Expo Milano 2015 | Feeding the planet, Energy for life

By delving into the topic of human history by examining two aspects of food production; traditional values and the use of new technologies, Expo Milano 2015 hopes to address their residing them of feeding the planet and energy for life. The topic was chosen based on the global hunger for innovation within how the planet is fed, and in the many different forms this could be interpreted. With a greater desire to fuse tradition with modernity, it is an innovation that can only be celebrated.

Being described as “third culture” chefs, this new wave of individuals are challenging concepts of what gourmet, or cuisine in general, should be. They are a new generation of chefs who realize that in order to progress, we must use the inspiration of our cultures, ethnicities, history, identity, memories and traditions, which go beyond just the classic notions of cooking, in order to create something new. In a globalized world, culinary cultural exchange is finally being represented and embraced for the incredible offerings it can bring.

Equally, as a reaction to the changing methods of food production that can take us away from the classic methods of cooking, we have seen a growing movement of food preservation. The appreciation of food purity and a need to protect culinary artisanal traditions, spring from the ever-increasing development of technologies, which remove the ‘human’ element of creating food. This is shown with the massive rise in more self-trained chefs launching restaurants, the growing influence of street food, culinary tourism, and a greater investment in our bodies and health.

There is a new culture of food that is beginning to catch up with the new global community we have been creating, and here at FOUR we picked out some of the highlights to look out for…

Location, location, location | Pin pointing cultural relevance and honing in on specific regional dishes to ensure flavours are as authentic and pure as possible, are on the rise. Some restaurants are solely specializing in just one localised region and its cuisine and making sure that this is the finest demonstration possible. Hot favourites of these regional delicacies are Basque, Sicilian, Ilonggo and Hangzhou, whilst other examples also include hybrids of these distinct localities, and the resulting cuisine such as, Nikkei (Peruvian/Japanese) and Peranakan (Chinese/Malay).

Gastronomic melting pot | Paying homage to a changing demographic within globalized cultures we will see exciting offerings from fusion cooking including Korean/Italian, Mexican/Japanese, Brazilian/Japanese and Filipino/Italian. This goes beyond fusion to create something truly unique and forward thinking.

‘Third Culture Chefs’ | As mentioned before, more and more Michelin star and gourmet chefs are investing their creative skills into the melting-pot culture of food today. Bridging cultural and culinary borders that reflect the changing nature of our planet, Chefs are more willing than ever to leave their classic comfort zones to find and tell new, innovative, gastronomic stories. We are seeing examples such as, Korean-American Corey Lee from Benu, San Francisco, cooking Chinese and French food, Chinese-Vietnamese Nicholas Wong cooking Japanese at Cho Cho San, Sydney, Andre’s, Singapore offering French-inspired fare by Taiwanese Andre Chiang and Ethiopian-Swedish Marcus Samuelsson doing Scandinavian and Southern comfort food.

Asian Makeover | Upping the ante are Asian chefs who want to showcase the powerhouse that the zone has become. They are producing a new generation of modern dishes and are bringing traditional notions of Chinese cooking to a new, fine-dining, level. Their choice of select ingredients such as, Iberico Cha Siu, Puntalette pasta as Chinese fried rice, as alternatives to classic produce is embracing both their gourmet, and traditional sides.

The great French revival | Big names in classic French cuisine such as Alain Passard and Alain Ducasse are helping revive it’s relevance by focusing on seasonal delights and locally sourced cereals and grains. Elsewhere, the great culinary mixing pot is allowing top Asian chefs such as, Yoshihiro Narisawa, Shinsuke Nakatani, and Ryuji Teshima to inject classic dishes with an Asian influence, helping take it’s popularity to new heights.

Haute cuisine meets home cooked cuisine | By this we mean, the incredible surge in the popularity and continuing success of street food. It cannot be avoided and is a gastronomic trend on an international scale. Now reaching the next level, which aims to combine the desire for ‘home cooked’ style food, with the enduring appeal of haute cuisine. By embracing the two, top chefs are producing some of the finest, or most innovative methods, of culinary creativity. Rumor also has it that even Michelin star chefs such as Alain Ducasse will be jumping on the band wagon, with the suggestion that he may open his own Paris food truck. Something that will no doubt have people queuing up!

Find out more information about Expo Milano 2015 here |www.expo2015.org