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The latest edition of the Identità Golose chef congress kicked off today in Milan with crowds from across the industry arriving in Milan to hear some of the world’s best chefs present on a range of different topics.
Crowds were in the main hall early to hear a presentation from the legendary French chef Alain Ducasse. He took the opportunity to present a number of dishes that helped to show off his newest focus towards vegetable driven tasting menus. He also spoke of the idea of 'natural cuisine', how meat proteins are quickly being replaced by more vegetables and how they are looking to pair very simple ingredients such as fruit and vegetables with more luxurious ingredients like truffle. The French chef also took the chance to speak about the importance of 'feeding the planet' - a message that directly spoke to the upcoming Expo Milano 2015.
Throughout the day young semi-finalists from across Italy were at the S.Pellegrino stage to give the public the chance to sample the dish they cooked to gain a place in the semi-finals of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015. The 10 young chefs in total will also present their dishes to the Italian jury on Tuesday before finding out which one of them will make it through to the grand finals of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015.
Other chefs on stage today included Pietro Leemann who presented ‘The Taste of Water’ - an act which saw the chef tell the crowd he would be their minister before blessing some pure river water with a Tibetan ritual and presenting a dish titled bread and water.
Brett Graham from The Ledbury in London was also at the event. Saying it was the first time he had presented at an international congress, the Australian born chef used the chance to talk about the evolution he has undergone at his restaurant and how a much stronger focus is now placed on cutting waste inside his kitchen. He explained how this effort to reduce waste has led to a number of interesting finds, one of which, a special salt, comes from using the often wasted head and tail of mackerel. Graham also spoke about important relationships he’s formed with farmers in which he often purchases ingredients many chefs overlook.
The overall theme of the day seemed to be one of ‘sustainability’ with all the chefs taking the opportunity to highlight the importance of reducing waste and sustainable sourcing. An apt topic ahead of Expo Milano 2015 which is also set to focus on the idea of ‘feeding the planet’.