In the forefront  September 2010
   

A land of Michelin stars and top chefs

The Chef to Chef association was created to promote the food and food culture of Emilia Romagna on both the national and international level.

Igles Corelli, chef of the Locanda della Tamerice di Ostellato and President of the “Chef to Chef” association.

Igles Corelli, chef of the Locanda della Tamerice di Ostellato and President of the “Chef to Chef” association.

Foto: Paolo Terzi

From Bologna to Lima

The Chef to Chef association will be present at the Fiera Mistura in Peru, September 7-12

From September 7 to 12, Lima will host the third annual Fiera Mistura, a culinary fair organized by the Peruvian Gastronomy Association. The association was founded in 2007 by famous Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio. The fair will demonstrate to the world the strong tie between Peruvian cuisine and the local food products, tradition, creativity, culture and biodiversity. The Chef to Chef association will also be present.
«We will bring the Emilia Romagna experience to Peru, including our products, the joy of life, humility and creativity
”, explains Massimo Bottura, chef/owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena and Vice President of the Emilia Romagna chef association. “I live with my feet rooted in the ground and my head in the clouds. My food is a contemporary expression of tradition. I look for new roads to express my memories through my dishes. I want to transmit emotions. I am from Emilia, therefore I live a life of hots and colds, sweet and savory, fog and silence…and of great ingredients”.
Bottura believes in “working hard every day in order to have a little bit of talent”, but he especially believes in working together. “Chef to Chef allows us to work together to transmit the magic of Emilia Romagna”.

Ma.Vi. – Photo: Paolo Terzi

Founded in 2008, the group is composed of chefs, restaurateurs, food producers, food lovers and experts in the food of Emilia Romagna. Members of the association work to deepen their culinary and cultural roots. They respect ancient culinary know how and traditional flavors, as well as culinary innovation.

As stated on the Chef to Chef website the mission of the association is to contribute to the evolution of regional gastronomy in order to bring it to national and international attention. Using top quality ingredients and modern cooking techniques, the association works with interested parties to promote a modern, sustainable and healthy diet.

“The idea to create an association – says President Igles Corelli, famous chef of the Locanda della Tamerice in Ostellato (Ferrara)came to me, Massimo Bottura, (the chef of Osteria Francescana in Modena), and food lover, Franco Chiarini, during a conversation. At the beginning, we invited only chefs to join – twenty one of them to be exact – then we opened up the membership to other people, like food producers, who are fundamental to regional gastronomy.”

In order to share the knowledge and experience of these great chefs with the younger generations, the association decided to develop training and work initiatives. The group also works to protect regional food products: “As chefs, we benefit from using excellent ingredients, but the ingredients need us to really shine”. The creativity of a chef can help a great piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano or a prized Balsamic Vinegar from Modena to really shine.

In order to promote local food products, the association invested in research: “We wrote a paper on saraghina and we have others under way”. Saraghina is a fish similar to a sardine and is traditionally found in Romagna. A common preparation involves cover it in the fish in polenta flour and cooking it on a testo, a round terracotta grill traditionally used to make piadine, or flat bread. This is a very old, poor man’s dish with incredible flavor. In fact, Saraghina is such an important part of local culture that Federico Fellini, the great cinema director, named one of his characters in the movie “8 ½” after the fish.

Beauty and the aesthetics of food is also an important part of Chef to Chef: “We are interested in food culture, from food design to the plating of a dish, as well as the interior design of our restaurants and the service we provide.” It is also important that “we save the historic restaurants of Emilia Romagna, like San Domenico in Imola.”

Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana Modena) is Vice President of the “Chef to Chef”. Credits: Paolo Terzi. Alberto Bettini (Trattoria da Amerigo, Savigno), Filippo Chiappini Dattilo (Antica Osteria del Teatro, Piacenza) and Paolo Teverini (Ristorante Teverini, Bagno di Romagna) are counselors.
Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana Modena) is Vice President of the “Chef to Chef”. Credits: Paolo Terzi. Alberto Bettini (Trattoria da Amerigo, Savigno), Filippo Chiappini Dattilo (Antica Osteria del Teatro, Piacenza) and Paolo Teverini (Ristorante Teverini, Bagno di Romagna) are counselors.

The association also works to export food products from Emilia Romagna abroad. This is a fundamental part of re-launching the Po River valley as the Italian Food Valley. Regional food is an important tourist attraction and the Michelin-starred chefs help to make it really worth the trip.

Mariagrazia Villa

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