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Bruno Barbieri: “At 60 I feel like a thirty year old”


“The word ‘sixty’ worries me”. Thus begins Bruno Barbieri, speaking from Florida with Adnkronos on the eve of his sixtieth birthday. A statement that, however, appears anything but credible. And not because the chef adds, immediately afterwards, that he feels “happy and satisfied” for an amazing career in which he has won seven Michelin stars, has written countless cookbooks, has been (and still is) a Masterchef judge for all and ten editions of the culinary talent, he is presenter on Sky of ‘4 Hotel’. Too easy, in fact, with these numbers, for someone like Barbieri to talk about a past and a present full of successes. And to say, for example, “I’m happy, I have no regrets or remorse, I lived the life I wanted, but at sixty you are already old and you are in the phase in which you have to put an extra gear”. On the other hand, what is really surprising is his thirty-year-old enthusiasm and that transpires in every expression, other than disquiet about the advancing age. He himself says that he feels “thirty years younger: the key to feeling good is that I don’t live my sixty but half, I want to always be on point, when I wake up it’s all positive for me, my strength is knowing how to bring out the beauty even from negative things “. Like the beauty of a profession, which has now come to light, but which before Masterchef, and before Barbieri, was bound in the dungeons of kitchens, when no one knew the cooks and chefs. “I succeeded in what I wanted, to bring innovation also through Masterchef – says the chef – and then again with ‘4 Hotel’, which marked a breakthrough in the hotel industry. Now we’ll get it straight from tomorrow, my birthday, it’s another bet I’ve won. It fills me with joy – he adds – to be able to innovate by doing things that make sense to me: a concept that I have always had in mind, since the days of the ‘Il Trigabolo’ restaurant in Argenta (two Michelin stars). But even when I made 800 omelettes a day, at the beginning of my career, on cruise ships: I learned to work with my head down, my father taught me that in the difficult moments of life you have to put an extra gear and not give up. never. And so, until I was thirty I never spoke, I watched the great chefs work and in the meantime I learned, thinking that my time would come. For me it was essential to go around the world, sometimes I didn’t have the money to eat, but it was important to know other realities. I have always sacrificed myself and people love me because today I am exactly as I was at the beginning. I have won success – underlines Barbieri – nobody gave it to me, I also had some difficult moments, but I am optimistic in my soul, I go to bed happy knowing that I have not made fun of people “. “Now I’m in Florida – says the chef – to fine-tune the screenplay for my next film (Barbieri already has a cinematographic experience as a protagonist in the feature film ‘Looks like – the life of others’ – ed), I take the opportunity to refine my English and to gather ideas. I want to write a kind of story for those who want to come and eat around here. In America I like to cook at friends’ houses. Here it is easy, I do it with one hand tied and one eye closed: Italian cuisine drives everyone crazy, we have a culture and a way of behaving that others do not have. We have a story and we should be able to tell ourselves in Italy too. For my birthday – he concludes – I will have a dinner at my house with friends who also come from other parts of the USA. I will prepare a mixture of fish and meat, which is wonderful here, while unfortunately there is some problem with fish, it has less flavor than that of the Mediterranean. But the Maine shellfish and scallops are very good. We will drink only Amarone, I will open some very good magnums, then a nice bottle of Barolo that I brought from Italy. Finally, for dessert, tiramisu, which everyone likes here. I put the nougat in it, leave it in the refrigerator to melt, the result is amazing “. By Cristiano Camera



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