Dialogue with Eleonora Cozzella

28 May 2015

“Dealing with enograstronomia means going to touch the emotional chords in anyone’s life: food involves memory, feelings, even religion. It’s a very intimate matter, which should be approached with a great passion”.
Eleonora Cozzella edits the Food&Wine website of L’Espresso (one of the most important Italian Magazine), writing articles rush; following major conferences to understand the trends of worldwide food; turns to the best restaurants in Italy and Europe to identify or confirm the excellence and find new talents. She is also the President and Coordinator of the Italian jury of  The World ‘s 50 Best Restaurants Award, coordinating among 35 chefs, journalists, foodies, gourmet, giving the votes to the inner sanctum of international cuisine in an exclusive and cross ranking that goes beyond the most reliable guides. With her, we talked about a increasingly important sector both in the economic and socio-cultural.


Very often in Italian restaurants the chefs are found to be too real manager. He believes that it might be useful to have two distinct figures?
I think so, because, for what is my experience in Italy, it is difficult to be both. I’ll explain. Alain Ducasse in France is a great chef, but is at the same time a great manager. This means knowing entrust the management of each of its premises to a chef of trust, you have created a real school, he formed a team around the world in restaurants Ducasse leaves its mark, the stamp, the signature of Ducasse. This has not happened in Italy because we are still bound to an old type of food so if you go to a restaurant we remain disappointed if you do not find the chef in the kitchen. In fact if a chef is also a great manager he can leave the kitchen in her right arm and go around the world as does Ducasse, like Joël Robuchon, Yoshihiro Narisawa in Japan and Gaston Acurio in Peru.


She was able to observe closely how to manage top quality Italian cuisine and international. What are the differences and similarities?
In Italy there is precisely the role of chef -manager , the chef – entrepreneur. It can be a great talent in the kitchen and then be unable to follow the business sector, the marketing of your company. Then , when the situation is not rosy, it is better to rely on a manager. Very often there is a PR, but he does different things.


What advice would he give to a student who attended the MBA Food & Wine?
The advice is to follow this path only if you have a vocation for absolute Food & Wine. Even before the managerial side must prevail a great passion for everything you eat and drink good. People increasingly want to be told a story, even the best food will be even better if anyone can explain who is behind the food, because it has added value. Even the marketing in this area should not be cold. Dealing with food and wine mean in fact going to touch the emotional chords in anyone’s life: food involves memory, feelings, even religion. As it is a matter truly intimate, it is approached with a great passion.


Davide Oldani recently gave a lecture in BBS. He said he believes strongly in the MBA, but added that work in this area need a lot of humility. He means something very concrete: to go to work on the premises as a waiter, go to dig the earth, going to get to know the territories.
I agree. When you’re passionate about something, you have to know in every detail. So you have, in the sense that not only tell you know, but you’ve proven your skin. This is a very important aspect, as it would be helpful if the food critics did experience if not in the kitchen, at least in the room, so that we understand the difficulties of those who are on the other side of the fence. This is a matter that you can not only study. I can not imagine a manager in charge of Food & Wine that does not like to eat or drink , who has not pleasure in what he has to do in life . This is one of those areas where work and pleasure must match.


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