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Here are ten golden rules that clarify the role of the chef. Ten tips for all young people who dream of working in a Michelin-starred kitchen or open their own restaurant. Ten rules for tracing the direction of Italian cuisine, drawn from the one that has been the father of Italian gastronomy: Gualtiero Marchesi.
On 18 February 2015 the Scientific Committee of the Gualtiero Marchesi Foundation met at the Gualtiero Marchesi Academy in Milan. The committee (composed of the food historian Massimo Montanari, the artistic director of the Pavilion Zero of Expo 2015 Davide Rampello and others including philosophers, musicians and directors) approved these “ten commandments.”
Ten points to which Marchesi has added one of his last pearl of wisdom: "To create is: to not copy! For pursuing the new, the never before seen, is an attribute in itself. We can recognize novelty in both the known and the unknown, what is important is that it draws from the truth. Art is revealing truth.”
1. Cooking is a trade or, better yet, a service.
2. A cook’s uniform identifies the essential characteristics of its function: honesty, cleanliness, respect.
3. The law of the cook is the recipe of which he is executor, remembering that every good performance presupposes a share of interpretation, carefully dosed, not excessive but not absent, ventured into with respectful discretion.
4. The three degrees of experience and knowledge correspond to three figures: the performer, the interpreter and the composer. To achieve these goals, the chef will have to master the technique and have practiced all the courses: starters, first courses, meats, fish and pastry even if, then, he decides to specialize in one of these.
5. An important element to enrich one's own gastronomic experiences is the knowledge of places and elements: water, earth, air, the terroir and its fruits, animals, the inhabitants and the climate.
6. The study of the food cultures of other countries contribute to forming a broader knowledge of culinary art.
7. The ability of a chef is based on two pillars: the knowledge of the ingredient and the ways of treating it in respect to its nature.
8. Technical solutions and virtuosity can’t substitute proper technique and execution.
9. At each preparation, the cook must know exactly what to do: the cooking times and methods of preparation, the exact temperature and, where necessary, the duration of the resting period, since rest is also an important part of the treatment, such as the pause or silence in a theatrical production. The final presentation depends a lot on the choice of the most suitable vessel or plate.
10. One of the tasks that bring honor to a good cook is to disseminate gastronomic culture by teaching people to eat well and properly with the food offered at the table, also by educating young people and passing the baton to those who deserve it.