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Master Summer Chef: an interview with Umberto Vezzoli
Umberto Vezzoli, well-known TV chef on the Alice channel and one of Italy’s most important culinary figures, was the star of Master Summer Chef, a mini- cookery course organised by Guzzini, Elica and TVS at Elica’s AirFactory showroom in Via Pontaccio in Milan. We took the opportunity to interview him, not, of course, omitting to note down some of the delicious summer recipes prepared for the occasion (download them here).
Umberto Vezzoli, what does summer in the kitchen mean to you?
Summer cooking is an expression of flavours where we can ask nature to give the very best of itself and this is, for me, a real inspiration in terms of creativity – imaginative combinations of vegetables, fish, fruit and meat to produce lively, original dishes that can also have a hint of the provocative. Viva summer!
Cooking as fun: how do you manage to create the right chemistry with the public?
Sometimes the public will throw out suggestions and if you follow them then it’s possible to find the right chemistry and produce entertaining recipes through trying to interact with their wishes. Creating original combinations is fun, anticipating what the public wants is fun, presenting a product, a flavour, a new way of cooking something is fun, and astonishing the customer is fun.
If Elica, Guzzini and TVS were the three ingredients, the dish would have…
Shape, Consistency, Lightness, Prestige, Rigour. On the table there would be a Simplicity that enhances Beauty.
Conviviality in the kitchen is nowadays a social phenomenon more than anything else. How do the new media influence your work?
The way of advertising the kitchen has moved slightly into a social vision where commentary is included and the search for originality is broadcast extremely quickly, perhaps too quickly, with everyone saying the opposite of everyone else, and then it seems that if you’re not following the new methods then you’re not on the right track. And those who lack soul copy even faster than the others – just change a couple of commas and the dish or recipe is your own. In terms of my own personal experience, I have to say that the new media have had a very positive effect – I have a website, a Blog, and make use of various social networks. And lastly, I’m working on a series of eBook cookery books and I’m really enjoying it, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.
And having met the chef in person, we’re pretty sure ourselves!