Tag: Guide

Franciacorta is the official Michelin Guide partner for the USA – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

An enthusiasm also shared by Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide: «I am happy that our collaboration with Franciacorta can extend to the US market, toasting together the extraordinary successes of chefs and the restaurant sector in all our destinations, commented Poullennec. “Our shared values ​​and commitment to promoting the food and wine sector demonstrate that this collaboration represents the perfect combination to bring to the ever-growing US food scene.”

The collaboration between Franciacorta and Michelin has also received the positive opinion ofAmbassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia: «I am pleased and proud of this new collaboration between Franciacorta, a symbol of Italian excellence in the wine sector, and the prestigious Michelin Guide in the United States. This collaboration will increase the American public’s appreciation not only for Italian wine, already much loved, but also for the Made in Italy philosophy that Franciacorta perfectly embodies, for our ability to uniquely combine tradition and innovation, giving priority to well-being and sustainability, offering extraordinary quality and, in the food and wine sector, unparalleled taste.”

Franciacorta and the States: esteem is renewed

Not only the precious collaboration with Michelin: Franciacorta is in fact a partner of Emmy Awards, a prestigious event for American television that celebrates the industry’s greatest hits and most talented artists. The growing success of television has attracted international actors from the world of cinema and theater in recent years, creating an increasingly loyal global audience. The 76th Emmys will be held in Los Angeles on September 15.

50 Best and Michelin Guide: why do chefs care so much about appearing? – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

50 Best and Michelin Guide: why do chefs care so much about appearing?

Let’s start with a concept: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 it is a ranking, not the bible of catering. We won’t bore you with the methodology that leads to the final result: to simplify, it’s a mega-survey among professionals – with notable and declared lobbying actions (ergo, there’s no point in denying it this time it didn’t work for Italy) – while the Michelin guide it is the evaluation of a group of people (the legendary inspectors) who go around the premises anonymously, getting it right or wrong. So, in light of the half disappointment (three quarters, if you think about it) that arose from the night in Las Vegas, the question is: will we have real damage from the almost general worsening of our best restaurants? Yes and no. In the meantime, let’s remember how it went for our heroes: Lido 84 in 12to position (he was seventh in 2023), Reale at number 19 (he was 16th), Piazza Duomo in 39th place (he was 42nd, hurray) and Uliassi only in 50th (he was 34th). In the list from 51st to 100th there are Atelier Moessmer at 52nd and Le Calandre at 51st while Mudec greeted us which in 2023 was 85th.

The “very good lounge”

The damage is of a promotional nature for the Italian food system and for the establishments that need – and almost all of them do – international customers. Because beyond the legitimate pride of being among the best chefs in the world, it is about being part of the “very good salon” that brings a group of serial gourmets from one part of the globe to the other, even in frankly uncomfortable places. Example no. 1 is represented by Lido 84 by the talented Camanini brothers: great cuisine, full of ideas; very nice restaurant with splendid terrace overlooking the lake; Italian hospitality. But only the presence, at the top, in the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 it allowed him – we have proof of this – to seat Mexican, Japanese and American customers in Gardone Riviera, even and above all out of season when there is desert around. The good Davide Scabin who was part of it for a few years with Combal Zero always remembers that «the moment I entered or returned, I received hundreds of emails to book from all over the world. When I lost positions they automatically dropped.” And the Fifty beauty. Which for Italians – including gourmets – doesn’t mean much (find someone who will mention Reale’s placing, but everyone knows it has three stars), but for those who want to broaden their horizons a lot.

Michelin arrives later but…

And here we are with the fact that seen through our eyes, the fall of the gods is more a question of personality than reality. In the sense that the Italian clientele (small, objectively) of our top venues only looks at the Michelin guide: hence the terror, especially of the chef-patrons, in losing a Star and the infinite joy in winning the first one or rising in rating. Now, it is also true that the maximum ratings often coincide or rather Nostra Signora Rossa usually comes later to certify the excellence, as was the case with Noma. Disfrutar, new restaurant n.1 (almost obvious) for the The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 has the Three Michelin Stars, Extebarri – second in the ranking – only one, but it is the temple of grilled cuisine, therefore perfect for those who love trends, but not for the Little Red Book. Table Bruno Verjus, surprise of the year, boasts two, but be careful, it is located in Paris and even in this case it does not have the perfect standards for the Guide. For the record, our best ones – apart from the aforementioned Lido 84 – have had the Three Stars for some time.

