Ferran Adrià’s new gastronomic project in Italy

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In Italian, condividere means “share”. It is also the name of the gastronomic adventure undertaken in Turin by Ferran Adrià and the Lavazza coffee company: a trattoria Contemporary where traditional Italian recipes evolve with balanced doses of play and technique. Adrià’s idea is to “democratize haute cuisine” with tasty and informal proposals to enjoy in company and have a good time. The famous chef at elBulli makes it clear, however, that this “is not Ferran Adrià’s restaurant in Italy, but Federico Zanasi’s restaurant”, the chef who heads the establishment.

With capacity for 45 diners, Condividere resembles a stage with cinematographic and theatrical reminiscences, designed by the Oscar-winning set designer Dante Ferretti. The place has an industrial aspect, like an old coffee factory. A curtain of clocks with the time zones of the countries where Lavazza’s raw material is collected delimits the salty kitchen atmosphere and a charming sweet theater in the background is reserved for after-dinner desserts and coffee.

With capacity for 45 diners, the venue is reminiscent of a theatrical or cinematographic setting

Condividere sports a style kitsch Elegant. “It is a dreamlike place, it seems the dream of an artist a little crazy,” says chef Federico Zanasi (Modena, 1975), who runs the gastronomy of this Turin restaurant with a team of 20 professionals. The space displays graffiti on the walls, a gigantic deconstructed cup of coffee, large tables … The kitchen is open to the living room, with a Japanese bar to sit in front of the chef and a mural with regional specialties and decorative details reminiscent of old taverns from Pompeii. The printed menus have a casual pop aesthetic and read like a comic. “Everyone builds his tasting menu with the dishes on the menu, which is very long, with many options,” explains Zanasi. “It is a unique place at a competitive price”, which translates into options of between 60 and 90 euros per person.

Preparation of the coffee spheres designed at elBulli in the Lavazza research laboratory. Carmen Secanella

In the repertoire of dishes you can find Bullinian preparations such as olive spheres, as well as waffles of faina (Piedmontese street food), the modern bread tigella… “We will not remove these things even as we vary the menu,” says the Italian chef. “And, of course, there is no lack of good olive oil and pasta, especially stuffed, which is easier to share. “We have an ideal bridge between Spain and Italy, which is the Iberian pig. We serve it with garum Roman and we also make a saltimboca with different sausages. There is an Italian-Spanish sequence ”, relates Zanasi. Its mission is to give life to an understandable gastronomy, author dishes to share among several people, with respectful games of ingredients, reminiscent of the regional culinary memory, both from Piedmont (whose capital is Turin) and from other Italian regions.

Federico Zanasi, head chef of the new Turin restaurant Condividere.
Federico Zanasi, head chef of the new Turin restaurant Condividere. Carmen Secanella

“You can eat from the menu or single dishes with an appetizer. We have done in-depth work around stuffed pasta. We have fish, meat, vegetables … The suppliers are from Piedmont; a fisherman from Liguria brings us a very good genre… ”, says the chef. “Condividere is a juicy, fun proposal. Starting to eat the snacks with your hands relaxes, takes protocol. The formula is pleasing. They tell me: ‘It doesn’t seem that we are in Turin, it seems that we are in Barcelona or London.’ Both children and older people come, they have a great time. It is a different experience. Ferran told me: “You think what you would like to eat on your day off and where you would like to go.” We do simple things with very good technique and high quality, using seasonal ingredients that people recognize when they eat them. “

“Condividere serves 100% Italian cuisine: we have done research on its history. It is a work on regional cuisine, with all the ingredients that characterize it ”, explain Zanasi and Adrià. The relationship between the chef at elBulli and Lavazza, which operates in 90 countries, began in 2000. Numerous experiments with textures, flavors, shapes, cups, utensils and packaging have been emerging from a laboratory connected between Turin and Cala Montjoi: caviar of coffee, amber spheres of coffee, cappuccino in foam, èspesso (edible coffee), coffee sponge cake (made in the microwave), Passion Me (a hot-cold cocktail of passion fruit and coffee) … The coffee company is linked to the Pollenzo University of Gastronomic Sciences, with which it teaches a Master in Coffee Studies, and has also collaborated in the elaboration of the Bullipedia, the encyclopedia of gastronomic knowledge powered by elBulliFoundation.

