Honestly, I would never have dreamed of contributing to "Huff Post," when there are so many other topics to choose from, and all of them interesting and relevant. However with all the recent news about red meat, wasted food or EXPO 2015, I want to focus on an interesting study [= survey?] done recently of the gastronomy sector, to which I belong. This study analyzes the gradual transformation of traditional professions in the food sector (or gastronomical sector), and the changes brought about by those who are forcefully entering this sector -- and, perhaps, "marginalizing" other professionals in the same market.
My motivation is twofold: to allow me to briefly share my own experience, and, at the same time, to explain why the world of Food -- and related sectors -- has become the most surprising social and media phenomenon of the last decade.
Nowadays I, and, I suppose, many of my colleagues, are contacted by many parties, both serious and trivial, who are gradually becoming a new generation of actors in the food sector. Until recently, this rarely happened to me in my work as a chef. There are web social promoters, digital technologists in food safety, food and packaging designers etc. -- professionals from different educational backgrounds who propose all kinds of new projects and ideas. I must say, I do listen to them all with great curiosity... and doubt.
When I started working, my cuisine was based on the direct experience and acquired knowledge of the people of the world, and was devoted to the study and selection of the raw materials, to their transformation, and finally to the preparation of dishes that were still within the reasonable bounds of "expression" and quality, limited by the plates in which they were served.
It was therefore important to maintain a close connection between knowledge of the ingredients and the final product, because at the center was the empirical result of the work produced.
It began with the study of vegetables or cuts of meat, followed by all seasonings, marinades, and so on. These steps, still fundamental techniques today, have been added to a number of additional considerations, almost philosophical, which -- although they are absolutely interesting or necessary, as food safety is a must -- are definitely less meaningful in contexts outside of specific kinds of catering [= food preparation?].
I wonder if much of the exasperation felt in the upper levels of our profession has led us to choose the simplicity that was the true competitive advantage of the best cuisine, which we know as traditional.
Spectacle, I read everywhere, is the new paradigm. I do not totally agree, and I wonder what the new industry of the future will be. How will we have to organize our kitchens, and, more importantly, is there a program to teach how to mix the two needs?
Nowadays, an expert pruner capable of making an olive tree productive is a rarity. We all agree that form is an important component of the contents it also requires values and principles, which are not exclusively ideal or theoretical.