Carla Aradelli’s love for the kitchen is a family affair: her grandfather was a farmer and her grandmother a restaurant owner. After working with George Cogny in France back in 1987, she opened her restaurant Riva, in Ponte dell’Olio, on Piacenza’s hills in Northern Italy. She earned her first Michelin star 10 years later.
Her “food is a cure” approach made her decide to raise her daughters on a macrobiotic diet, and create menus without gluten, lactose, dry fruits, meat, fish or eggs. Carla Aradelli is one of the finalists of The Vegetarian Chance, a festival organized by journalist Gabriel Eschenazi and Pietro Leemann, chef at Joia, in Milan. The first international vegetarian festival will be the occasion to discuss this rising life choice.
The Vegetarian Chance will be divided in two days: the first on June 7th at the Monte Verità, in Ascona, Switzerland, the second on June 22th at Joia where eight chefs will be competing with their vegetarian dish. The jury will be composed by Leemann, American chef Kristen Thibeault, the experts Marco Bianchi and Lorenzo Sonogini, journalist Davide Paolini and chef Luca Sacchi.
While we wait for the contest, Fine Dining Lovers met with Carla for a chat.
Describe yourself in three words.
Sensitive, spontaneous, a mother.
How do you define your cooking style?
Free from trends and tied to traditions.
What are the products from the surrounding area that you use the most in your restaurant?
Vegetables, fruit, wild herbs, mushrooms, truffles, dairy and wine.
What do you think about the rise of the vegetarian and vegan diets?
People are healthier and more attracted to a simple nutrition, light and conscious. A way to respect yourself and the planet.
What is in your opinion the most iconic dish of vegan cuisine?
I agree with Pietro Leemann’s “colors, tastes, and consistencies”. It’s my own way of thinking in the kitchen.
What do you see in your future as a chef?
Simple dishes that are light, flavorful, smart and sold at a fair price.