Back to basics: how raw ingredients matter

Using genuine ingredients as a foundation for excellence in the kitchen.

Behind a great chef, there are always great producers.This is one of the great cooking axioms, in all fields and at all levels. Chefs are well aware of this, which is why they always choose their suppliers manically: each of them has a secret network of markets and producers that guarantee the best products for them.

There is no need for a Michelin star to understand the concept, it is simple: if you don't have fresh, genuine raw ingredients cultivated (or bred) with extreme care, the final result will always be lacking. It is not a coincidence, therefore, that one of the major trends at the moment is the rediscovery of the land and its food peculiarities: every place on this planet has unique and unrepeatable characteristics that are expressed in the flavours, not to mention that the products that you have around maintain organoleptic properties that are definitely better than a product that has travelled across thousands of miles. 

We were saying: chefs know how much raw ingredients matter, that's why every component in the supply chain behind a restaurant is meticulously selected. Cooks travel, search, sniff, they wake up at dawn to beat the markets and grab the best products to offer in paper. Think about it: when you go to a starred kitchen, it is increasingly common to find dishes made up of three, four ingredients at most. The study of flavours and textures is painstaking, but when the raw ingredient is already exceptional, why distort it with complicated cooking and preparations?

Let's talk about Farm to Table, a food as well as cultural movement born in California almost twenty years ago, exploded throughout the United States and then in Europe. The key principle of this movement is healthy and genuine food, as we said a little above, respectful of nature and cultivated in a sustainable way. In short, those who adhere to the movement are committed to bringing products of local farms to the table, in the best cases grown and harvested by the chefs themselves. One for all: Dan Barber of the Blue Hill in New York, father of this movement along with other famous minds and chefs like Thomas Keller and Alice Waters. France and Italy are the Northern star of the transplanted movement in Europe; driving it are Michel and Sebastian Bras in Laguiolle in France, just to mention a couple of masters, but there are many illustrious examples.  The Italian Enrico Crippa made his vegetable garden his personal Eden, bringing all his past experience of food excursions and visiting famous kitchens to rediscover the local peasant tradition of Piedmont, the region where his restaurant is.

Every chef has his or her own "fetish" producers, precisely because every place on our planet has the food produce in which it excels. Let's not forget, then, that every product has a producer behind it, and a lot of fascinating stories to be handed down : so it's easy to get passionate. It also happens to the French Bruno Verjus.

Born as a journalist and food critic, Bruno Verjus developed an impressive knowledge on products and producers of excellence over the years. The next step was, of course, the opening of a restaurant in which to put all that cultural knowledge at work. His work is essential today to democratise a gastronomic culture that puts all of France on the plate, down to the smallest producers, fishermen and breeders. He himself enlightens himself by talking about the products he presents on the table, with absolute reverence for those who sacrifice their lives and their work for the perfection of a product.  

Born as a journalist and food critic, Bruno Verjus developed an impressive knowledge on products and producers of excellence over the years. The next step was, of course, the opening of a restaurant in which to put all that cultural knowledge at work. His work is essential today to democratise a gastronomic culture that puts all of France on the plate, down to the smallest producers, fishermen and breeders. He himself enlightens himself by talking about the products he presents on the table, with absolute reverence for those who sacrifice their lives and their work for the perfection of a product.  

ould you like to adopt the same philosophy in your home? Take inspiration from the great chefs: in this sense being Serious About Food means developing a relationship with those who produce and with those who sell the ingredients for your dishes: they can tell you the characteristics of a cut of meat, or let you choose the variety of fruit and vegetables best suited for the dish you have in mind.  Once at home, don't forget to keep the products in the best possible way: the KitchenAid Vertigo series provides you with refrigerators capable of guaranteeing excellent storage conditions for your finest foods.  In addition, with a shock freezer you can cool and freeze food in a very short time, preserving their original characteristics without loss or changes in flavour, aroma or nutritional value.  And always keep in mind that cooking, when using an excellent product, must be delicate: don't cover flavours, but enhance them. It is the synergy between producers and chefs, the true secret of a great dish.

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