The Taste of Emotions

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Monzù: cuisine with view, a terrace overlooking Faraglioni rocks :  multi-sensory experience (taste, smell, sight ..). Gourmet restaurant of the luxurious Hotel Punta Tragara, between its lines designed by Le Corbusier,  sticks out the kingdom of Chef Louis Lionetti : 32 years old, he  already boasts an impressive curriculum.

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“Everything begins at age of 15 years, in Pescara where I was pursuing my childhood dream, to be a football player. Unfortunately, due to an injury I had to give up this passion.”
But Luigi did not lose heart and started chasing  another passion.
“I attended the hotel management school” De Cecco “, who organized me an internship at the restaurant” Da Paolino “Capri.” The beginning of an everlasting love : the one for cooking. “To be honest, from a very young age, I have alway been enchanted to see my grandfather preparing delicious meals and I still remember the fish lunches  in the best restaurants of Naples, when my father took me with him to see the football matches of our favourite team .”
But let’s start from the restaurant Da Paolino:
Essential experience, “I have lived there (he really used this verb!) seven seasons working hard.
paolino.jpgI learned what are sacrifice, respect for colleagues and hierarchies. Lino De Martino is one of the greatest restaurant manager of the Island. I owe my personal growth to Nando Arcucci, Chef of the restaurant at that time, a very nice person that immediately pushed me to continue working in that field. “
Luigi is eager to learn new things and more and more passionate about cooking: features that will make him a “next door” Chef .
In 2007 at the age of 23,  he has the opportunity to join the team of the prestigious hotel “Punta Tragara” of Capri, as a sous-chef, and from 2011 as Executive Chef. “Here I was lucky enough to work with the starred chef Gennaro Esposito of  Torre del Saracino. Gennaro revolutionized my career. I feel enriched, both professionally and personally, I have learned how to recognize raw materials, to respect and value each product during its specific season. “
Your career as a Chef led you to travel and challenge yourself with other realities, but yet in your menu is always recognizable our local raw materials. There’s always a piece of Capri with you. Tell us about this mix  and your relationship with the island.
“The cuisine is my playground, my second home. It ‘a place where I feel particularly at ease and free to express myself in so many ways.
esternogiorno.jpgI never forget our territory, even when I cook modern dishes:  at Monzù we are sustainable from all points of view, innovative, and we are open to all the possibilities that the gourmet world of today offers us.
Travelling in many different countries, questioning  yourself with other colleagues,  enriches your professional background.  No coincidence that some influences grow from these experiences, that I then put into practice.  But what makes the difference today is knowing how to be authentic.
monzuCapri is omnipresent, even in certain experiences and events  I took part, I always carried with me this beautiful island, especially in 2013 when I ran as best emerging chef , for Luigi Cremona Award, in 2013. The dish that I presented was a  ” Mozzarella ice cream” , I am proud of it: a basil soup and a biscuit with tomato.  I called it “Unusual Caprese” , revoking the caprese salad,  the same ingredients used in a sweet way.
In my menu , I will never miss:  tomatoes, lemons, extra virgin olive oil, fresh fish . Today we can be good, very good, but without great raw food we can do very little. The products must always be respected and never stressed. “
During the era of health-consciousness, you propose dishes like pasta with potatoes, or eggplant parmigiana ..Do they work? How could  you make  the Mediterranean cuisine lighter without betraying its taste?
I belong to a land of great products, the most linked to our tradition, often the simplest dishes, are the winning, so in my menu there will be always dishes like spaghetti with clams.
