Alessandro Borghese is the celebrity of the moment. Or rather, the chef of the moment. Likeable face, dark curls, glasses and obligatory smile.
His skill and pleasant nature have, in no time at all, conquered the world of social network and now the television with programs “Alessandro Borghese 4 Ristoranti” and “Kitchen Sound” in which on Sky One HD, he presents a recipe in five minutes. In the past weeks Borghese and his troop came to Umbria for 4 Ristoranti and they got acquainted with some places between Perugia and Foligno.
by Andrea Luccioli
The Umbrian episode will go on the air between June and July with the new season of the program and in the meantime The Mag was able to interview him to understand who this guy really is, all stovetops and smartphones.
Alessandro Borghese, you are a celebrity on TV and social networks. A success which was earned these years thanks to your skills on the stovetop and smartphone. What ‘recipe’ did you use?
«The secret is in the words of the final interview for the Grande Cucina, in the words of Carla Icardi: ‘If you ask where the trick is, well, relax, there is no trick. He is one of those people who, when they enter a room capture the attention. If someone wants to blame him, they are mistaken’.
I re-read it not once, but three times! Yesterday like today I have never been far from being myself. You can call it skills or competence, when you read or listen to someone say one of your phrases or a quote, or from one who even uses it as a title for their book.
You cannot study charisma or invent it, either you have it or you don’t, one works with professionalism and diligence.
Certainly you can be likeable to many or you can piss them off, what is left is the substance. You can have all the charisma you want, but if you are without skills in the cooking profession you offend an entire category who does it as a job together with all the rest, this is not correct.
You can’t improvise anything, not even in making food to eat, especially if you choose it as a job.
My advice for everyone is: study more, enrich your cv, with more reports on your work and less fantasy».
You were one of the first chefs to understand the importance of communication on social networks and who knew how to take advantage of the possibilities: do you think though, that this could put the interactions among people at risk?
«I was one of the first chefs to be present on social networks. I posted dishes. Music. Photos. Monologues. Many began to follow me and today, on my social networks there are many virtual friends whom I try to respond to often.
I like sharing my work, a thought, a moment towards those who demonstrate affection without having met yet. Social networks have given a new energy to the kitchen and to the richness of our country. But you must be careful.
There are new monsters who today have a name, called trolls or haters, who try to destroy, with no moral code, the online world. I find it hard to define it degeneration, but in Italy there still exists a mentality, fortunately a minor one, with a cultural regression, dictated by that far, but near Medieval time: ”what I do not know and what I can not be.
It is evil” This is why, for every ten positive comments and one negative, this last one is able to have a importance due to this unhealthy regression, towards the other. Today, besides the usual Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, there are social channels such as Whatsapp or the veteran and ever-present Messenger which allow you to write behind a fake protection.
The news stories, more or less troubled, should make us reflect and bring this group of people to be coherent in their creation of profiles.
Pressing charges is the only feasible way to protect the future generations, I pressed charges and I won: I didn’t believe that behind a sweet nickname, of a mom with two children, a monster was hiding, able to pull the worst things from her head and the keyboard, or the grandfather, who says hi to his grandchildren and a few moments later writes of hate and offends without restraint».
What do you do to better the world that runs on the web?
«In the offices at my company, AB Normal srl -Eatertainment Company, we are working to regulate the internet world, we want the netiquette for those who write on the web to become law.
We want people who are in places of work to use the web and their head with cognition, we ask for more checks on the part of those who manage the servers. Verbal aggression. Insults, fake news, offenses, vulgar language should be banned directly from social networks, through registration with an identity card.
In this way, the imaginary world of the witches and the monsters, dressing as decent people can finish.
All of this to educate these creatures on the world of internet, an extremely creative world, open and receptive towards new things, cultural exchanges and thoughts, but above all say and teach good manners and respect, it is called: civilization and progress».
In these years we have participated in so many television programs centered on food and in spite of this their appreciation has always been outstanding. What do you think this continued success is due to?
«Food has captured the attention of television networks and internet, the kitchen is the spirit and soul of our country and the first materials are unique and exceptional, it was time!
