The Faces Of Italy’s Cuisine

Eugenio Medagliani is a very important person in the Italian culinary world and a
king in his field. He has been the editor of “il Cuoco” ( “The Cook” ) the Italian chefs association magazine, for 42 years and a professional kitchen tools supplier.

 

Photographer Maurizio Lodi is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this portrait/documentary photography.  From the project ‘People About Food’.  To see Maurizio’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Fiorenzo Giolito’s portrait was shot for La Stampa Sunday supplement. Fiorenzo is an important “affinatore”, the cheese ripening man and selector, who invented “Bra-ciuc”: the typical cheese Bra ( as the piedmont region town it comes from ) seasoned in Pelaverga red grapes pomace. Ciuc means drunk in local dialect.

 

Roberto Rinaldini is the “il più grande pasticcere” ( “the Biggest Pastry Chef” )TV show host and I wanted to portrait him for “Cucina Moderna” as a guru in his field.

 

When I was working on the book and Friday supplement of theo Republica newspaper “La grande cucina di Gianfranco Vissani” ( The Great Cuisine of Gianfranco Vissani ), I had been spending 40 days with the team of the most important Italian chef at the moment. We became friends. This shot is unpublished but reminds me the feeling of working at the restaurant for a long time, when nobody cares any longer at the end, you are a friendly eye and succeed to be a real witness. I think it’s the way I would work on reportage if I had to.

 

Alfonso Montefusco is an Italian new chef I’ve made a book with. The cover of “ Il fantastico Cuoco” ( The Fantastic Chef ) , as the title of the TV show he was involved in, is a portrait of him cooking for friends. Alfonso was one of the five Italian gay master of style in the show, and the food manager, able to change your point of view about life.

 

I involve myself in talks with unknown people, just to share a smile, or a joke in a typical Italian approach. I’m always interested to know different personal stories, opinions and points of view. Sometimes I find a contact point to start a new conversation , sometimes stories are completely new and surprising.

My job as a food photographer for mainly Italian food magazines leads me sometimes to meet people who manage or work in restaurants. One of the first thing  a chef must realize is that I’m going to be putting my dirty hands on his/her creation in order to get the best result. As I’m separating taste and sight I’m creating two realms in which we both are in charge, respecting each other. So there is no surprise if I’m asking for new and fresher basil leaf to add to the final product/photo. As we’re relaxing, collaboration grows and at the end of the day our job will be done in the best way we can.

Yes I’m shooting food but I think that portraiture is the most satisfying field in photography.  Somebody says that portraits is not worth anything if you don’t know who you’re looking at. So let me introduce  you to my friends.

 

Sergio Mei, was the chef at Four Season in Milan, well known in Italy and abroad. Sergio is also the author of the book “Italian Cuisine the Italian way”.

 

Nittin (gold silk vest) and Sonnu ( red ) were the waiters in my friend Amrit, Indian Restaurant Shiva in Milan. I think people from Asia has a special gaze at life, and in their eyes. I was rapt by their elegance and faces, looking at them moving around.

 

The group in white are the director, editors and graphic team of the Italian food magazine “Buona Cucina” I’ve been working with for six long years, elbow to elbow.

 

All images and text © Maurizio Lodi

 

 

See also:

Jap Talian Food

By Maurizio Lodi

 

 

 

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