As part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 programme in Singapore and in celebration of S.Pellegrino’s 120th Anniversary, some of the world’s top chefs shared their thought-provoking insights into the future of gastronomy at the Food Meets Future event. Discover the learnings from the conversation in eight key quotes
Responsibility. Talent. Inclusivity. Inspiration. Four words that will resonate with cooks and restaurateurs the world over. They are also four key principles that are growing in credence and relevance as the gastronomic world looks to define its role for the future. On Monday, 24th June 2019, Massimo Bottura, Anne-Sophie Pic, José Andrés, Garima Arora, Yannick Alléno and Janice Wong took these tenets as the jumping off point for discussion for Food Meets Future by S.Pellegrino, an event held at the National Gallery Singapore.
The world-leading chefs spoke passionately about taking responsibility for those less fortunate. They highlighted the power of a shared meal, discussed how to nurture talent in upcoming generations and how the gastronomic community can play a bigger part in creating a more positive world. Discover their thoughts on responsibility, talent and inspiration below – and stay tuned for the culinary community’s impactful words on inclusivity, to be published tomorrow.
American Express Icon Award winner José Andrés gave a poignant testimony of his work with World Central Kitchen, the charity he founded to provide relief in natural disaster situations worldwide. He said:
“If we want to feed the many, we have to give voice to the voiceless. People don’t want our pity, they want our respect. Sometimes, the way to give that respect is to involve them in the solution. At times, it seems like charity is about the redemption of the giver, when really charity should be about the salvation of the receiver.
“We went to Puerto Rico after the hurricane – 2.7 million people there were totally forgotten after the disaster. We went from serving 1,000 meals on the first day to 150,000 meals a day. In a few weeks, we were able to make 4 million meals, and that’s when I saw the potential in the work I was doing.
“Sometimes the biggest problems have very simple solutions. When people are hungry and thirsty, you just need to go there and start cooking. That’s what we do. Democracy starts with a humble plate of food.”
“We have learnt that there is so much energy around the table because sharing a meal is something incredible,” added Massimo Bottura, chef-owner of Osteria Francescana, No.1 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 and 2018 and now member of the Best of the Best hall of fame. “People who are treated as human beings are ready to give back.”
“Our responsibility is so high today, we have to stay together. That’s the message that we have to send to the planet,” concluded Yannick Alléno, chef at Alléno Paris au Pavillon Ledoyen in Paris, France.
Ever vocal about giving back to the community – something he has done consistently through his global foundation Food for Soul – Bottura gave some thought-provoking reflections on the topic of nurturing the next generation in the culinary world. He said:
“At Osteria Francescana, we always ask people: who are you? Then we ask them to show it through their work. I tell my cooks: tell me who you are in edible bites. We are a small restaurant with big ideas and big dreams. It is our responsibility to feed the new generations with dreams. I see in Italy a generation of young chefs who don’t have this dream of the future, so we have to feed them the future.”
Alléno was in agreement with the Modenese chef. “The next generation will be better than we’ve been. Our job is to not forget about this and to help them to share their experiences and cultures.”
“In our job, 90% is hard work and 10% is talent,” added Garima Arora, Asia’s Best Female Chef 2019 and chef of Gaa in Bangkok, Thailand. “So how do you recognise talent in a young chef? They keep their head down and work hard.”
“We cannot forget that the aim for all of us is to make people happy,” concluded Anne-Sophie Pic of her eponymous restaurant in Valence, France.
Chef Janice Wong, who was voted Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2012 and 2013 and owns 2am:dessertbar in Singapore, provided a physical representation of what inspiration means to her by building an edible art installation at the National Gallery Singapore.
“We wanted people to enjoy Singaporean flavours in art form,” she said. “We built six edible walls, one of our biggest art pieces to date. When you come in, you can just smell the chocolate, and that’s the idea of it – the edible concept where you can eat, taste, smell, touch. There is so much joy in doing this.”
Guests were able to get a taste of Wong’s inspiration by interacting directly with the edible wall, picking bites of chocolate, colourful fruity jellies and other edible elements.
Now watch the video highlights from Food Meets Future, and stay tuned to discover how chefs around the world pledged to create a more inclusive world in the article and video to be published on 2nd August: