The professional fields may change, but the (very special) interest in themes connected with sustainability remains the same: in fact Mario Cucinella, the guru of green architecture, the Costardi Bros, emerging chefs with a passion for zero-km foods (especially risotti), and Valcucine, a firm with an ecological focus since 1980, the year of its founding, all share an accent on fair equitable and responsible design.

Together, they held a discussion in the Milan showroom of Valcucine. “How can we be sustainable? I have learned about this when I was working in ‘difficult’ places, like Gaza for example, where I designed a school,” Cucinella began. “It was precisely in those contexts that I had the opportunity to (re)learn the trade: in situations where basic resources are lacking, like water and electricity, there is the possibility of recovering age-old know-how used by architects and builders in the past to find a deep relationship with the site, a sincere empathy with places, which we have lost today.”

Recovering the knowledge of the past, and of a direct, constructive dialogue with nature, also means virtuoso use of resources. Especially in the kitchen, as Christian Costardi explained: “For mean sustainability means learning not to waste things. But it also means getting back to the territory, to make it the real protagonist of food. For example, in our restaurant at Vercelli we use only rice from Vercelli, arriving from no more than seven kilometers away… Finally, it also means returning to an understanding of the value of people, putting the world of farmers back in the foreground, and their knowledge, in a constant exchange of give and take, leading to truly sustainable production and consumption.” (L.R.)

The wines sampled during the evening were Emmar, Furnace and Refolo of Cantina La Pila ( )

Photos Saverio Lombardi Vallauri