MARGAUX: Firstly, could you tell the readership, where you were born and raised ?
Gigi: Hi, I was born and raised in Parma, my way, I have lived near the Po river for over thirty years, I think that its slow and sometimes impetuous flow has forged my character, the Emilian land is an agricultural and laborious land where food, culture and the desire to have fun are daily.
MARGAUX: What or who, inspired you to study photography ?
Gigi: I only approached photography when, after traveling with friends in Northern Europe, at the age of twenty, I felt the need to stop my emotions with images. My older brother gave me, his first reflex (Yashica FX3), and from there I started studying and doing some courses with professionals from Parma. I made my first travel report (worthy of the name) in Peru in 2002, in the last few years I have dedicated my photo a lot to my land and its traditions.
MARGAUX:In the past couple of years you have travelled extensively. Iceland, Mississippi´s Blues Route and Turkey. What are your future trips for 2019 – 2020 ?
Gigi: I have just returned from a trip to Naples, a very interesting city all points of view, but in the fall I will go to visit Colombia, a magnificent country still little known by mass tourism.
MARGAUX:What subjects inspire you most, to take photographs of ?
Gigi: I love meeting people: their history and life in their everyday life, telling a place through its landscapes and the people who live it are my inspiration.
MARGAUX:I have also followed your Photography Courses and what is most fulfilling in training and teaching for you ? Could your provide a schedule of some of your Autumn Courses ?
Gigi: For some years now I have started doing workshops and training courses, it is nice to pass on your passion to others and to receive energy from others to continue the activity, in October I plan a couple of Workshops on the Big River and a couple of photography courses for beginners, I manage the training activity from mid-October to the beginning of December. MARGAUX:You are a master of landscaping, urban architecture, ancient buildings, food products, art of plating, wines and portraits. What captures your interest most when taking a photo ? Colors ? Expressions ? The product itself ? The admiration for a building ?
Gigi: I could enclose it all in a single noun EMOTION! I like to portray what excites my heart! It can be the colors, the shapes, the fatigue of man or the beauty in a form of art!
MARGAUX: Do you have plans on authoring any books ?
Gigi: I have already published several books, the last in order of time “Custodi del Tempo” is the result of research done in small country museums or even at the homes of collectors of objects of human ingenuity. I would like to re-edit “Verdi in the Mist” book sold out a few years ago, the book investigated the great Maestro Giuseppe Verdi, about the human aspect of the character, going to portray landscapes and places that inspired him in the composition of his works.
MARGAUX: We met at Extraordinary Food & Wine Fair 2019, and I see that you are the Official Photographer to the event and the Founder, Fausto Brozzi. What inspires you most about Venice and the event ?
Gigi: I think this event is really interesting and different from the many food fairs that are in Italy, being the official photographer gives me the opportunity to meet small producers and “have fun” taking pictures in the midst of so much good food !!
MARGAUX: If money were not an object, what is your gastronomic dream trip ?
Gigi: The dream is in the Australian continent, I think you know interesting because you can find all the food cultures. Another interesting trip certainly may be China, but the most beautiful journey to do is to leave and wander in our beautiful country (Italy) in search of small taverns where you can still taste the sincere tastes! Italy is the house of good food and good wine, in every village you can discover flavors that you didn’t think existed.
MARGAUX: Where were you born and raised ?
Dimitri: In Amsterdam, The Netherlands
My father is Italian and my mother Dutch
MARGAUX: What and / or who were the catalysts that stimulated your interest in becoming a Chef ?
Dimitri: My father. In the early eighties my father worked as chef at restaurant Mario in Neck near Purmerend. This restaurant had 1 Michelin star. I was in those days about 18 years old. My father asked me if I wanted to work there to learn the Italian kitchen. I learned to make fresh pasta. Actually all pasta types and dough types. Furthermore, making pizzas. Later Mario’s brother Lorenzo Uva also started a restaurant in Amsterdam. My dad and I went to Amsterdam to start the restaurant from the outset. From the parents of Mario I got lessons. I really learned to cook. From appetizer, main courses and desserts.
MARGAUX: What do you think is the best to cook or make?
