The Professor’s Stories: Cogo, A Fish Out of Water


The Professor’s Stories: Cogo, A Fish Out of Water

A Fish Out of Water is a documentary shot in Norway in which Lorenzo Cogo and Mikael Svensson discover the path of stockfish from its origins.

Almost 600 years pass from Pietro Querini to Lorenzo Cogo . The first, a Venetian merchant, was shipwrecked in 1432 in the waters around the Lofoten islands, 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, where he was rescued and refreshed, returning to Venice with 60 stockfish, the cod that the fishermen of the islands dried in the open air. after capture, to make food to be consumed throughout the year.a documentary to discover the stages of the stockfish, so important for Venetian cuisineThe stockfish immediately became a symbol of Venetian cuisine (and many parts of the Adriatic) and today two-thirds of those in that area products are sold and consumed in Italy. The cod alla vicentina is the iconic recipe and it could only be a chef from Vicenza, Lorenzo Cogo, to retrace those routes traveling to Røst (a small island in the Lofoten) in order to discover the roots of that food which, arrived from the other part of the world, it has become the symbol of a cuisine thousands of kilometers away. The result was a documentary , filmed in the summer of 2018 and premiered at the Venice Film Festival and in its full version at the Teatro Comunale in Venice: A Fish out of Water .

Directed by Riccardo Vencato and Stefano Pellizzaro for Wannaboo Video Productions, the documentary tells the microcosm of this small island, surrounded by an infinite sea, where the few inhabitants are dedicated to fishing and drying cod, whose commercialization is practically the the only source of livelihood, increasingly put at risk by the warming of the waters. The best time for fishing is between April and February, when the cod come back to the cold waters to lay their eggs. And then there is the drying on the stocks , the typical wooden racks. The stories of those who gave up their jobs to dedicate themselves to this activity are told. Here there is only one restaurant and it bears the name of Querini, that ancient explorer. Lorenzo Cogo got up thereto know all the stages and passages that lead to the finished product and to give the art of transformation into dishes , making them discover the taste of sea urchins, which they threw back into the sea when they ended up in fishing nets.

The final part of the documentary is dedicated to the meeting with Mikael Svensson , a Swede who emigrated to Norway in Oslo to open his Michelin-starred restaurant Kontrasf , like El Coq of Vicenza’s Cogo. The meeting led to the creation of a menu that takes stockfish from appetizer to dessert , where it blends with white chocolate in a dessert that is now proposed again at Garibaldi, the bar on the ground floor of the building that houses El Coq. We should talk about how Lorenzo was promised young too soon, in a period when being one was even more difficult than now: a sort of fish out of wateralso in its Vicenza, where it took time to establish itself after the opening almost four years ago. But we’ll delve into it after a next visit.

There was then a subsequent dinner with which Svensson reciprocated Cogo’s visit on the occasion of the screening of the documentary. As part of INfusion , a format developed by the chef from Vicenza, in collaboration with Acqua Panna-San Pellegrino, which includes a foreign guest chef with whom to blend cultures, ideas, techniques, materials in single dishes. In the newly refurbished room of the restaurant with the drawings of Matteo Cibic, the other dishes alternated among other dishes the Potato bread with cod bottarga and Bettelmat, a magnificent and crunchy Puntarella with bergamot and pickled watermelon , the delicious Linguine with squid, onions and rocket, naturally cod with crispy leek, the fresh note of apple and the spicy note of jalapeno, and the sweet grand finale ofPlum tatin .

A dinner to close a two days in Vicenza , a city to discover and enjoy in every corner, of great quality. And to begin to highlight Lorenzo Cogo’s talent.


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