Identità Golose 2015: what do foreign chefs think of us?

We interviewed 3 famous foreign chefs to find out what they think of Italian cuisine and gastronomic conferences.

The eleventh edition of Identità Golose 2015 ended last night . During the 3 days in Milan dedicated to haute cuisine, we had the opportunity to listen to extraordinary foreign chefs and we decided to interview 3 to find out what they think of Italian cuisine, of our chefs, of gastronomic conferences.


Brett Graham
Brett Graham


The first is called Brett Graham : a handsome man in his forties, nice, Australian. His is The Ledbury in London, a restaurant positioned in tenth place in the ranking of the best restaurants in the world according to the English magazine Restaurant ( World’s 50 Best Restaurants ). Concrete chef, very refined, perfectly at ease with the classic technique of French cuisine but able to fly very high in terms of creativity and modernity.


Eneko Atxa
Eneko Atxa and Matteo Manzini


The second – one of the most anticipated chefs of the congress – is Eneko Atxa . An independent Basque, very humble, he presents himself with gypsy clothing and somatic features, in contrast to a restaurant, his Azurmendi in Larrabetzu , Vizcaya (Bilbao), one of the most extraordinary, elegant and modern in the world. Made in eco-friendly architecture, the restaurant is powered autonomously with solar energy. In the list of the World’s 50 Best restaurant it is in 26th place . His cuisine is strongly territorial but avant-garde in terms of cooking methods and the manipulation of textures. He works with the inseparable Matteo Manzini , a young Ligurian chef who has embraced Eneko’s cause for several years now.


Vladimir Muhkin
Vladimir Muhkin


And finally the young Vladimir Mukhin , a chef many are talking about right now and not only in Moscow or the Russian Federation where he lives and works. His beautiful White Rabbit is the only Russian restaurant included in Word’s 100 Best Restaurant, in 71st place but ready to climb to 50. Vladimir wants to let the world know the tastes and flavors of the traditional cuisine of his country, actually less in the limelight than others international gastronomy, and it is succeeding very well.

Foreign chefs

Is this the first time you come to Identità Golose?

Brett Graham : “Yes, it is the first time but it is also the first time that I have attended such a large congress outside London. I came because Paolo Marchi mentioned Enrico Crippa (chef of the Duomo of Alba, 3 Michelin stars ed) , my friend and great cook ”.

Eneko Atxa : “It is also the first time for me at Identità golose. I was a bit excited because, as I explained during my lesson, we are playing at Matteo’s house and we were particularly keen to bring something interesting ”.

Vladimir Mukhin : “First time and I like it very much because all the chefs here seem free to express themselves. Yes, freedom is the most tangible thing “.

A congress is an opportunity for….

Brett Graham :  “For me it is an opportunity to inspire young people, indeed I would say that it is the most important thing. I don’t come here just to talk to other established chefs or people from the food industry, I come here to offer my thoughts to young people and if even a couple of them are inspired by it, I’ll be happy ”. 

Eneko Atxa : “Above all to learn. And then a congress is a great opportunity to exchange points of view, opinions, you don’t necessarily have to agree with everyone but the comparison is fundamental “.

Vladimir Mukhin : “It is an opportunity for me to introduce Russian cuisine and its products. Nobody talks about it and few people know it yet you know, it is not so far from the Italian one. It makes me proud to be here because it is as if I were the flag bearer of my country’s gastronomy ”.

What do you think of Italian cuisine?

Brett Graham :  “I was in Tuscany for my honeymoon and then here in Milan, I am not an expert in your cuisine but of the chefs I have met, such as Enrico Crippa or Massimo Bottura, I like passion and incredible care of the raw material. You Italians have a great history from this point of view. But I have also noticed that some Italians tend to want to excel and want to convince you that they are the best. Sometimes they speak badly of each other even if they are only a few kilometers apart, it’s a funny thing, it’s so strange! ”.

Eneko Atxa : “I’m not saying this because we are in Italy, but I love Italian cuisine very much. It is very tasty and deeply rooted in tradition and I believe that the Italian – not just the chef – feels a great union, a bond with his gastronomy. It is part of its culture ”.

Vladimir Mukhin : “I like Italian haute cuisine but I much prefer your traditional cuisine: pasta, Neapolitan pizza, white truffles”.

Where did you eat in Italy?

Brett Graham : “From Enrico Crippa, and it was incredible, a crazy experience” .

Eneko Atxa: “I’ve been to the Pont de Ferr, from Carlo Carcco, from Aimo and Nadia, for example”.

Vladimir Mukhin  “I ate in a lot of places: at Piccolo lago, at Combal.Zero by Davide Scabin, at Carlo Cracco’s, but the first for me, ever, is Massimo Bottura of the Osteria Francescana in Modena. I can’t forget that experience, I remember every single dish perfectly. That cook is completely crazy and so are his dishes. When you eat them you can’t help but say WOW and be completely amazed “ .

In which direction is the kitchen going and how do you imagine the restaurant of the future?

Brett Graham : “In the meantime, I hope that thanks to the global crisis we begin to eat better, less and more consciously. As a type of cuisine in the tables of the future I see many more vegetables and much less meat, necessarily bought outside the large-scale distribution “.

Eneko Atxa : “I’m not interested in the direction of world cuisine, what I hope is that every chef will have their own history, their own space and their own experience. Each of us was born with a different story, had a different teacher, even before a father and a mother who cooked for him in a different way, and therefore interprets the pleasure at the table in a unique way. If from different parts of the world, far from each other, a unique trend is followed because of fashion, the kitchen flattens out. I want to sit in your restaurant and get to know your project “.

Vladimir Mukhin : “I don’t know, but an important and absolutely recent trend is that customers are giving more importance to how they feel after eating, they want to be clean, to feel good. So certainly a less heavy, less greasy cuisine. You have to feel full and not bloated ”.

Eneko Atxa : “ Answering the question about the restaurant of the future, obviously I hope there will be all possible formats, a wide variety of forms and ways of catering. It’s like watching a movie: once you want a classic film, another time you choose a romantic film, and another time you prefer a thriller, the important thing is that they are interesting and beautiful. Here, in gastronomy it must be the same thing ”.

The Italian dish you love the most?

Brett Graham : “Besides the classics – I won’t say pizza – I tasted a dish based on thistles at Enrico Crippa’s for the first time, from that moment on thistle has become my new favorite ingredient”.

Eneko : “I really like the Savona focaccia also because my sous-chef Matteo prepares it every Friday for the staff”.

Vladimir Mukhin: “Pasta topped with white truffle, without a doubt!”

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