Lavazza spotlights inspiring chefs in new calendar
Coffee-maker fetes seven stars of Continental cuisine30 October, 19:01
(ANSA) - Turin, October 30 - Italian coffee maker Lavazza last week in Milan presented its 2014 calendar ''Inspiring Chefs,'' featuring seven stars of Continental cuisine in surreal settings, often in the company of provocatively dressed models, a cup of expresso and a serious dose of whimsical irony.
Michelin three-star chef Massimo Bottura stirs a boiling, dented copper pot with ancient instruments - like an alchemist - in the middle of a library, as papers fly in the air and a lithe blond in a skin-tight, high-necked tuxedo dress sips expresso, reading a book.
Catalan ''deconstructionist'' chef Ferran Adrià perches a perilous thought bubble around his head full of various ingredients, including seaweed and watermelon, while holding an expresso cup in one hand.
Chef Davide Oldani, inventor of Lombard ''Pop Cuisine'', stirs a pot in the middle of a rice paddy surrounded by models dressed like 1950s pin-up rice farmers against a setting sun.
Carlo Cracco, Italy's ''Master Chef'' tv show host, is a falconer with a chicken poised on his arm, while Antonino Cannavacciuolo, another tv star chef, is butchering fish fillets with a mermaid sitting on his counter.
Shot by German photographer Martin Schoeller under the creative direction of Italian advertising company Armando Testa, ''Inspiring Chefs'' poses a constellation of leading chefs - which also includes France's Michel Bras and Ferran Adrià's brother Albert - in ways that are ''dreamy, amused and always ironic'' explained Francesca Lavazza, corporate image director of the family business.
''We wanted to put the chefs, who are first of all friends as well as pioneers of the new course of taste, at the centre of our world,'' said Lavazza.
Fine food and coffee, Ferran Adrià pointed out, are one of a piece, since Italy's iconic demitasse is cuisine, too.
''Espresso is not coffee. It is not just a beverage.
Espresso is an elaboration of coffee. It is cooking,'' Ferran Adrià told the Associated Press in an interview. The inventive chief's El Bulli restaurant in Spain ranked best in the world for five consecutive years by Restaurant Magazine before he closed it two years ago to devote himself to experimentation and other activities.
Adrià has come up with his own caffeinated dish - solid coffee. Meanwhile one of Cannavacciuolo's recipes mixes ''love and passion with bread, butter, anchovies and coffee powder''. But food has its serious side, the chefs pointed out at the calendar presentation, stressing the importance of using media influence to set a positive example for young people and to explain the value of relationships with the environment and food producers.
Carlo Petrini, founder of the Slow Food movement, which promotes food culture with conscience, was also at the calendar presentation.
Petrini's Universita' di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo (Pollenzo University of Gastronomic Sciences), is launching the ''Inspiring Chefs'' scholarship sponsored by Lavazza to support training for new, young chefs.
Lavazza is also collaborating with a non-profit coffee-roaster, so that for every coffee sold, six cents will return to coffee farmers.
Petrino remarked that Lavazza's effort to ''shorten the supply chain is extraordinary''.
''The real Lavazza jewel is its sensitivity toward producer communities,'' Petrino added.
Lavazza said sells 17 billion cups of coffee for revenues of nearly 1.3 billion euros per year.