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Prague: week of Italian cuisine in the world

Italys' chef Cedroni: "Our creativity wins everywhere it goes"

25 November, 10:58

by Marco Patricelli


(ANSA) - PRAGUE - There is an Italian national team that wins everywhere, is unremovable from the podium and most of the times on the highest step. That is Italy's National team of chefs, international ambassadors of 'made in Italy', made up of soloists and top performers who are the envy of the world. In order to celebrate the Second Week of Italian Cuisine in the World, the most renowned chefs have put together inventive and skills around the kitchen to organise a celebratory gala dinner wanted by the ambassador in the Czech Republic, Aldo Amati.

Matteo de Carli, Leonardo Di Clemente, Riccardo Lucque, along with the Michelin chef Moreno Cedroni, were protagonists of an event attended by the Italian-Czech diplomatic-institutional-entrepreneurial 'crème de la crème' in the nineteenth-century scenery of the charming Villa Pellé in Prague. ''It is clear that our cuisine wins over on all the other cuisines. It mirrors a lifestyle that goes hand in hand with culinary habits, which has become popular everywhere thanks to our chefs who have taught cookery on TV in the Czech Republic, increasing the audience of Italy's gourmet enthusiasts. The goal now is to extend it from Prague and Brno to the other cities- said Ambassador Amati -; Cedroni kept faith with a commitment he had made talking the diplomatic representative, and he was pleased to be able to take part in what he himself called ''an eight-hour dinner''. He pointed out that a couple of years ago the Association of Ambassadors of Taste was founded, ''in order to support Italy's official ambassadors on site, trying to promote the traditional tastes, but also to show the future trends of our cuisine. The future of Italian cuisine is in its past, when it is revised, updated, innovated''. Cedroni wanted to pay tribute to Italy ''by preparing one of the thousand recipes that has fascinated everybody in the last two years: the famous 'amatriciana'. ''One of the most popular Italian recipe in the world, prepared in different ways to different outcomes and made with different ingredients, not always better quality. I wanted to show it in Prague not with jowl bacon, but with smoked fish in the shape of lasagna. A typical dish, embellished with Marche cheese pecorino sauce and basil to give it the colours of our national flag''. The second recipe offered at Villa Pellè was a dish tied to the region (Marche) and to childhood: fish soup embellished with star anise berries, ''somehow different from mother's recipe''. Some other 'delikatessen', such as appetisers and desserts, were entrusted to Di Clemente, de Carli and Lucque, always combining tradition and innovation. ''Every cook has usually deep roots - said Cedroni -, and prepares dishes whose origin is clear even to those who enjoy them closing their eyes. If you don't have any tradition, you prepare dishes that you can eat all over the world, standardised. Tradition is our strength. But our products have to be respected and need to be tasted everywhere. The French chefs can get their traditional ingredients everywhere, thanks to a government agency that takes care of them. To protect us there is nothing institutional, therefore you see often products bearing an Italian name and Italian colours, but they have nothing to do with Italian food''. The French are our long-standing opponents, even though Spain and Germany are now able to challenge us, and the Scandinavians too, especially Danish cooks. ''We must strive to get out of the conventions of the Italian cuisine abroad, which is often depicted with the beautiful but simple tablecloth and the dish full of spaghetti.

This is what we often are in the collective imagination, whereas the French or Spanish table is exquisitely refined, with a long tablecloth and crystalware. The sooner we go beyond this folkloric stereotype, the better. Also because - he concluded - thanks to our unique products, we can win everywhere we go''.


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