Chef Barbieri believes it is the respect for raw ingredients that should guide innovation: “It is a worthwhile fight, that against waste, not solely because food should never be thrown away, but also because it is a form of resect towards those who, with daily sacrifices, passion and dedication, ensure that our tables are adorned with high quality products”. For chefs, the new challenge will be sustainability within an ethnic and cultural melting pot.
What do you think the new trends will be in 2020?
“Working on the tradition, aiming towards a more contemporary and creative reinterpretation of it which strikes the right balance: I believe this is the direction with which we can leave a mark. Great chefs set trends based on what the market both offers and demands, and I am convinced that ethnic cuisines can be well integrated with the Italian one”.
Your most recent book focuses on how to reutilise leftovers. How is waste avoided in the great kitchens?
“Everything has to be managed and worked in full awareness of a communal good. Knowing how to shop for groceries is a sign of intelligence and respect. It’s also fundamental to shop and cook seasonally in order to both avoid waste and get the best out of the raw ingredients. The real challenge is to be able to be creative with an empty fridge”.
What are the new trends regarding food presentation and design?
“A couple of years ago I created Fuorghetti, where the food is served in bowls of a variety of sizes. It’s a great way of both presenting and receiving the courses since it creates a mixture of shapes and colours. Setting geometry slightly aside and embracing the peculiar – a bet at the time which has proven to be a great satisfaction – has made the guest discover the dish gradually, little by little. However, as I often say, the important thing is to make sure that the dish has personality. Food presentation is a form of art which conveys the eclecticism of its creator”.
How important is technology for a Chef these days?
“It’s very important, but it cannot become too much of a dependency. Cooking started significantly longer before any kind of technological innovation; a talented chef knows how to cook without it”.
How will the kitchens of the future be?
“Technology is very important for both developed and developing countries, because it can help those countries which have a large quantity of resources but cannot change by themselves. In the future, kitchens will probably be operated by robots but, and this is sure, I will not be here to see it. That’s unfortunate, I would have liked to witness it”.