CONVERSATION

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool

issue #09: food is cool

The Diary of Marco Assaggia, chef and performer, is the cover story of Issue #09, entitled: Food is cool. Welcome to Caleido, an inspirational diary, that narrates many stories: about creative people, trends, travels, objects. / Read the Editor’s letter here

Diary of: @marcoassaggia

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @federicabottoli
1. In recent years, and with a strong acceleration due to the pandemic, people are rediscovering a more local dimension of living. Even food (I say this deliberately in Italian) is at the centre of this evolution. What is your point of view on this?

Food always conveys a message. In this historical moment, it represents sharing, aggregation and light-heartedness. I see a return to the pleasure of sitting at the table. Let’s hope it lasts because it’s my favourite one…

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
2. In the world of food, the aesthetic and presentation dimension is of fundamental importance. What is the process that leads a chef to create a dish with a strong technical component, but presented in such a visually appealing way?

I’ve always thought that you take the first bite with your eyes. When I cook a dish I think about what my mum would like and what I would like. Then I combine the components.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
3. In any creative work there are (often challenging) boundaries. Which are yours?

The constraints are very useful in keeping us on track. I believe in exalting tradition, which I find much more revolutionary than having to chase the avant-garde.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
4. If you were not a chef, what would you imagine yourself to be? Have you ever had concrete temptations to do a completely different job?

I have thought about changing jobs many times. Restaurant kitchens are often difficult environments, so I often thought I wasn’t good enough or strong enough to cope. But then I had the strength to build the job on myself, and now I am at peace with it. In the next life I would like to be a social worker or an educator.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @giuseppe_presti
5. Do you remember the moment when you put on a chef’s uniform for the first time? If you were to describe that moment in a personal diary, what would you write down?

My first work experience was (a bit by accident) in a Michelin restaurant. The whole brigade was dressed in white, with the collar in the colours of the Italian flag and the name on the chest. I felt very proud.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
6. Food, and the moments associated with it, are also a weapon of seduction. What is a particularly “seductive” dish that you have cooked?

My cooking is tasty and appealing… So I think it has an intrinsic seductive component.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @gianbellomo
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @gianbellomo
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @gianbellomo
7. Your dishes are often characterised by colour. How does research into colour take place? Are there any tools or platforms you use?

I am colour blind, so I generally see strong colours better. Otherwise, when in doubt, I often ask for confirmation of what I am doing. However, I do have a favourite colour: pink.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
8. Your personality is very outgoing. Apart from your work, what are the passions that you like to cultivate and that give you the greatest stimulus?

I love travelling very much. Travelling allows me to give shape to my curiosity… which focuses above all on everything that I find distant from my own being.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
@marcoassaggia
9. Your work also has a strong entrepreneurial component. How do you manage to combine a more creative soul with a more managerial one? If you were to talk to young chefs approaching this job, as a personal chef, what are the characteristics you think they should have?

I’m a rather realistic person: I know my weak points, so I let them help me.  I know how to delegate when I realise that I’m not the one who would do it best. About the second part of the question: I will try to be as concrete as possible: the restaurant market is rather saturated, so I believe that those who approach this world must have a large supply of ideas and perseverance. Beyond that? I always recommend having “a plan B” as well.

Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @gianbellomo | shooting by @cirque.d_
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Ph. @ilariadatri_
10. What is one object in your home that you would never give up? What is the memory attached to it? Can you send us a photo of it?

I have an inordinate passion for vintage tureens… They make me feel good.

caleidodiary_mmcompany_intervista_marcocorradi-assaggia_24
other contents of this issue:
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool
Marco Assaggia: Food is cool

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