Bottura’s role

Pulling the strings, if you want to “be in the world” it is essential to be part of the 100 chosen beyond the real value. Without any malice, three-quarters of the South American or Asian restaurants in the ranking are inferior to dozens and dozens of European and Italian restaurants first and foremost. While from one country to another, Michelin can be more proactive (in France, obviously) or more severe (Italy, but up to a certain point); but it becomes complicated to criticize her for assumptions. On the topic The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024, we will have the counter-proof of every reasoning (theoretical, lobbying and concrete) in a year under the Mole: Turin will host the 2025 edition. The great maneuvers have already started, with the objective – not easy, we say it now passing as pessimists – to raise the group’s prices. Because, it is fair to point out, now the real phenomenon – namely Massimo Bottura – is in the Hall of Fame and has been co-opted to better organize next year’s event. We could say it’s a shame you’re not still playing.

Halal: quick and easy guide – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana

Halal, a concept that oozes with meaning, goes far beyond its literal translation of “lawful” in Italian (the opposite of which is Haram, or “unlawful”). To reveal the most intricate nuances of this fundamental principle of Muslim religious practice, I had the pleasure of interviewing Walid Bouchnaf, the quality manager of BeHalal Srl. Through this conversation, Bouchnaf guided me on a journey of understanding that transcends the mere “ban” on pork and the dynamics of slaughter ritual, revealing a broader panorama that characterizes the Halal approach to daily life.

What is Halal (in a simple way)

Walid Bouchnaf began our conversation by highlighting that Halal is not simply a set of dietary rules, but rather a philosophy that permeates every aspect of Muslim life. The practice of Halal is not limited to the act of eating alone, but extends to work, education, social relationships and even daily actions such as going to the bathroom. The Muslim, therefore, seeks what is lawful and strives to distance himself from what is considered unlawful or Haram.

Within the food sphere, I was guided through a deeper understanding of Halal. It is therefore not just a matter of choosing legal foods, but also of evaluating the methods of obtaining them. Ritual slaughter, often mistakenly identified as the essence of Halal, is only one part of a bigger picture. This process, which involves killing the animal by bleeding, is not only a religious act, but also a technical approach that aims to guarantee hygiene, considering blood as a potential vehicle for bacteria and viruses and therefore illicit.

Bouchnaf stressed that the focus on ethics does not stop at slaughter, but embraces the well being overall animal. The animal must be in excellent physical and psychological condition, come from ethical farms and comply with specific standards. Furthermore, the company that markets the product must adhere to religious and ethical values, pay taxes and not be involved in illegal activities or linked to the mafia.

It is emphasised, therefore, that Halal is not simply a question of meat, but a holistic approach to life, involving environmental, ethical and social responsibility issues. It’s not just what you eat, but also how it is produced and marketed.

Halal: are there certifications?

As regards the world of certifications, yes, specific Halal ones exist and Bouchnaf illustrated the fundamental role of organizations like BeHalal (for which he works) in the food sector and beyond. These entities act as a bridge between the religious and industrial dimensionsensuring that the standards of quality, ethics, safety and environmental respect are respected.

Food: what is best to eat and when

After exploring the Koranic precepts, the conversation concluded by exploring the relationship between Islam and food, as suggested by the Sunnah, or the Prophet’s behavior in terms of practices and education. Walid shared that Islamic tradition encourages moderation in eating, then sharing meals, appreciating what you have and admonishing you not to waste food.
The Hadith (anecdotes about the life of the Prophet, a constituent part of the Sunna) provide specific indications on foods, underlining the benefits of fruit and vegetables.

What and how to consume

All cultivated plants, herbs and mushrooms are considered legal for humans, excluding those harmful to health or that cloud reason, such as alcohol and drugs. The Hadiths report the Prophet’s predilection for certain foods, including watermelon, melon, cucumbers, grapes, quince and the Kebas fruit of the Miswak tree.

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