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The future is  make the  cuisine as light as possible : always keep an eye on vegans and vegetarians, they are growing more and more and we are happy to receive and satisfy them in the best way.
I can consider myself obsessive about work, because I love the constant research for taste.
A dish comes from a thousand memories, talking to an old person, a fisherman, with my grandfather, dealing with colleagues; it is crucial to give value to what the season offer us..Then the Inspiration can come even listening to a song or looking at my children ..
Questioning yourself, keeping up-to-date is the spice of my life the real secret of this work.
I try a recipe million times before it reaches an excellent standard and has something to tell. And for this I am very pleased that most of the customers who come to Monzù, tell us that they find the cuisine tasteful .. it makes me even more happy when the same client return to eating that particular dish..That’s a real satisfaction.
Your brigade, what does it mean to you to be Chef? Leader, or active part of the group? Your rules in the kitchen?
“Chef” … I have always considered it a buzzword, “cook” sounds better, but having such a big responsibility overjoys me,  I know I have a huge duty because I certainly can not go wrong nor let down anybody.
Luigi loves the team working: “The key to success is a right brigade: make sure that the people you work with are valid and adequate first of all as person, then comes the rest. In our kitchen we are all part of this wonderful job, we are a team of which I’m proud : Antonio my sous chef, Riccardo , we worked together for six years .. we are friends as well as colleagues. The all have hearts of gold. A fundamental  part of this fabulous team are our three dishwashers who follow me everywhere. They are never mentioned but behind us there are them .. We could hardly do well without them.
Michelin, what does it represent for you this world?
Michelin to me means a stage not a goal.
It might me reached with specific standards of quality, raw materials and definitely an impressive cuisine.
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I would lie if i would say that we do not believe we can achieve it…
The road is still long,  but we are a beautiful property, perhaps one of the most competitive on the Italian and international scene. I consider myself extremely lucky to be part of it.
The cook with his dishes tells stories and if you manage to transmit them  it is a great collective success
In the kitchen I can not stand who doesn’t have  passion in what he does.
If a dish, when I taste it, excites me then yes , it is ready to be part of the menu.
Gourmet addresses you would recommend.
Among the great Chef  I have met in my path, I want to mention Giuseppe di Martino, sous chef of Gennaro Esposito, now Chef of Postrivoro, Faenza; Rocco De Santis, Chef at Vistamare ( Latina), Cristian Torsiello in Valva, who recently won his first star, a very humble guy, grown up with Niko Romito. It  is rising more and more  the skill of women in the kitchen: I can name Fabiana Scarica with her restaurant in Vico Equense “Villa Chiara.”
Capri have made great strides, see the work of Capri Palace..Salvatore Elefante, or “Mammà” with my friend Salvatore La Ragione.
Keep an eye on  Da Tonino Restaurant, not to be underrated.
While on the Coast, I might be biased, but when I sit a at the table of Torre del Saracino of Gennaro Esposito is a thrilling experience, all the time. I am a person who can be satisfied easily, oddly my favorite dishes are the simplest ; what  I can not resist is  pizza and I always run when I can go to my sister and my brother in law in London, at the  restaurant “Addomme“. It ‘a place where in winter I often stop by, also because the hotel in Capri is closed.
In the gourmet world, you represent a rare exception, being very reserved person. What do you think of the of  Chef as part of a star-system ?
Everyone tells me you’re very humble, and I should expose myself more..But I’m what I’m, so I prefer that my dishes speak about me.
I would not judge those who decide to appear on TV or be part of shows, I just think that if something is made wisely and can help the gastronomic circuit, then so be it.

