CUISINES OF THE WORLD : The Silk Road: From Beijing to Rome
This year’s festival – Sani Gourmet 2014 – will be focusing on world cuisine through the prism of the Silk Road. The long route travelled by merchandise between Asia and Europe, bearing new ideas and cultural influences as well as commodities, made a decisive contribution to the diffusion of new ideas and approaches in one of the most fundamental areas of human creativity: gastronomy.
What was the influence of Asia on Europe? How did rice, for example, evolve into a major ingredient in European cuisine? How did pasta and soya take roots in the gastronomic culture of each country? Do we use spices in the same way as Oriental peoples? What are the differences and similarities between us?
These and many other questions will be explored by the guest chefs at Sani Gourmet 2014, whose menus will illuminate aspects of the gastronomic trail carved out over the centuries along the Silk Road, starting in China and passing through India, Iran, Turkey and Greece (to mention just some of the important stages along the way) to end in Italy.
We shall be studying all these different cultures through the flavours and fragrances which, reflecting many different culinary philosophies, make up the mosaic in which each country is different, and yet all share many common features. And this, finally, will the objective of Sani Gourmet 2014: to help us understand how food has brought together the cultures of Asia and Europe.
Among the chefs who will be taking part in this year’s Sani Gourmet are Jereme Leung, voted Chef of the Year by the Beijing edition of Time Out; Riccardo di Giacinto from Rome, holder of one Michelin star; Andrea Fusco, also from Rome and a Michelin star holder for the last four years (2011-2014), who has worked for such prominent figures as Alberto Sordi and representatives of the fashion industry including Frida Giannini, Valentino and Bulgari; our own culinary magician Chrysanthos Karamolengos, and from across the frontier in Turkey Ugur Alparlan, who brings his own esoteric knowledge of Ottoman cuisine.
The full programme for the festival will be announced shortly.