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Christian A.Pettersen vs Altewai Saome: 'There is art in minimalism'

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Christian A.Pettersen vs Altewai Saome: 'There is art in minimalism'

The names of the 20 emerging designers selected by Vogue Italia to pair up with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 finalists have finally been announced. Each designer will reinterpret the work of their team-mate through a fashion creation inspired by the chef’s dish, in an unprecedented fusion of fine food and style.
Here is the interview with Scandinavia region finalists: chef Christian André Pettersen and fashion designers Altewai Saome.

What inspires the aesthetics of your creations? What inspires the aesthetics of your creations?
My background and my aesthetic inspirations are one and the same. I want my masterpieces to represent me as a person and a professional, and reflect where I come from. The mountains. The deep, clear Arctic waters. The fjords. The raw, untamed wind and warmth of northern Norway's nature and culture.
 
Our aesthetics are a mix of Scandinavian clean lines along with an international feel. We often find our inspiration in art, architecture, culture or photography.
 
How do colours and textures influence your creations? How do colours and textures influence your creations?
There are no recipes for masterpieces. That's why great food is considered art. Colours, textures, flavours, techniques and composition all play their part. The texture supports the flavour, and the colour draws your attention. For me, though, flavour is the most important; it's what makes the whole experience.
 
We always choose fabrics that are somehow connected to the inspiration. The colors and textures are very important since they complete our initial idea and maintain a red thread through out the collection.
 
How would you describe your creative style? How would you describe your creative style?
Looking to the Arctic culture and landscapes that shaped me as a person growing up, there is a kind of rawness to everything. I've brought that rawness to my signature dish, allowing me to present untouched and pure flavours to my guests. Minimalist? Maybe. But there is art in minimalism.
 
We would say that its a mix of Scandinavian minimalist and prêt-à-porter. We grew up in Sweden with the simplicity but we are schooled and gained our experience in Italy. We usually say that we have the best of the two worlds.
Is there any influence of your country's traditions, culture or materials in your creative work? Is there any influence of your country's traditions, culture or materials in your creative work?
They say that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet. Not me. I feel like I was born with a chef's knife in eager hands. I'm sure that comes from my mixed ethnical roots: an Asian-born mother and Norwegian-born father have given me influences I'm truly grateful for.
 
Not really, we are very open to other cultures and like to look beyond our regular tradion and culture.
What food would you happily die eating? What food would you happily die eating?
Anything that's pure, tasty and made with more than an average dose of passion. Food is a peculiar thing. Flavour too. You can tell when something has been made from scratch by someone who added passion to the process.
 
Natalia: My grandmothers cucumber soup.
Randa: A Swedish traditional fatty cake/bun called Semla.
 
The first top fashion designer that comes to mind? The first top chef that comes to your mind?
I am a fan of Ralph Lauren's ability to blend traditional, refined class with modern details; and Calvin Klein's supreme ability to bring a cool urban approach to a fashion industry that sometimes tries too hard to be spectacular.
 
Björn Frantzén and Jiro.
If your cuisine was something to wear, what would it be? If your creations were a dish, what would it be?
Without a doubt, the shell of a langoustine. It is a fascinating creature, and among my favourite ingredients.
 
A dessert!
What ingredient would you never eat, and why? What item of fashion would you never wear, and why?
As someone who always tries to break every taste barrier and explore every flavour, there is no ingredient I wouldn't try. There might be ingredients I wouldn't want to taste again, but as a Chef, in order to argue for tastefulness with conscience and confidence, I will try everything once. Life is too short.
 
Natalia: Crocs! They are so so ugly!
Randa: Leggings. They are unattractive on a woman and they are the easy way out in dressing…
What’s the first thing you’ll do upon arriving in Milan next June? What’s the first thing you’ll do upon arriving in Milan next June?
The very first thing I always do is open my suitcase to make sure my luggage still contains everything I packed and need. That keeps me focused and fearless, and I'll enter the competition with knives and senses sharpened to perfection.
 
Have ice cream at one of our favorite places Chocolat, because they have the best ice-cream in town. If we end up arriving the last Sunday of the month we would definitely visit the Sunday market at Naviglio.
What do you expect from this challenge? What do you expect from this challenge?
I expect excitement, to learn, to grow my competitive strength and to meet and relate to my peers in a new way. My competitors are very good at what they do, and I respect them tremendously for what they have accomplished. But I expect to win, and I expect to stand as a wiser champion when the lights go out. This is without a doubt the most fun challenge we' ve ever been asked to be a part of so we simply expect it to be fun and surprising and creative.

Altewai Saome's interview was conducted by Vogue.it

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