A truly extraordinary event at the Visionnaire showroom at Piazza Cavour 3. First of all due to the location: the large space of the former Cavour Cinema that the luxury design brand has reinterpreted in terms of sensory experience, precious materials and imagination, values found not only in a collection of 3000 products covering all the areas of the home, but also in art exhibitions featured in the showroom.

Second, because of the protagonists of the encounter: the designer Alessandro La Spada, the original interpreter of the Visionnaire style, for which he designs exceptional furnishings in which material is transformed into narrative; and the cook-innkeeper Filippo La Mantia, with a past as a photoreporter and a self-taught background in cuisine, equally eclectic and open to the stimuli of life in all their shadings of color.

The two share not only Sicilian origins, but also and above all a creative approach based on instinct and passion. Both emphasized the importance of their roots in a never forgotten South, the sense of memory on which they draw to reinvent themselves every day. “Respect, honor and dignity: these are the values I have inherited, which I try to apply each day,” La Mantia announced.

“Because a restaurant is not just the cook, it is the work of a team in which the humblest dishwasher still plays a fundamental role. For me, cuisine is color, energy, fantasy, convivial enjoyment. When I was cooking in Pantelleria I used to like to pour the food directly on the table, to accentuate the sense of sharing.”

A approach that struck a chord with La Spada: “All my projects start with emotions and translate into stories conceived to create expressive settings capable of engaging their inhabitants. It is the material that leads me into this dream path: glass, marble, but above all metal. Through materials my images take form, my characters become real.”

To complete the encounter far from any conformity or canons of conduct, the evening ended with a reggae&blues concert in which Filippo La Mantia, after cooking pasta for everyone, also played the harmonica.

The wines sampled during the evening were Falò Verdeca Puglia IGP and Collezione Cinquanta, by Cantine San Marzano (www.winelandscape.com)

Photos Mattia Campo


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Alessandro La Spada, left, and Filippo La Mantia
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From left, Alessandro La Spada, Antonella Galli, Filippo La Mantia
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Alessandro La Spada
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Filippo La Mantia