Dimitri: I love making different fresh pasta types, and Japanese cuisine. In the late 1980’s, I first came into contact with Japanese cuisine. I was immediately addicted to the good food and the beauty of this kitchen. In the early nineties I started making my own sushi. Now, looking back, these sushi was very bad, because we could hardly get the right ingredients here in the Netherlands. Only soon later in the nineties these ingredients became easier to find. I love making different fresh pasta types, and Japanese cuisine. In the late 1980’s, I first came into contact with Japanese cuisine. I was immediately addicted to the good food and the beauty of this kitchen. In the early nineties I started making my own sushi. Now, looking back, these sushi was very bad, because we could hardly get the right ingredients here in the Netherlands. Only soon later in the nineties these ingredients became easier to find. And so I could further prefect myself with making sushi.
MARGAUX: Where do you get your inspiration?
Dimitri: Via the Internet. I’m so happy that we have internet now. I can now quickly get to know a lot of dishes. Because of the online videos, I often get ideas for making existing dishes that I’ve been making for years now in another way. Through the internet, you will be creative to try out new things.
MARGAUX: What new things are you trying for now?
Dimitri: I am now writing recipes for several De’Longhi, Braun and Kenwood kitchen machines. These machines will force you to put existing recipes in a new jacket. And to describe that everybody who tries these recipes on Kenwood machines is also easy to get out of it. It’s very nice to do. With the latest machines, the Cooking Chef gourmet can even cook sous-vide. This again opened many new possibilities for this kitchen machine.
MARGAUX: Have you authored any books, seminars, courses, blogs, newsletters or a website ?
Dimitri: Yes I have helped on a book “end of privacy” from author Adjiedj Bakas, he is trend watcher. And I write recipes for the Dutch and Belgian De’Longhi, Braun and Kenwoodclub sites.
MARGAUX: If you could take one month to travel to any gastronomic dream destination for you, where would you travel to and why ?
Dimitri: O, it’s not a dream next year I am going to Japan. I want to learn and understand if my sushi skills is the same as the real masters in Japan. I think if you want to grow in your skills then you must understand the background of the culture. Only then you can grow in your skills. MARGAUX: What further plans do you have in the future?
Dimitri: To write more recipes and try out new combinations. At this moment, I’m experimenting with molecular cooking, to catch Italian flavors in caviar and to process it again with a sous vide dish. I also like to combine old craft with the latest technologies, such as fresh pasta from Kenwood machines, using old wooden Corzetti pasta stamps. And besides, I read a lot of cookbooks and different cuisines from all over the world. So for the time being, I still have a lot to learn and write new recipes. But the most important thing is that people enjoy what I make.
Everybody knows the name of Salvador Dalí. Yet, a select few are aware that apart from his surrealist paintings that have conquered the world, he is also the author of two culinary books: “Les Dîners de Gala” and “Wines of Gala”. The titles are not a tribute to the Bulgarian talk-show host, but to Dalí’s wife and lifetime muse. For every Spaniard food and wine are essential elements of existence, only this time it is an existence seen from a surrealist perspective. As told by the author himself, “Les Dîners de Gala” fulfills the dream of a very young Dalí, who at the age of 6 wanted to become a cook. The book was published in 1973, when Daly himself was 68. The illustrations reflect his typical taste for the absurd, while the accompanying 150 recipes had been cherry-picked by the top chefs of Paris. Four years later, “Wines of Gala” came out as a sequel to his previous book… And now we have Ferran Adrià, another Spaniard, or as he is often called – Salvador Dalí of molecular gastronomy… But maybe some further information is called for: at the end of 20 c. the French scientist Hervé This decided to find the cross-point between cuisine, chemistry and physics decomposing foods to their molecules so that he can experiment with their different ingredients. From mid-90s Ferran Adrià started a real revolution in high gastronomy. His restaurant el Bulli, which used to be in Girona, Catalonia, held three Michelin stars and on several occasions has been ranked “Best restaurant in the world” by the UK magazine Restaurant. Unfortunately, “el Bulli”, which received more than 2 million bookings per year, closed down in 2011. The new culinary laboratory will be called el Bulli 1846 and is expected to open this summer. Just a hundred kilometers from there, in Barcelona, Xavier Palomar makes accessible to Bulgaria and the Balkans the newest technology of BioSystems called Еnology – a revolutionary method of wine and food analysis, which is much faster and economically efficient than the currently available solutions.