Edoardo Fumagalli: “A chef's biggest challenge is to be unique”
Edoardo Fumagalli is the Italian finalist in S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018. Learn about his story and what drives his passion for cooking in this interview
The young Italian chef from La Locanda del Notaio, at Lake Como, won over the jury during the local competition for Italy with his "Gambero carabiniere, glazed sweetbreads, crispy algae and aromatic salad".
With his chef mentor Anthony Genovese he has spent the past months fine tuning his dish ready for the ultimate judgement by the Seven Sages at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Grand Finale.
As he prepares for one of the biggest moments of his young career we asked Edoardo some questions about his dish, career choice and expectations.
Please describe your signature dish, and explain why you choose this dish over any other?
Carabiniere shrimp, veal sweetbreads, crunchy algae and aromatic salad. I was at work looking for a dish that could be unique, I started from solid, classic and consolidated bases that could give me the opportunity to create, innovate.
What made you become a chef?
The possibility of being able to incite a moment of pleasure and togetherness among people motivated me to become a chef. At first it was born between the four walls of my home and then the possibility of making this passion turned into a profession.
Who has influenced you in your career?
Alain Solivères, chef at the Taillevent restaurant in Paris. At only 33 years old he had his first 3 Michelin stars. His professionalism and discretion have immediately changed my way of being in the kitchen. He is a figure that goes beyond that of chef, primarily a great man.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years’ time?
Without doubt, in the kitchen.
How are you/will you collaborate with your mentor in order to perfect your dish for the Grand Finale?
A great collaboration was born with Antony Genovese. A chef with considerable experience and at my complete disposal. A continuous exchange of ideas and observations are shaping and directing the dish towards perfection. We are mainly working on taste and details that could make the difference.
What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
The biggest challenge of S.Pellegrino Young Chef is being able to distinguish oneself, working on uniqueness. Today, more than ever, we need to build not only a solid identity but an authentic one.
Why do you think you can win the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 title?
I can’t say that I will win the title. I can however hope. It would mean that we will have fully achieved the goal and would be the crowning glory of hard and intense work.
If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
Definitely artisanal work, and why not something artistic.
What’s your most memorable food experience?
The most decisive experiences are related to grandma's cooking. My greatest memories of taste and smell I acquired from her. One of them is the smell of dried pasta in its cupboard.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I dedicate my free time to the people I love and then as soon as I can, so much sport: running, cycling and swimming.
Why did you decide to apply again?
The stimulus that this competition gives me pushed me. I started from a past semi-final experience. This helped me a lot to be a winner on the day of the race. The competition offers the chance to get involved and grow professionally.