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Interview with Luca Guadagnino, the Gourmet Director

Interview with Luca Guadagnino, the Gourmet Director

Meet Luca Guadagnino, the Italian director of the Oscar-nominated Call Me by Your Name, whose love of food almost rivals his passion for movie making.

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This article was update on 26/01/2018 to include information about Guadagnino's film, 'Call Me by Your Name.'

Born in Palermo (Sicily) and raised in Ethiopia, Luca Guadagnino is an Italian movie director who lives between Paris and Crema (a city in Northern Italy). He gained worldwide success with the movie I am Love starring Tilda Swinton (2009), while his latest film, Call Me by Your Name (2017) is nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. 

His travels, experience of different cultures and curiosity feed his creativity and he admits a love for international cuisine and great restaurants. As a kid, he liked to play with pots and pans, while his future dream is to own a vegetable garden.

What is your comfort food?
Bread and butter, grandma's 'ciambellone' (a traditional Italian ring cake) and chicken legs. Separately, of course.

Three things you can't tolerate in a restaurant?
Pretentious attitude, bad service, and a lack of respect for seasonal and local products.

What's the best thing you can cook?
I love to cook. My friends tell me my Venetian-style liver and savoring are to die for. I swear by Paul Bocuse's recipes, it's my Bible. 

Favorite restaurant in Italy?
My absolute favorite is Reale owned by Niko and Cristiana Romito in Casadonna. It's genius, daring and classic at the same time.

And in the world?
Urasawa, in Beverly Hills, best sushi I've ever had and I've been too many sushi places in my life. I have to say though that I've never been to Japan. Sushi is not just about taste to me, I like to watch the sushi master at work on the wooden board, it's like watching velvet. A piece of o-toro sushi is when you cut the fattest part of the tuna, the tuna belly was a very exciting experience, truly unique. I stay in Paris two days out of seven so I like to go Alain Passard's Arpege, one of my favourites: his style of growing vegetables is pre-industrial, amazing, as is the cous cous with argan oil, a pure taste of Morocco. Roasted veal thighs cooked for nine hours on a skewer, topped with a madera sauce, probably the best meat I've tasted in my life. I am also a fan of Yen, a small Japanese place in Saint Germain.

Could you tell us something about your future projects?
I've produced a movie directed by a very talented young director, Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. It's on the life of Antonia, the great Milanese poet Antonia Pozzi, a melancholic figure, and a very tormented and charming person who lived in 1920s-30s.

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