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Nicola Dinato and Andrea Valentinetti: haute cuisine speaks for itself

Nicola Dinato works swiftly and confidently behind a shiny new La Cucina, mixing sauces, gravies and colourful spices, and if it were not for his Chef's uniform he could easily be mistaken for an ancient alchemist.
Nicola Dinato works swiftly and confidently behind a shiny new La Cucina, mixing sauces, gravies and colourful spices, and if it were not for his Chef's uniform he could easily be mistaken for an ancient alchemist. Once student of the great Ferran Adrià at El Bulli in Roses, and Alain Ducasse at the Louis XV in Monte Carlo, today he is a starred Chef and Patron of the Feva restaurant in Castelfranco Veneto. At his side, Andrea Valentinetti (Chef at Patisserie D&G with important experiences alongside Chefs Erminio Alajmo and Carlo Cracco) prepares pumpkin tarts, which turn out to be delicious, and a lemon Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée, the smell of which is still lingering on my palate. These are the Chefs that will be doing the cooking show at the Berto's stand during the SIGEP Trade Fair in Rimini. In the knowledge that they are both friendly and helpful, we approach them for an interview, and Andrea is the first to tear away from his work. We ask him when he discovered that there was a chef inside him: "As a child I was fascinated by my grandmother working in the kitchen, but I actually wanted to be a sports journalist! - he tells us smiling - then I went to hotel and catering school, followed by my first important establishments, starred restaurants, and the decisive meetings with Alajmo and Cracco: from them I learned discipline and precision, respect, love for one's work." We ask him what it's like to work in a Berto's industrial kitchen: "To be honest, it's so beautiful that it feels almost like a sin to use it. Then you remember that it is so functional and easy to use that you can work in it for hours on end; and you can clean it in no time at all, as if the day’s work has barely left its mark. Then you want to enjoy it, use it, experiment some more. “Leaving the induction hobs for a moment, Nicola comes to joins us, adding, "Berto's kitchens are like tailored clothes for Chefs, giving us the opportunity to express ourselves. This is also because there is a continuous exchange of views and information with the company. Not everyone permits you to be a person as well as a professional, and I think this is the true secret of the Berto's philosophy We then ask Nicola what he thinks the future of his art is: "My restaurant offers three choices: Body, typical local dishes; Mind, seasonal dishes and menus that our customers become attached to and always want to find when they visit us; and Soul, the essence of the Feva Restaurant, dishes that are fruit of the inspiration of the moment, pure creativity and experimentation. What I’m trying to say is that cooking is a synthesis of tradition and research: the link with the land is inseparable and must be cultivated; its essence lies in the roots and in culture, which are the foundation of any new experience. I say this because the starred chefs of the past were our great-grandmothers, our grandmothers, our mothers, especially here in Italy, who cooked amazing food every day without even thinking about it: a high level cuisine, not born in the courts of kings or princes, but in regular houses. I want my most recent project, Cucina Madre, to be a Manifesto which, in light of this concept, aggregates ideas, chefs, methods, tradition and innovation ".
We'd like to talk further with Nicola Dinato and Andrea Valentinetti, and we still have lots of things we’d like to ask them, but the cooking show must go on. We therefore let them get back to work in their Berto's professional kitchen, and to the many questions of those in the audience who want to figure out a recipe, get a tip, or be let into a starred secret.
 
 

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