Theater of Taste – Fulvio Pierangelini

slow food international's turin logoThis will be my first time attending Salone del Gusto Terra Madre. The event offers an array of options for the attendees. It was a real challenge to figure out how I would cover this as a blogger. With all the bookable events, I didn't want to book myself into a corner by scheduling every second of my time. Being press, I needed to leave time for the opportunities that will offer. There will a lot going on, and I want to savor as much of it as I can. For me, that's not scheduling every minute of the day.

The Theater of Taste at Salone del Gusto, is an opportunity to watch a famous chef in action. In an amphitheater setting, while video cameras capture their every move and project them to big screens around the venue, the chef will prepare their signature dish. Afterwards, the audience gets to sample the dish, which in my event, will be paired with wine. Here's the Theater of Taste line up this year;

This year the Terra Madre network will be playing a big role, with six Theater of Taste events organized in collaboration with food communities and chefs from Latin America and North Africa: from Brazil, Beto Pimentel, cook and agronomist, and Roberta Sudbrack, exponent of modern brasileira cuisine; from Venezuela, Carlos Garcia, using local ingredients in haute cuisine; Virgilio Martinez, explaining the biodiversity of Peru; Enrique Olvera from Mexico presenting his evolving cuisine; and Meryem Cherkaoui, interpreting Moroccan tradition with cutting-edge techniques she learned in France’s best kitchens.

Closer to home, the story of Italian cuisine will be represented by four Theater of Taste events inspired by a book about Italian chefs, Cronache golose by Marco Bolasco and Marco Trabucco, published by Slow Food Editore. Come sample the historic dishes created by Fulvio Pierangelini, Davide Scabin, Valentino Marcattilii and the Iaccarino family.

Tough choice there. It would be worth the trip, just to attend the Theater of Taste events alone. My choice, Dishes That Made History; Fulvio Pierangelini's Chickpea Puree with Shrimp. How could I pass up the opportunity to watch Pierangelini's create, and than sample his signature dish? Since his legendary restaurant, Gambero Rosso, is now closed, and Peirangelini is now consulting, I had to make my reservation. For so many reasons, I'm glad I did. The biggest reason though, is I agree with his approach to food. Here's a quote about his approach from a 2007 Gourmet magazine review of Gambero Rosso;

“The first step in my cuisine,” Pierangelini tells me, “is to find the best materials, even those that others can’t find. Then it’s a matter of how I work with them. One must know them, feel them; one must decide all that one can do with them and still remain natural. To cook like this is to walk a tightrope, way up high, with no net. If I fall, I fall.”

I like this process of using the best ingredients, making them you own and working with them intuitively. For me, that honors the inherent goodness in nature. I take the same approach when I garden. I find the best, authentic seed sources, create high quality compost to nurture my plants, and then create garden beds  in the best location for my plants to grow. When I harvest the fruit or vegetables, they are the highest quality possible because I honored nature's process. I extend this process to how I prepare food.

I would've loved to have travelled down the coast of Tuscany to Gambero Rosso while it was open. Alas, that's no more. I am grateful though to have this opportunity to watch one of the top chefs in the world create, and to sample his signature dish. This event is one of many reasons why I'm so excited to attend Salon del Gusto Terra Madre.

I will be updating this blog as much as I can while I'm there. I anticipate there will many short posts, with some longer ones mixed in. I will have my iPad, so I'll be able to shoot photos/videos, write and upload all from a single device. I also have an external, solar/light powered keyboard which makes typing more efficient. Please feel free to stop by from 10.25-10.28 to share in this experience with me.