Edoardo Fumagalli speaking to the young chefs: "Put character into your dishes"
Advices from the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Italian finalist for the 2019-2020 edition young finalists.
Edoardo Fumagalli, born in 1989, at the 2018 S.Pellegrino Young Chef edition, won the title of Italian Finalist and was projected along an intense and exhilarating itinerary, first taking him to the Locanda del Notaio, a one Michelin-starred restaurant at Pellio Intelvi and, then, from 17 July, to the Locanda Margon in Trento.
A few days after his move to Trentino, we caught up with the chef to find out what expectations he had regarding this change.
“I've brought a few members of my previous brigade with me, so I can kick off this new challenge with an already strong team. Obviously, I have high expectations for myself and for Locanda Margon.
First, I want to connect as much as possible with this wonderful region and with its products, while at the same time empathising with our clientele".
Talking about change. How has your style evolved over the years? Can you describe it in just 3 words?
“My cuisine is constantly evolving; I am always looking for something more to add to my basic cooking style. My focus is on searching for prime ingredients and produce, as well as techniques that will allow me to evolve adopting a complex simplicity.
My goal is to offer the guest a dish that is simple in taste, which allows him or her to identify all the ingredients, while savouring them as a whole. Obtaining such simplicity is obviously very complex. If I had to describe my cuisine in 3 words, I would say: simple, creative and light”.
Edoardo Fumagalli's world view is well expressed in one of his dishes: "Spaghetti di ravanello bianco, uova di trota e erba cipollina".
“A seemingly simple dish that however requires an extensive search for seasonal turnips that are finely sliced into spaghetti and seasoned with trout roe, with which a cream is obtained, which may also be served plain. Used as a condiment, citrus zest and an oil obtained from chives are added".
You have had many important experiences in contact with big names in the world of cooking and in the most diverse cities in Italy and around the globe. Was there a time when you felt like you could say I’ve made it?
"Every experience in my professional life has been fundamental; there’s not been a single time or a single stage that was the most important. Everything, from the years abroad through all the experiences - both important and less important - gained to date, every step has been, and still is, essential for moving forward.
Besides, I don’t think I'm able to say "I've made it" because I still consider myself on a journey and part of a working progress. I am a very demanding person and every day I roll up my sleeves, focus on taking my project one step further with the aim of always doing better and with the hope of always finding a new opportunity to grow, but I know that time and tenacity are needed”.
Edoardo Fumagalli's signature dish at the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 edition was a true statement of restraint and resolution. The "Gamberone shrimp, glazed and crunchy veal sweetbreads with marinated seaweeds" fully represents the path and the experiences of the chef who has focused on taste, elegance and simplicity, by choosing ingredients that he loved to work with and which were the result of his personal extensive search.
A very special dish, indeed, the only one - according to the chef himself - "to have marked my career because all the others, on the other hand, were the result of the various points of my career. So I have the idea of a special menu Esperienze that represents in 5 dishes the milestones of my history”.
Regarding the creation of the dishes, Edoardo Fumagalli wanted to give a suggestion to the finalists of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019-2020.
“The advice I can give is to present a dish that represents, first and foremost, your own personality and identity and, only second, a dish that represents your own nation. I think it’s important, especially at an international level, where identity and origins are essential for making a difference”.
Are you still in contact with any other S.Pellegrino Young Chef participants?
"S.Pellegrino Young Chef allowed me to create a fantastic network of contacts. I'm still in contact with many of the guys with whom I took part and there are also several occasions when we manage to meet up again and, then, with Anthony Genovese, we have struck up a very good professional relationship and friendship and we speak on a regular basis”.
At the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2019-2020 edition, the S.Pellegrino Award for Social Responsibility will be awarded for the first time, to the dish that can demonstrate that the principles of sustainability enhance food. How do you interpret sustainability in your cooking?
"In my cooking, there is always more than just a bow paid to sustainability; my approach is to increasingly search out the local product, according to the seasons. I don't think there's a better way of being sustainable in the kitchen”.
Which of your dishes best represents the concept of diversity and innovation?
"I believe the one that best suits this definition is "Ravioli di uova di trota, speck e crescione", where ingredients are used in an innovative way. I used the trout roe to make ravioli pasta dough, replacing the chicken eggs. The result is a very orange pastry that is then stuffed with a trout roe cream, a taste that is a real explosion of flavour. The ravioli are served with a speck and trout-bone broth and fresh river cress".
What is the future of the art of cooking?
"I believe the future is in the hands not only of us cooks but also farmers and breeders. More and more, I believe it will be necessary to enhance the products and produce of our regions, capitalising on the tradition of our country, while looking at it critically, allowing us to reinterpret it and create something new".