AnnaChiara Della Corte

Italian version: http://www.capripress.com/site/?p=7334

Jewelry Design made in Capri

VozzaStore.pngVia Fuorlovado  can be ironically defined the “little shy sister” of Via Camerelle: central hub that connects the main square (the so called “Piazzetta”), world’s most glamorous “salotto”, to the residential area par excellence, from the time of Tiberius to nowadays.

Typical, authentic, but always  looking ahead, here during the last 10 years  stood out family Restaurant like Aurora, which has  recently been enriched by an elegant lounge bar, tailor brands like Farella or Isaia, and the Jewlery design “Grazia and Marica Vozza“, which owes its name to the talented twins of Capri, creators of jewelery and accessories one of a kind.

Just a few steps away, as a younger alternative, the brand “Finestre di Luce”, up with with the coolest trends,  an idea of Carolina, Grazia’s daughter , a fresh look, like the one of Carolina, but already recognizable and precise.

With its characteristic Moorish windows, Grazia and Marica Vozza, it’s much more than a store . It is an atelier: “A living room where we “snuggle” our customers. We focus our work primarily on human relationship, we know our customers very well and our first interest is to fulfill their creative desires. ” Say the sisters.

vozza.pngRegarding the brand identity: Grazia is the creative part of the company while Marica follows the commercial side. Carolina, instead,  takes care of  the  business “strategy”: “I love photography and fashion, when I think about our jewelery I want our style be distinctive. I like to play with the mix match of gold and silver  with the inclusion of freshwater pearls and precious stones. I would say that I am the synthesis of my mother and my aunt, I consider myself a creative mind but I’m also attracted by the world of marketing and that’s the reason why with my aunt and I are starting to work on the e-commerce of  Finestre di Luce, that will soon be online. “

jewel.pngMediterranean declined in Jewelry: “Our source of inspiration is first of all Capri, with its landscapes, lights, colors.”

During winter time, Grazia is used to go out for long walks surrounded by  nature and intimacy that the island boasts in “low season”. This allows her to fantasize and think of the pieces of the new collection.

A successful example of Made in Italy (or even better Made in Capri). Maniac about details, ready to meet the most demanding and extravagant requests. Can you briefly describe the techniques and processing phases of Vozza jewelry?

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Most of our jewelry is designed by Grazia, and then created by our goldsmiths, while others are entirely made in our laboratories after buying the raw material such as ebony, ivory and amber.” Explains Marica: “Made in Italy for us is Love, Passion, and a touch of Originality. For us it is a guarantor of craftsmanship quality . ”

A brand that embodies a history of nearly two decades: can you tell us about its story?

“It all started in a small hidden shop in Via Li Campi where we were discovered by an American tourist (still one of our best customer) : she bought almost everything and put in a good word about our brand. Our clients are mainly  Americans: they are the biggest  fans of  made in Italy, handmade products and everything that is original on an island like Capri, which has always represented the wanton luxury. Talent, determination and luck led us to inaugurate the atelier in Via  Fuorlovado . We feel very well positioned in this area of ​​Capri, we are surrounded by many craftsmen. It is ‘the “bohemian” alternative to  Via Camerelle, it responds with elegance and craftsmanship to  the big names of fashion. “

Capri is an international window of incomparable prestige, which deserves space beyond its natural borders. And that is why  Vozza jewels have landed in the Big Apple: “Linda Fargo (store manager) discovered our store in 2010 and allowed us to sell our jewelry to Bergdorf & Goodman, exclusive luxury hot spot.”

Between Capri and New York, therefore, it only remains to choose where to shop!

AnnaChiara Della Corte

Italia Version: Capri Focus

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Un Soggiorno da Bauhauser

 

 

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Art Hotel, una delle tendenze più in voga e forse anche più riuscite degli ultimi anni nel campo dell’Hotellerie: caratterizzare gli spazi con complementi di arredo ispirati da opere di Maestri del Contemporaneo o vere e proprie creazioni artistiche site-specific. Parallelamente, anche i B&B si impreziosiscono proponendo una forma di ospitalità diversa, più autentica, che comunica visivamente tramite il proprio genius loci.

 È  ciò che è accaduto al Bauhaus di Dessau, anonima città post-industriale nell’area orientale della Germania, trasformatasi negli anni ’20 in una vera e propria Mecca per gli appassionati di architettura modernista, oggi sede di un B&B di design. Il Concept è proprio quello della Scuola tedesca di architettura per eccellenza ( che  operò anche a Weimar e Berlino prima che il movimento nazista ne ordì la chiusura): l’arte, l’artigianato e la tecnologia,  teoria e  pratica,  unificati in un’opera d’arte totale, la Costruzione. 

