Since its origins, there has been no diet that takes into account the heady fragrance of a freshly baked croissant … the kind that smear our hands a little and envelop our palate with a puff-flavored goodness
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America Anno Zero: for the first time Vanity Fair US and Vanity Fair Italia together for an issue on the United States on the eve of the vote
On the eve of the presidential elections on November 3, to understand the complex phase that the United States is going through and try to imagine the future of this immense country (and the world), Vanity Fair Italia and Vanity Fair America collaborate together for a special issue.
«For the first time in the history of this magazine, with Radhika Jones and the US editorial staff we have created a severely clear portrait of the United States of today. A country struggling with historical changes and revolutions that question the foundations of its history, its democracy and even its dream, the American Dream. On the cover, we have chosen to put her, Jane Fonda, an icon, an activist rather than an actress. 82 years old, a force of nature, a woman who has never stopped fighting and who perfectly embodies the doubts, questions and actions of an entire nation ", explains Simone Marchetti, director of Vanity Fair Italia.
For its part, Radhika Jones, director of Vanity Fair America, writes: "When Simone Marchetti asked me and the Vanity Fair America team to help him curate an issue on America in 2020, we jumped at the opportunity. We are used to writing about politics, about celebrities, about the world of entertainment and technology. But the collaboration with Vanity Fair Italia, which this year did such an important and engaging job, helped us to better understand what America represents and where it is headed ".
The interview with Jane Fonda reveals the background of the actress's commitment, who has always put her "body" at the service of the causes she believes in, from rallies against the Vietnam War to ecological battles in front of the White House in her Fire Drill Fridays, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Fonda reflects on Biden and Trump and the challenges any President will face after the vote.
Radhika Jones He then paints a beautiful portrait for Vanity Fair Italia of his hometown, New York, at the time of the pandemic. A wounded metropolis but ready to rise again, which suffers but which does not stop looking up, a city that has made resilience its strong point.
The issues that have access to the election campaign, climate change and social conflict – the tones of which have been exacerbated even more by the pandemic – are addressed in an article by the writer Daniel Duane, which bends how and why the fires that are ravaging California arise and how scientists can fight them, and in an exciting essay by the intellectual and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, which addresses the social conflicts that gave birth to Black Lives Matter and the birth of an anti-racist majority intent on creating a more inclusive world.
Still on this theme, a series of portraits frames seven visionaries who help understand how a movement like Black Lives Matter is born, a new generation of artists and activists who laid the foundations for global protest in defense of social justice. You go to the director Ava Duvernay to the writer Colson Whitehead, and to the journalist Isabel Wilkerson. A reflection on the role of Silicon Valley and on the risks and manipulations of digital platforms, recalling the scandals that followed the previous American elections, makes it Anthony Breznican, journalist, novelist and correspondent for Vanity Fair America who interviews Jeff Orlowski, the director of the documentary The Social Dilemma.
The expert Dave Cullen instead it tells the story of the activist Gabby Giffords, essential to understand why the issue of gun control entered the agendas of American politicians in 2020, and how we came to talk about it. And there is also a reflection on the show, the raw material of Vanity Fair. Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair America's leading critic for everything related to film, TV and theater, wonders: if a former reality TV star managed to become President of the United States – read Donald Trump – what is the weight of Hollywood stars in the life of the country in the Covid-19 era? All the other colleagues of Vanity Fair America then point out which books, films, documentaries and TV series are the key to understanding their country today.
Vanity Fair Italia also asked overseas colleagues if the American dream still existed. The answer was yes, and it's called Canada. To explain why it is the journalist Sonia Saraiya, in a funny article that is also the story of her marriage.
Italian identity and French mastery, the processing of plastic sugar is an art that is gaining ground and the world champion is the Italian Davide Malizia
It is the new frontier of designer decoration, but few know that the processing of artistic sugar has ancient origins and practical implications. And above all that it allowed us to beat the French in a "sport" in which they had been undisputed protagonists for decades. We talked about it with Davide Malizia, the new world champion of plastic sugar, the man who took the scepter from the French, this year conquering the Sucre d’Or, the Oscar of artistic sugar.
The history of artistic sugar
The art of sugar processing dates back to the times of the court of Caterina de 'Medici, daughter of Lorenzo de' Medici and consort of the French king Henry of Valois. We are in the sixteenth century and according to tradition, royal pastry chefs would have started decorating cakes for kings with a sugar processing technique borrowed from that of Murano glass. The Italy-France connection is therefore evident from the first stirrings of this art, even though the spread of artistic sugar until recently was practically the prerogative of the French.
The Sucre d'Or award
And it was the French cousins themselves, in 1997, who launched a prize for the best "tireur", the shooter of plastic sugar, the Sucre d'Or (literally, "golden sugar"). To bestow it, Déco Relief, a historic French company specializing in ingredients and professional materials for haute patisserie, which appointed Gabriel Paillasson as the first winner, considered a French pastry expert and inventor of the Pastry World Cup, which every two years sees the best of pastry challenge each other world. The intention of the promoters was to award this prize every ten years and Paillasson's successor in 2007 was Stephane Klein, another French master pastry chef, who has an atelier in Belfort, where he teaches his noble art to the new generation. However, ten years later, in 2017, no one was considered equal to these two predecessors and the promoters of the Sucre d'Or were waiting for the chosen one for three more years.
An Italian surpasses the French masters
And here comes the time to crown Davide Malizia, our local master pastry chef who has beaten the competition from beyond the Alps. "But it's not the first time, it's been a few years that Italians have been giving the French a hard time in international competitions," says the master pastry chef. And Malizia was always there: in 2013 she won the gold medal at the Artistic Sugar World Championship The Star of Sugar and gold at the Junior World Pastry Championship as the coach of the Italy team. Gold again as coach of the Juniores team in 2016 and in the same year Gold Medal at the World Pastry Championship in Paris, Mondial des arts sucrés, again as coach of the Italy team. The latest award, in 2020, is the world sugar Oscar, the Sucre d'Or, which is a band that Malizia will wear for at least ten years, just like its predecessors.
In short, this Italian pastry chef is one who, although he learned to master the technique of artistic sugar processing from the French, nevertheless surpassed the masters, or at least equaled them, both as an artist and as a coach. It took hours and hours of laboratory training, gritted teeth and iron tenacity to do so. In 2015 Davide Malizia founded Aromacademy, the pastry academy in Rome where he teaches this ancient technique to the new generation of pastry.
Technique and style: the secrets of Malizia
But be careful, because to become the best tireur you certainly need a great technique, but also style. “It's that extra something that distinguishes a good performer from a true artist and that makes his works truly recognizable,” he admits. Malizia probably had that extra something in her DNA, since, despite being born in Rome, she comes from a family of potters from Caltagirone, a plastic art, which also has some analogy with the processing of artistic sugar. In addition, Davide Malizia reveals a gem: "Do you know the stained glass windows or glasses that break in films, especially action ones? Well, they are almost always made of sugar, worked so that it looks like glass . And the connection with Murano returns strongly.
A rising trend
Windows that break apart, «today, explains the master Malizia, «artistic sugar is gaining ground also in Italy for the decoration of cakes in an important way. For years considered "useless" because the sugar sculptures are not eaten, artistic sugar is finally undermining the most massive sugar paste decorations in the ceremonial market. On the other hand, even cake design decorations are not really edible, unless you want to risk a glycemic spike. They also have a more pasty consistency, while on the contrary the artistic sugar, which is pulled like glass paste, can even be blown, becoming very light. It is therefore time for the gracefulness of plastic sugar, its bold colors and its potential in the creation of real sculptures.
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