dialogue with avant-garde chefs
dialogue with avant-garde chefs


Academia Barilla hosted a digital event to mark the tenth anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of the Mediterranean Diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

A “Conversation of Taste” streamed live on Thursday 24 September featuring chef Davide Guidara, of SUM restaurant in Catania, an “enfant prodige” of the avant-garde Mediterranean cuisine.

The purpose of this appointment: to take a look at the model of the Mediterranean Diet from a new and global point of view.

Interviewing the chef is gastronomy journalist Chiara Marando with an exchange of ideas that start off with the chef’s bond with Mediterranean Cuisine and moving on beyond the national borders to connect with other culinary traditions: “What has always fascinated me about Mediterranean Cuisine is the ability to welcome different traditions and ingredients, transforming and strengthening its identity. This is very similar to my professional path, which is made up of travelling and experiences that have led me to get acquainted with different cultural and gastronomic approaches. I have now changed my philosophy of cuisine, which was initially based on study, but I now want to look beyond and think about what the future of Mediterranean Cuisine could be, which is also the result of an exchange of ideas with other young chefs”.

And precisely regarding the role of young chefs, Guidara stated: “I believe the Mediterranean is progressing towards a new era. The key players in this change are us, the younger generation, who emigrated to other places around the globe to learn different cultures, ideas and techniques in order to express them according to a shared concept, which blends past and new concepts.”

His cuisine is one that is made up of contaminations where characteristically Mediterranean ingredients converge with other traditions. Certain elements remain fixed, as in the case of pasta, which is significantly present in the Chef’s menu: “There are two reasons as to why pasta is essential in my kitchen: as nutrition, but not only; most of all, for its global aspect, which unites distant cultures and countries, becoming a common denominator”

An account concluding with a practical moment in the kitchen where the Chef prepared one of his signature dishes: “New contaminations of pasta and beans” made with cosaruciaru beans (Sicilian slow food presidium), miso beans, ginger and seaweed, beans fermented in nukazuke, spelt nukazuke, bean broth, garum of beans and mushrooms.

Therefore, strengthened by the firm and rooted principles of the Mediterranean Diet, contaminations become indispensable for its future transformation. A concept that Davide Guidara points out with conviction sustaining that “Traditions that merge create something new. In this context, the Mediterranean becomes a context of change, development and sustainability”.