Women in charge: interview with Antonia Klugmann for Identità Golose 2018


Women in charge: interview with Antonia Klugmann for Identità Golose 2018

During Identità Golose 2018 in Milan we met Antonia Klugmann for a chat about her work, Masterchef and much more.

We had a chat with Antonia Klugmann who presented her first recipe book at Identità Golose 2018 in Milan . This year at the congress there was talk of the Human Factor , of the need to regain the centrality of human relations. For this reason, meeting the new judge of Masterchef – one of the most cult characters of current Italian gastronomy – we believe is a contribution to getting to know her better.

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Replacing Carlo Cracco was not an easy task. In the past editions, the chef from Vicenza has amply demonstrated that he is the most media-oriented, the most televised. How much effort is it costing you?
In my absolute madness (because sometimes I realize perfectly well that I am not on the bubble ), I never thought that I was the replacement for Cracco. Carlo is truly a person with a very strong personality, with a strong identity, so it is clear that I could never have been his replacement. We are very different people and, to be honest, I find this diversity extremely interesting.

Success has certainly arrived, but did Cracco’s heir character win or the novelty of being the first female talent chef in Italy?
But I do not know. Does it make a difference that I’m a woman? I find that all mixed environments, inevitably, are the most balanced and most sensible. Imagine a newsroom of men only, without a female point of view. The same thing obviously applies to kitchens. I understood that all environments are a cross-section of society and that for this reason they must represent the right mix between men and women.

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Let’s talk about the absurd social aggression suffered in the very first episodes. Do you think it is the daughter of a vulgar masculine and macho attitude or the sign of this society that does not accept confrontation, which allows such aggression and then provides a veil behind which to hide?
Fortunately, I heard the issue of social media only after the first few episodes, then things went down. I was mostly bothered by the attacks that had a sexist background, of course. After that, of course, there were also aspects that had to do with pleasing the audience or not, but I didn’t see this as a problem. I was dealing with a completely different professional reality and therefore I had also taken into account the criticisms. What is certain is that it would be very nice if there was a bit of education on social media too, education that is necessary in everything in life, that’s all!

Masterchef is undoubtedly a great opportunity: do you think that what it is giving you is proportionate to the sacrifices you are making?
But no, we actually made the decision right away to close the restaurant for 2 months. It was a really winning choice because I was able to concentrate only on Masterchef.

You’ve always told yourself little. We know about university studies, about Caprera, about the sailing license, about the love for jazz, but do you want to tell us about yourself in everyday life, in your family?
To tell the truth, now everything is known about me. I have just presented my book Of heart and courage , where I tell about myself under a thousand facets. I’m talking about my choices of freedom and my dreams. Of the fact that I am only myself when I cook. Inside the book, through the recipes, you can understand the reason for my choices. For jazz, on the other hand, I have to say that I don’t understand much about it. Music is more of my husband’s thing. He is a great enthusiast, knowledgeable and attentive. I always rely on him and his choices.

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You follow the garden, collect (and teach to collect) the spontaneous herbs in the woods and fields to your cooks: isn’t all this too niche?
I believe that one cannot be contemporary and modern (whatever job one does) without worrying about the environment, the planet, what surrounds us. This is why we decided to take care of the vegetable garden and crops. Among other things, our garden cannot fully cover the needs of our restaurant. Only for herbs are we completely independent. Let’s say that this thing has put us in a completely different perspective of sensitivity towards a series of problems.

Who achieves results like yours is the most skilled manager or talented cook?
The manager is also needed, but the cook is something more. I am obstinate, disordered, tenacious, precise and rigorous. All character traits that make me a perfect person for this job.

I leave you with a hint of frivolity: are the high-heeled shoes you wear a conquest or an environmental contamination?
(laughs) It was the discovery of a particularly interesting side of himself. Truly.


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