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Magazine ENG June 2020

Middle food, when the neighbor is not a competitor but an ally

How the virtuous project that promotes catering and local food and wine excellence will continue to communicate its territory between Lake Garda, Brescia and Franciacorta

In the Brescia area between the spectacular shores of Lake Garda and Lake Iseo, a group of restaurateurs has decided to join forces to spread urbi et orbi a healthy food culture.  To carry out this noble project, some of the most important producers in the area have been contacted, with the aim of creating a virtuous circle that can bring benefits to both categories and, of course, address the final consumer, in this case the customer.  The result of this common vision is called Middle Food, a belief that today is powered by 14 restaurateurs and over 40 local producers.  “The project – Stefano Cerveni, eclectic chef and patron of the starred restaurant Due Colombe tells us – was born three years ago with a utopian and perhaps anachronistic goal, that of creating a support network between producers and restaurateurs of a certain level who have  mission quality without compromise;  in this way we try to enhance both the work of the producer and that of the restaurateur “.
“For some time – adds Paolo Maioli, coordinator and head of digital marketing – I realized that the food sector had a good growth potential compared to the use of marketing technologies and techniques.  This idea gave rise to the idea of ​​aggregating a group of restaurateurs for a project that has territorial repercussions but also a strong communicative value, with the possibility of implementing choral actions supported by all restaurants.  I decided to get in touch with a series of restaurateurs from Brescia by exposing my ideas and what could have been the design possibilities.  Ours is a product discovery and selection activity that is constantly being pursued “.
This strong synergy between producers and restaurateurs leads to a decidedly winning formula aimed at enhancing a territory dotted with high quality raw materials and aims at satisfying the customer who, thanks to fixed-price menus, available only by reservation, has the opportunity to  enjoy the same product cooked differently by the hands of various chefs.  In addition to this, there is also the possibility to get to know the entire supply chain and to purchase products in a facilitated manner.  Paolo Maioli tells us that “A block of selected products are used, in a controlled way through a formula that we have given ourselves during two periods, one spring and one autumn, called Middle Food Menu.  During this time, restaurants are asked to propose a route using these products according to the methods that we previously agreed.  The project was born, in fact, for a shared vision but also to enhance the individual realities: given a common raw material, we rely on the technique and imagination of the chefs to achieve different results.  Customers understand this great occasion and during this period the customers usually decide to test the kitchen of at least two or three different rooms.  Due to the coronavirus, the Spring 2020 Menu has obviously been canceled.  We hope to be able to offer the Autumn Menu with all the necessary reinterpretations. “
Precisely because of the pandemic and the rules adopted, the premises of the circuit have equipped themselves with home deliveries aimed at keeping restaurants in the mouth and in the heart of its customers.  “We at Due Colombe – explains Stefano Cerveni – are trying to reinvent themselves as we have always done.  The restaurant, being born as a tavern in the days of my grandmother, has always put the customer first trying to convey quality through the dishes but also in the service;  I tried to bring this feature back to delivery by making sure that the guest can have fun assembling the ingredients of the dish thanks to some of our nice instructions.  The delivery speech is also fundamental: it is I in person who, together with my wife, go to him bringing dishes, a smile and gratitude for the support “.
The Food in the Middle project has obviously suffered a predictable slowdown, but if in practice there has been a slowdown, the common vision and objectives are still very clear in the mind of this strong group, cohesive and ready to even expand.  “There was a moment of reflection by everyone – admits Paolo Maioli – but my idea is to redo the point together and understand what the possibilities are;  the goal is to temporarily keep restaurants and therefore producers involved with delivery and take away with the hope that in the autumn we can start again with a menu that I would like to define of the rebirth.  It would also be important for the Brescia-based that this idea of ​​our Menu was not accepted only by the premises of Cibo di Mezzo but also by other realities so as to make us promoters of a movement to rediscover food and the territory.  For the future, there is a need to widen the range, also by implementing the group with rooms of a slightly lower range but which meet quality and excellence criteria.  Among the actions to be implemented is that of giving more prominence and importance to the territory, avoiding buying products from outside ”.

The restaurants of Cibo di Mezzo:

-Saur, Orzinuovi (Bs)

-Esplanade, Desenzano del Garda (Bs)

-Da Sapì, Esine (Bs)

-Aquariva, Padenghe sul Garda (Bs)

-The Osteria H20, Moniga del Garda (Bs)

-Two Colombe, Borgonato, Cortefranca (Bs)

-Dina, Gussago (Bs)

-La Lepre, Desenzano del Garda (Bs)

-Natura, Torbiato – Adro (Bs)

-Casa Leali, Puegnago sul Garda (Bs)

-Carlo Magno, Collebeato (Bs)

-La Speranzina, Sirmione (Bs)

-Gaudio, Barbariga (Bs)

-Rose, Salò (Bs)

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