The Farmerchef: An Italian Answer to Normality
The food industry is largely permeated by super heroes avid to try odd recipes, swallow all sorts of food, beverage and condiments, ready to describe the complexity of a peach taste profile, analyzing each item on the table using mathematical logarithms and diagrams…
The professional figure of a modern chef is something embracing a chemist, physicist and show man with sinister pleasure in mistreating audience and young assistants. Are we sure that this is the right person in the right place? Are these professionals really the new prophets we were waiting for? And more, what’s the real ethical message of a chef in this messy world?
We believe a different version of this individual, someone who started over again his culinary mission directly from the plough and the rural origins: The FarmerChef. Farm to table is just a façade of this phenomenon. It’s cool to say, almost a password to access to the new food society. An agriculturist is part of it, offering food and experiences, and is the beginning of a new identity for our new heroes.
Our robust clay soil gave us the inspiration, a silent suggestion to look back to our early years, our families, our fathers with large and powerful, calloused hands, gracefully able to grab a sledgehammer and chop wood logs, perform a vine grafting, plant new tomatoes, and at the end of the day prepare a robust polenta and make delicious sausages. That’s the type of person we have to look at again, generous representatives of genuineness, authenticity and pride.
The ancient Latin population used the expression “Genius Loci” to indicate some rare personality who was a wise connoisseur of all the elements of his territory, the land, people, history, food, habits and costumes. This person was able to converse about the right way to plant the new vineyards, how to make cheese, and at the same time, recite the virtues and verses of poets and words of pagan gods, and certainly later the same of saints and a new God. We find the same genius later on in Renaissance times, now dedicated to fine arts, mathematic, anatomy and astrology, excited to start using the fruits, plants and seeds that arrived from the brand new world, another land just discovered by adventurous new Ulysses sailing and looking for the end and the beginning of our Earth, finally round like a pumpkin.
The FarmerChefs are the new explorers of this newly iPodded New World, already explored, excavated, cultivated, eroded and polluted. They plant new seeds of old species, they need the smell of soil and grass to match fragrances of herbs and wines.
The path of the FarmerChef is difficult, steep, flooded, rocky and sanded. This creature has to deal with trends, magazines, gluten, Tripavisor and false myths on one side, and tractors, fungus, drought, Europen Union, invoices and bugs at the other side. The FarmerChef has hands full of ideas and answers, along with new recipes and new plants to grow, and always new and old places to bring pupils and clients.
The FarmerChef doesn’t like foamy food, molecular exercises and bubbly tests on a Bunsen flame, but crunchy baked focaccia, fried zucchini blossoms, red flamed tomatoes and a cracking open a watermelon. The bubbles are in, of course, but from the immense beauty of Prosecco and spumante, and the fermenting muscles of the grapes for his new wines.
The FarmerChef loves the jobs he received from his ancestors like a sacred Graal made of wood and dirt, and he blows new life to his old creeds and beliefs. The final mission is simple, easy, and plain like a field after the plough in August: offering true food, true ingredients and true experiences to those who are tired of façades and appearances. The ultimate answer to those willing to walk every day with a new and genuine concept of time, life, spirit, body, and food as part of a natural world, with its beauty, flavors, voices and, finally, answers. But still accepting ancient enigmas about the immensity of the difference between gelato and ice cream…