We are with Luca Manfè, the winner of the fourth edition of Masterchef USA, who will answer some questions asked by our editorial team and some of our food bloggers:
1) What is the event that gave life to your love and passion for food?
I’ve spent my life in a family where we ate well and I believe that this could have made the difference. Then, there is my profession: I am a Restaurants Manager and this has led me to improve my sense of taste and my knowledge about the ingredients and the different techniques of execution.
2) If you have to take a friend who has never been in Italy out for dinner, which dish would you recommend him?
Risotto and homemade pasta definitely.
3)In your opinion, Which Italian product is still not well known abroad?
Franciacorta. The Americans know Prosecco wine and Champagne, but Franciacorta is still almost unknown.
4) In regards to the Italian Sounding phenomenon: what could be the solution to “fight” against it?
Unfortunately I believe that, in Italy as well as in the US, this is related to market policy and laws. They should not allow to manufacture and sell products that are not made respecting the origin and cannot guarantee impeccable quality standards. For example: in order to protect the authenticity of made in Italy products, no one should be allowed to produce cheeses similar to Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Here below, the questions of our food bloggers Alessandra Chiara, Ale Gambini, Alida Zamparini and Jessica Montanari:
5) Why do you decide to take part in Masterchef USA? (Ale Gambini)
I was watching Masterchef on TV and I thought it was just the right show for me. At that time I needed a real push that would give me visibility and thereby facilitate the success of my projects. First of all the restaurant.
6) After winning Masterchef, celebrations and big parties were made in your honor. How Italian people welcomed you once you returned to Italy? (Jessica Montanari)
Returning to Italy was fantastic. In the village where I lived, Aviano, my friends organized a surprise party for me. The warmth of the Friuli’s people was incredible. It was like they shared this experience with me and I am very pleased to be a source of pride for my country.
7) The dessert that has distinguished you in the last episode of Masterchef was a tricolor panna cotta with tomato and basil. Your cookbook will be released soon: will we find a cross-contamination between American and Italian cuisine? (Jessica Montanari)
My book is called “My Italian kitchen” and I assure you that there are not American-Style recipes in it. There are many recipes that have been handed down to me by my grandmother and my mother, traditional recipes from Friuli, and dishes that I created on the show and in my short life as Chef.
8) Thanks to you, the American people are discovering the flavors of the Friuli’s cuisine. What dishes of Friuli you think could be appreciated and why? (Alida Zamparini)
Surely the Frico, thanks also to my restaurant, it will become a very popular dish, at least in NY. It’s a poor dish with ingredients that everyone likes.
9) We know that the Italian cuisine and the made in Italy always collect a lot of success in the US. According to your opinion, how would you renew the Italian eno-gastronomic image to bring it to the next level of success and to widen its knowledge and diffusion, not only in the US but also globally? (Alessandra Chiara)
Thankfully the market of Made in Italy products is unlimited. The most important thing is to keep up with the current trend and do not persist only on classic cuisine because, on the long run, it could get boring.
10) What is for you Italian cuisine and what are the secrets that make it so special compared to other cuisines? (Alessandra Chiara)
The secret of our kitchen is that we are the best to enhance the flavor of each ingredient. We don’t cover the taste of foods with sauces. It’s a healthy cuisine because Italy has fantastic products all along its territory.
11) Who taught you to cook? (Ale Gambini)
I learned a lot from my mother, but I’ve been living alone since I was 21 years old so many things I learned it by myself!
12) Who is your model Chef? (Ale Gambini)
I love Gordon Ramsey and Graham Elliot, but I also like very much Tomas Keller, David Chang and Michael White which are very famous here in the US.
Credits photo: http://lucamanfe.com/