In the Surcanapé showroom, a small temple of decoration behind Teatro alla Scala, Patrizia Scarzella was the moderator for a conversation about creativity that revealed many affinities between cooking and the creation of fabrics.
The protagonists: Andrea Dall’Olio, the refined designer and creator of acclaimed notebooks on style and trends, as well as art director of the Brianza-based textile firm, and Christian Milone, born in 1979, chef at the Trattoria Zappatori in Pinerolo (Turin). Two charismatic personalities, who met to talk about shared values and thoughts, based on a few key words.
Color. “It is the fundamental aspect of my research,” says Dall’Olio, “I love to transform everything that comes from the past by adding a layer of new color, even in a daring way, though based on rigorous discipline. The more color there is, the more the motifs are restrained. The more decoration, the calmer the tones. Its a question of measuring the ingredients.” Literally, for Milone: “I stick to the dogma of the natural color of food. A chef has to keep the colors of food alive, to attract the customer. It is a matter of culture, which I learned from my mentor Enrico Crippa and from Japanese Kaiseki cuisine, which respects each food, no matter how much it costs, how rare it is.”
History and Tradition. “The inspiration for decorating fabrics nearly always comes from history, reinterpreted with an eye on the future. Every color and combination speaks of one historical period, every motif and feature speaks of an inspiration or a revival,” the designer explains. For a chef from Piedmont tradition is indispensable. “I pay homage to my territory, but I interpret the traditional recipes based on my experience, and through the head and the hands I take them into the future. The tradition has to be treated in a critical manner, without nostalgia.”
Harmony. “Harmony is when the user immediately identifies with a product. If one of my fabrics has immediate appeal, regardless of cultural status or age, it means I have found something universal. Harmony is also synergy, fusion of opposites.” The smile is the test of harmony, according to Milone: “If I smile when one of my dishes comes out of the kitchen, that means it was harmonious. If the client smiles at me on the way out, the circle is closed and it means I have been able to give them something personal.” At the end of the discussion, the audience was smiling too.
Photos by Saverio Lombardi Vallauri