A selection of world-renowned top chefs gathered in Paris for #50BestTalks: Beyond Frontiers, the ongoing series of debates, a The World’s 50 Best Restaurants event, with the partnership of S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.
On Monday 16th of September at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac Mauro Colagreco, Yannick Alléno, Manoella Buffara and Dan Barber among many others, hotly debated topics such as borderless cuisine, multi-culturalism, equality, environment and sustainability for a new future-forward approach to the culinary world.
Mixing it up across borders
Proud of his Argentine-Italian roots, Mauro Colagreco, chef of Mirazur in Mentone and winner of The World’s Best 50 Restaurants, explained that his decision to set up his restaurant in France was driven by both his admiration of French cuisine and the desire to mix it up, "I believe in mixing, brewing and influences. When I think about my life, I always wanted to meet, share and travel, while cooking. Borders are new places to meet. When we go beyond them, the limits no longer exist.” He went on to speak about the importance of a borderless cuisine, a meeting-place of different cultures that can be mutually appreciated while adopting his new culture, "I'm not French but I'm proud to live here and to claim French cuisine that I'm passionate about. I discovered my region and its singularity thanks to the producers and I want to share my knowledge thanks to my cooking." Leading on from these insights into the importance of an international cuisine, French cuisine and tradition came up for discussion with Yannick Alléno and others joining him on stage.
DNA and evolution of French cuisine
Two seemingly conflictual themes in French cuisine were tossed back and forth as all agreed that while French cuisine has its codes, they are mainly loosened depending on the country where it’s offered and the demographic. Young chefs experiment and aren’t strict with processes as were their predecessors.
French cuisine is therefore all about going with change and accepting influence, welcoming an influx of new tastes and ideas despite its DNA, in the words of Colagreco "For me, French cuisine will always be one of the best precisely because it opens itself up to others."
The planet on a plate
Among the many initiatives undertaken by notable figures within the industry to make our planet more liveable and sustainable for the future, two chefs in particular, Manoella Buffara of Manu in Brazil and Dan Barber of Blue Hill in Manhattan, are very active in their approach to sustainability. Buffara has set up beehives around her restaurant to aid pollination and has a strict no-waste policy “...it is very important to reconnect with our land and we can make things happen with a few small actions. It is our duty as chefs to show that we can cook with everything, even products usually intended to be thrown away ... From here is creativity is born!".
Barber is a prominent figure in the world of organics and spoke passionately about evolving while stressing the need to stick to age-old sources without developing new ones, "It's up to us to change our consumption patterns to look at the old seeds, even if it's not the only solution, I firmly believe that we can create new flavours by manipulating old ones". He is also founder of Stone Barns Center, an organic, sustainable farming food-system initiative.
S.Pellegrino promotes and grows young culinary talent through its S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition where young chefs get a chance to show their vision. Don’t forget to follow all the updates and news in the world of gastronomy on S.Pellegrino’s Instagram and Facebook.