … which must be well compensated.
“Today, the claims are certainly different; market saturation is the main character and we live in a world with too much ‘smoke’. So we need to be more professional and pass on a kitchen that we have always been the worlds flagship for. The passion and the study must be rewarded, first and foremost by the customer’s conscience and knowledge, and then by those in charge of the restaurant. “