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A metà strada tra bottega artistica e laboratorio artigiano, progettata da Walter Gropius e completata nel 1926 come “manifesto costruito”, scuola pubblica e democratica dove allievi e docenti studiavano, vivevano e lavoravano insieme. Malgrado la sua breve vita, divenne punto di riferimento fondamentale per tutti i movimenti d’innovazione legati al razionalismo e al funzionalismo. Dessau è stata la prima località nella quale il Bauhaus ha potuto realizzare il suo programma non solo di corsi, ma anche di costruzioni. L’edificio, con la sua caratteristica cortina di vetro,  include anche la Preller – Haus dov’erano un tempo gli ex alloggi per studenti e i loro balconcini sporgenti , indicanti all’esterno la suddivisione in piccole unità abitative. Queste camere sono ora disponibili per 40 euro a notte.
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Per molti fanatici e/o nostalgici del Movimento Moderno, è un sogno che si avvera: trascorrere una notte nella “Casa della costruzione” , erede delle avanguardie pre-belliche e del Werkbund( lega tedesca artigiani), un’ associazione di architetti interessati a sperimentazioni urbanistiche  organicamente inserite nel contesto sociale ed economico. Dopo la caduta del muro di Berlino, l’iconico edificio è stato aperto al pubblico come museo prima, e da circa due anni  come bed & breakfast, offrendo la possibilità di vivere per qualche giorno come gli studenti che vi soggiornavano quasi un secolo fa, con bagni, servizi e ristorante comuni. Il restauro è stato effettuato in maniera fedele, grazie al ricorso ad immagini fotografiche dell’epoca e a ricostruzioni varie.Le 28 camere sono tutte dotate di sedie Wassily e scrivanie in acciaio firmate Marcel Breuer. Semplici e spartane, ma particolarmente luminose, grazie alle ampie vetrate.Per chi desidera un soggiorno più esclusivo, le cinque Suite (a partire da 60 euro), un tempo destinate ai residenti più illustri della scuola, sono  personalizzate con arredi su misura progettati dai loro ex inquilini, tra cui Joseph Albers e gli architetti Franz Ehrlich e Alfred Arndt.

Portare l’educazione artistica fuori dalle accademie,  i Maestri e gli apprendisti del Bauhaus furono figure di spicco della cultura europea dello secolo scorso, la cui esperienza didattica  ha inciso sull’insegnamento artistico e tecnico fino ad oggi. Questa nuova destinazione  inserisce l’edificio nelle tappe di un “Grand Tour” contemporaneo, favorendo la memoria storica di un luogo che non può essere dimenticato.
AnnaChiara Della Corte

Vogue 100: Timeless Style

 

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100 years: a milestone birthday. Vogue, the monthly magazine for Fashion (and beyond)  celebrates its first century of British edition at the National Portrait Gallery ( London)

Vogue 100, a Century of Style: over 280 shots, taken from Condé Nast archives, published from 1916 to nowadays.

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“My hope is that the visitor will go back home with the assurance that Vogue is so much more than just a fashion magazine or clothing. It is a cultural barometer of our times. ” Explains the exhibition’s curator Robin Muir.

In addition to original prints, the works of photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Lee Miller, Norman Parkinson, Avedon, Irving Penn, Helmet Newton, and Mario Testino, the show displays  dozens of portraits of  Hollywood stars of the Fifties, up to those of the nineties supermodels, including “naughty girl from Croydon”, Kate Moss, British pride, almost deified for the exposure.

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The photographers of Vogue are not just  big names of the fashion world, they are big names in photography. ” Says Alexandra Shulman, the current editor in chief of Vogue, “we are always interested in new talents, in addition to the already established personalities.”
In fact we see the evolution of photography from the beginning of the last century, when the covers were almost artistic posters, to the glossy cover of today. And so,  in the same show: artistic photos where the subject almost disappears in the beauty of dream landscapes or in the complexity of a make-up, portraits of Royals (Princess Diana, in primiis), or even the Beatles, from style icons  as Twiggy, to the Supermodel Naomi and Claudia and the more “pop” ones Uma Thruman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley.
Also men, icon of British elegance,such as  Rupert Everett and Hugh Grant.
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Until May 22 it will be possible to take a trip in the history of the style, looking at the evolution of a mega brand like Vogue, which by 1996 already boasted an impressive website. Communicate through images,  through the video: indeed, the exhibition opens with a mega wall screen projecting the most influential divas of the moment .

This knockout exhibition may look like it’s primarily for those interested in fashion, but looking back on it, I can hardly remember any fashion in the sense of something someone might actually wear. It’s all about storytelling, image-making and personalities. On this showing, Vogue is about selling dreams rather than selling clothes. But that probably always has been the ultimate essence of fashion.

AnnaChiara Della Corte