Life’s kitchen and catering “culture”.



But is cooking culture? “We believe that culture is an exercise of art, it is our being in the world: the relationship we create with ourselves and what is around us is the culture of life” answers Davide Rampello, artistic director and curator of the summit , which recently brought together 39 Italian masters of arts and crafts of food and wine and hospitality in Venice on the initiative of the Cologni and Alma Foundation, International School of Italian Cuisine. All in conjunction with ‘Homo Faber’, the international exhibition promoting artisan talent in Venice on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. “Today, the restaurant is a basic reference for culture, because it has remained one of the few meeting places, for coziness between men – emphasizes Rampello -. All this takes place at the table. We should therefore carefully reconsider the great social, cultural and economic function of those working in the catering world, as the kitchen, a place of refreshment, is the first spring, the first wish of those who arrive in Italy, the backbone of the whole country’s tourism economy ”.

Corrado Assenza, heir to the millennial Sicilian pastry tradition, is in no doubt. “In a patisserie, as well as in a kitchen, the value of craftsmanship and the craftsman’s knowledge are handed down daily.” Massimiliano Alajmo is the famous chef in the group of the same name based in Le Calandre in Padua, a 3-star Michelin restaurant for 20 years now. “The craftsmen,” he explains, “correspond to us in the palette of our ingredients; through their hands and their emotions they give light to their creations, and for us it is a unique opportunity to give visibility to these amazing people ». The Alajmo family project is always linked to sensuality: “at Calandre, we try to make our guests vibrate through contact with all that constitutes context and make people perceive. Calander’s tables themselves are sculptures that come from the same tree trunk ». Massimiliano testifies that craftsmanship expresses a feeling that is individual because – he points out – “there is no truth, but there are truths”. Homo Faber has attracted thousands of tourists of all ages, art lovers and lovers. Also numerous young and very young people ‘lost, or perhaps found’, as suggested by Alberto Cavalli, Director General of the Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte Foundation in Milan. The great masters watched curiously in the exhibition space of the Giorgio Cini Foundation.

“Dedicating time to young people, especially through the masters – Cavalli emphasizes – is fundamental, and we know that time is a scarce, costly resource.” More than 1,000 objects were displayed in the 15 exhibitions created by 22 curators, artisans and designers. “In reality, they were not objects, but goods,” emphasizes Cavalli. To date, ‘Mam’, masters of arts and crafts, counts an extraordinary group of over 200 great artisans in 23 categories, our ‘Living Treasures’, the initiators, the Cologni Foundation and Alma define them: from ceramics for jewelery, for wood and furniture, from metals to mechanics to mosaics, from leather goods to art prints to restoration, from theatrical professions to textiles, to the craft of taste and the art of hospitality.Eugenio Pol is a purist of bread and more, which he interprets as a ‘ cleansing and unifying product ‘.

Born in Milan, he moved to Valsesia, first as a chef in a village pub he bought for the price of a coffee machine and then as a baker in his current Vulaiga workshop. His bread is in demand and appreciated by the best chefs in the world. Bruno Barbon was born in Spresiano, in the province of Treviso, in 1939. In 1954, he began his apprenticeship in a local laboratory. In 1959 he opened his first workshop in Venice, in 1962 what is now his studio, where he specializes in carving and restoration, where he welcomes many young apprentices. Its production ranges from unique pieces designed by the customer, to copies and reproductions of old works. Lucia Lacognata, born in Ragusa in 1969, obtained the Sitam sartorial modeling diploma in 1985. In 1991, he started his business with the School of Cutting and Sewing, founded in Ragusa. In 2005, she became a member of the National Academy of Tailors. On the basis of the great experience and dexterity acquired through time, he creates in his studio ceremonial, wedding, evening dresses and personal embroideries of the highest level of craftsmanship; while the didactic activity in the school continues with success uninterrupted. Ezio Santin is one of the founders of the new Italian cuisine. At the Antica osteria del ponte in Cassinetta di Lugagnano (Mi), the chef and his wife Renata wrote some of the most beautiful aspects of Italian and international catering. He loves to define himself as a free hitter, has no codified education, no internships or courses, just a trip to France to get to know nouvelle cuisine up close, and an then unprecedented interest in the East, which he borrows unknown raw materials from. Fantastic cuisine and hospitality at the highest level. With the first Summit of the Masters of Food and Wine and Hospitality, the need arose for greater institutional recognition of ‘living cultural assets’ and of the whole world of education, which is committed to keeping these professional skills alive.

“From this point of view, we have a lot to learn from some international models, such as the French and Japanese.” of territories and the engine for the development of one of the most important economies in our country, which is tourism “. That is why Alma has launched an information campaign at the highest levels of our authorities with the precise aim of bringing to Italy the proper recognition of Italian cuisine as an art form; and this meeting is, as far as we are concerned, part of this path ».

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