Mauro Colagreco: "I Hope this will be a Real Opportunity for Humanity"

Mauro Colagreco: "I Hope this will be a Real Opportunity for Humanity"
07 April, 2020

Photo: Matteo Carassale / Finedininglovers Artwork

In all cases, the most important things for the chef will be, not only to keep his staff but to also see this crisis, however hard it may be, as an opportunity to start off in the right way. "The whole food chain, from producers to distributors to catering, will have to change. Our society is totally unbalanced and I think what we are going through today also stems from that.

It would be a shame not to take advantage of this period when people are more sensitive and clearly see that the modes of production and consumption presented until today are not the right ones and lead to our death. It is terrible! I am not very optimistic but somewhere I want to believe that humans are smart enough to question themselves. I find it hard to see consumers accepting all this as they did before, with tomatoes on stalls and restaurant menus in January, fish coming from thousands of kilometers away while we are on the shores of the Mediterranean, consuming large quantities of meat raised by intensive farming ... We must stop giving in to the lobbies! "

In all cases, the most important things for the chef will be, not only to keep his staff but to also see this crisis, however hard it may be, as an opportunity to start off in the right way. "The whole food chain, from producers to distributors to catering, will have to change. Our society is totally unbalanced and I think what we are going through today also stems from that.

It would be a shame not to take advantage of this period when people are more sensitive and clearly see that the modes of production and consumption presented until today are not the right ones and lead to our death. It is terrible! I am not very optimistic but somewhere I want to believe that humans are smart enough to question themselves. I find it hard to see consumers accepting all this as they did before, with tomatoes on stalls and restaurant menus in January, fish coming from thousands of kilometers away while we are on the shores of the Mediterranean, consuming large quantities of meat raised by intensive farming ... We must stop giving in to the lobbies! "

Creativity can save gastronomy 

Last week, Ferran Adrià forsought that when restaurants reopen, the important thing will not be the creativity of the chefs but the management of the business. "It is not a priority to think of being creative. In the beginning, it will not be essential to invent a new dish, the first thing will be to serve a dish," said the former chef of ElBulli in Spain.

If Mauro Colagreco shares this point of view, his point is more nuanced. "As Ferran says, the important thing will be to manage our recovery well. We will have to take over and be united, send customers to our colleagues and continue to have dinner with the other restaurateurs to restart the machine. It will also be important to reassure customers so that they feel safe and confident. When people go out, they must have the feeling that it is not for nothing, it should not be cheating.

Regarding creativity, I think that the idea should still be there to offer dishes with less luxurious materials but worked in an incredible way. This could go through the fight against food waste for example, which can develop creativity while allowing us to save money. It will no longer be possible for chefs to work only with the beautiful parts of a vegetable and throw away the rest away! With other means, you can prepare a broth, a soup ... It's just common sense, economy for restaurants but also for the planet. I think that restaurateurs who aren't able to review their operation will find it difficult to survive, " says Mauro Colagreco, whose restaurant is also the first establishment in the world certified plastic-free.

"I have young children, I have had the chance to travel around the world and see that we live on a magnificent planet, that nature is perfect and that we have to preserve it. So despite the catastrophe that this virus represents, the drama it generates for many people, I hope it will also be a real opportunity for humanity. "

Da Giacomo Milano

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