The theme of the talk in the Varenna/Poliform kitchen on 27 May was crossover projects for designers who cook and chefs who design. In the Milan showroom of the Lombardy-based company, Patrizia Scarzella, architect and journalist, revealed ‘secrets’ and ‘lies’ of two protagonists of the world of design and cooking: Carlo Colombo, designer and architect (who felt right at home at Poliform, having worked on Varenna kitchens for two decades) and Davide Oldani, an authoritative figure of the new generation of Italian chefs, creator of pop cuisine, combining high quality and affordability.

“I’ll admit it, I am not much of a cook,” Carlo Colombo immediately clarified, adding that he would take “lessons” from Davide Oldani, “but like a chef I know how to combine the basic ingredients of my profession, the ideas and the passions I share with the people with whom I work. As is evident in my long collaboration with Varenna: every project takes form thanks to discussion, dialogue; always in direct contact with the company…”

For Davide Oldani too, the priority in his profession is sharing, complete empathy with the guest. And then lots of passion. “Simple out of passion, I have designed glasses and plates that I use in my ‘Ristorante d’O’ at Cornaredo (in the suburbs of Milan, ed). But I am not a designer,” the chef said. “I just wanted to make life simple for my guests, to meet their needs by starting with my experience as a cook, and I say cook instead of chef, because I always want to put the accent on simplicity and normality.”

Finally, two more ‘secrets’ were revealed. For Carlo Colombo the project of a new, innovative “crossover” kitchen for Varenna, “nothing like what you see here,” the architect announced, adding: “I can’t say more, but it will be presented at the next Salone del Mobile.”

Davide Oldani, on the other hand, announced the upcoming opening, in the fall, of a new restaurant, also at Cornaredo, where “tradition and innovation will find a home, or more precisely: a kitchen.”


Photos by Saverio Lombardi Vallauri


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Carlo Colombo, left, and Davide Oldani
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Carlo Colombo
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From left, Davide Oldani, Patrizia Scarzella, moderator, and Carlo Colombo
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Davide Oldani