Ferran Adrià's new gastronomic project in Italy

Dum Plin Marco Polo in Joselito broth and roasted tongue and green sauce set on a cinnamon stick.
Dum Plin Marco Polo in Joselito broth and roasted tongue and green sauce set on a cinnamon stick. Carmen Secanella

Given the extensive relationship with Ferran Adrià —18 years old—, when thinking about consulting, the choice of Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of the coffee group, was always clear. The Catalan chef also had the complicity of the photographer and gourmet Bob Noto (who died in 2017) to launch Condividere. And in his memory there is a tribute on the restaurant’s menu: the Bob Noto dish, which combines elBulli’s iconic parmesan ice cream with mead, the nectar of the gods according to the ancient Romans.

To master that Spanish-Italian formula created by the elBulli chef together with Lavazza, his brother Albert Adrià’s hospitality businesses (concentrated in Barcelona at elBarri, in Paral·lel) have been the inspiration and training of Federico Zanasi. “I have worked with Albert Adrià in all the restaurants in elBarri and in the Heart of Ibiza to be able to breathe the style well,” recalls Zanasi. “I have done everything: living room, kitchen … an overview. Ferran has always said that we have to achieve a balanced mix between Bodega 1900 (the vermutería with tapas from elBarri) and Tickets (a place that represents fantasy, the game), all translated into Italian: with technique and entertainment and always excellence . For me it has been a great opportunity to work in Spain. I am happy, my previous career was classic and now I feel freer “, says the man from Modena, who confesses that” as Massimo Bottura says [chef de Osteria Francescana], I have balsamic vinegar in my veins and Parmesan muscles ”.

“We serve 100% Italian cuisine: we have done research on its history”, explain Zanasi and Adrià

“Taste, Italian history, creativity” is the motto of the restaurant, which wants to emphasize “the human dimension of traditional Mediterranean hospitality”. But although in Italy food is a family and friendly moment, “sharing the plate is not customary,” says the chef from Condividere. “I do not understand why the classic restoration in Italy has not followed the family model of sharing. The restoration in Spain has been more visionary. And in France the bistro has triumphed. I hope that in the future there will be more and more trattoria modern ”, says the chef, who predicts a progressive movement of Neotrattoria. “My colleagues are already working on it, working the product very well, updating recipes, serving natural wines.”

At the moment, coffee is not an ingredient in salty cuisine at Condividere. He is the protagonist of sweet cuisine, desserts and after-dinner, where coexistence is encouraged at a leisurely pace. For this, the restaurant has a space focused on the ritual of coffee and the value of desserts. “Coffee, a moment of pleasure”, reads the neon sign of one of the facades of the Nuvola complex, the corporate management center of Lavazza where Condividere is located. An entire declaration of principles.

Condividere staff eat before service.
Condividere staff eat before service. Carmen Secanella

In the center of Turin (not only a city of coffee, but also the world capital of vermouth), the modern structure of Nuvola stands out. As its name symbolizes, it is an architectural cloud of 30,000 square meters projected by Dino Zucchi. In the Aurora neighborhood, Nuvola touches the streets of San Tommaso (where he founded his small store in 1895, Luigi Lavazza, the founder of the brand) and Bologna, where you can access the sustainable office building where more than 600 employees work. . The complex encompasses a square open to the public, with landscaped and wooded areas, archaeological remains of a Paleo-Christian basilica and business, cultural spaces (a coffee museum and the Institute of Applied Arts and Design) and leisure, as a bistro for employees. and city public with home cooking “from the garden to the table”. And with the gastronomic banner of “sharing as a lifestyle” designed by Adrià.

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