Today we have the fortune to have immediate and diffusive means of communication, and anyone through television, internet and print can follow the procedures and advice of the favorite Chef.
I like to be connected with the world, discover new trends in the culinary universe, be inspired for how to better my dishes. Years ago, to get acquainted with the chef’s dishes and get a recipe or some suggestions, you had to go to his restaurant.
On my social networks I receive many recipes, suggestions and requests for the kitchen. In Italy we have created a universal language for food: pasta, cappuccino, spaghetti, Parmigiano, espresso, pizza.
You can find yourself in any place abroad, speak in a language that is not your own, the word “pasta” for everyone is synonymous with Italian excellence. It is fundamental to make known Italian agriculture here at home and in the world market. Obviously,
I am flattered to have been a pioneer of the chefs in TV. In addition, I am proud of having sanctioned the kitchen and mixed it with other similar universes, as for example the music and art universe.
Before it was unthinkable to talk about dishes with rock songs or speak in an interview like this one, of possible coupling between the two realities. I strongly believe in my work and the potential of Italian cooking!»
You came to Umbria recently for the “Alessandro Borghese 4 Ristoranti”, what did you like about our region and what are your favorite Umbrian dishes?
«Umbria is a region full of culture, history, architectural beauty and unique landscape. The “fertile coasts” eulogized in the Divine Comedy boast a culinary tradition characterized by simple dishes: based on handmade pasta, truffle and game.
The curing of pork, aka norcineria, a real art in this region, has ancient and uncertain origins. Able to transform the pig in many culinary works which fascinate and satisfy.
The wine cellars of the city centers offer their patrons an immersion in the ancient and splendid glories of this land, to enjoy with a multitude of truffle toasts with pate and cured meats, to couple with fine wines, expression of these fertile lands.
A cornucopia of unique tastes and flavors from which it is impossible to choose. Among the leading ones, the “Umbricelli with goose ragu”, the “Todi style pigeon” and the chocolate!»
When was your passion for the kitchen born and more importantly, when did you decide that it could become a marvelous job?
« was five years old when, every Sunday morning, I would wake up breathing in the smell of ragù throughout the house. In the kitchen I would watch my father’s hands move in absolute certainty between the stove, plates and knives.
Those moments have the unforgettable taste of that ragù that flooded the piece of bread for Sunday breakfast. Father’s smile given while describing a recipe, his suggestions like a special gift, gradually developed my being a cook today and remaking those dishes with the same emotion as the first time.
After my diploma I went on a cruise ship to start my way up the ladder, for the next three years I worked over the stoves and the dishes to be washed. Once back on land, I worked in Italy and abroad, I met colleagues who became friends and we worked together as a group and in the office. “The luxury of simplicity” became my philosophy.
In the years I experimented with trends and in the end I understood that the best products, are the straightforward and true ones that you would want to eat all week long. Today this is my cooking. The idea of the “Alessandro Borghese -the luxury of simplicity” restaurant, the one in Viale Belisario in Milan, was born during the expansion of the “AB Normal – Eatertainment Company” my catering and food consulting company.
I wanted to be transparent, for this reason we have an enormous open-plan kitchen, in a warm and sensual setting. I want to convey emotion, I want to satisfy those who come to visit, I want to make my guests happy».
Last question. After having gone around the restaurants of Italy and having demonstrated the excellence of our cooking, what projects would you like to achieve?
«When I began to tell of Italian cooking through people, I could not have imagined becoming the example. Watching some programs and re-watching the characteristics of my first formats with the developments of today is an enormous success.
I am in continuous evolution and with my team we work on new projects. Even some proposals to shoot a film have come in, my mother was already active with an accelerated acting course, flattered I declined the invite. I write. Even for a magazine dedicated to travelling.
And when I write, often in English, I re-order scenes, music, faces, smiles, moments; and then I sit in front of the keyboard and I write.
I am only sorry that I haven’t been able to get past the fifth chapter of my erotic romance novel, still in a folder on my desktop».
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