GASTRONOMY: Michelin-starred chef Simone Zanoni confides

GASTRONOMY: Michelin-starred chef Simone Zanoni confides

“I save about 150,000 kg of glass per year, that’s huge! If all French restaurants adopt this vision of things, the change will happen much more quickly, ”said the Italian chef on Tuesday June 21 during a culinary show at the Cité internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin.

This Tuesday, June 21, the first day of summer, the starred and solar chef Simone Zanoni came to the international city of gastronomy and wine. The opportunity for the chef of the famous restaurant Le George, of the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris, to give a culinary show to the experiential cuisine of the Gastronomic Village.

The most Italian of Parisian chefs was also present for a signing session because the latter has just released his new book “Pasta, Pasta, Pasta.” published by Michel Lafon.

Simone Zanoni

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

“My name is Simone Zanoni, I am chef at the restaurant “Le George” at the George V in Paris. I am a starred chef, Italian chef, passionate about Italian cuisine. Everything that revolves around Italian cuisine and tradition is my domain. »

Why did you come to the International City of Gastronomy and Wine?

“I came to the city of gastronomy because we have a large community of people who follow my work. We decided to come and do this little cooking demonstration around pasta and of course also to promote and launch in Dijon our new book “Pasta, Pasta, Pasta” which was made to highlight that everyone loves. »

Have you ever been to Dijon?

“I’ve never been to Dijon, I may have gone once for dinner but I never stopped in the city. I find that the principle of the gastronomic village is really great because it really makes for an interesting gastronomic area and I love the fact that we play a lot with the local. It’s a gastronomic point that I think will live well in Dijon because it’s very pretty and very well organized. »

Can you tell us about your book?

“This book that we started writing last September, we wanted to take the time to do it well. It’s my fifth book so we’re starting to have a different way of thinking and we’re starting to have a little more distance from the books that we can do. I think it’s a very good product because we tackled a product that I love: pasta. But it’s not just a recipe book, it’s a book that allows you to decode the universe of pasta because it’s a very complex universe. Fresh pasta, dry pasta, gluten-free pasta, rice pasta… People are sometimes a bit lost, whether in the recipe or simply in the use. A big part of this book is made to try to explain and at least give my vision of pasta. How to choose them? Which ones? Why choose egg pasta over dry pasta? All my explanations, we can summarize them in 3 words: Have fun!
You can have fun with egg pasta, you can have fun with dry pasta and in fact you can do it with any pasta. As long as we always try to learn how to do better and also do step by step. That is to say that when you pass your license you don’t start with a Formula 1. You start precisely with the small car which gives you the first steps and it teaches you to evolve. When you are in the world of pasta, it’s the same thing.
Begins to make very good tomato pasta. In a tomato plate you can put a lot of know-how. It’s very complicated to know how to make very good tomato pasta. From there we can evolve, we can develop. We go for fresh pasta, egg pasta, fresh skateboards with pure egg yolks… All of this allows us to develop our know-how, but it’s something we learn.
Sometimes we wanted to trivialize this plate a little, we said “Pasta is simple, you boil the pasta, you pour a ladle of sauce on it and finished. That’s one thing, but doing them like I do is totally different. »

Do you have a simple recipe to give to our readers?

“It’s summer, we want to eat skates but we want freshness. We can do something that works very well, it’s pasta calde/fredde (half-hot / half-cold). In a bowl we will peel tomatoes, we will blanch to remove the skin, we will cut into quarters. We remove the pips. we take the pretty part of the tomato to cut it into cubes that we will dress with a little bit of garlic, a little bit of basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. We take the juice of the tomato and mix with a little parmesan. Next we take our hot pasta and when they are hot we mix together. Suddenly the pasta will become lukewarm because it will cool with the sauce of the fresh tomato. It’s beautiful, it’s fresh, it’s light. It takes a quarter of an hour and it’s delicious!”

You are a chef very committed to the environment, can you tell us about it?

“I would like today to be part of our duty as leaders. Today it is no longer enough to say “I am a great chef and I know how to make beautiful dishes”. With the beautiful plate we have created, we have to understand whether it has a positive or negative impact on our planet. We are far from perfect but we try to make things boil but we want the water to boil.
We want people to realize that there are things that need to change and we want the entire restaurant industry to stop treating this business as just a way to make money. This job also means having to give back to the earth what we take from it. Doing that in a Parisian palace is not easy because there are laws in luxury. We realized that in fact the only people who are not ready for change are not the customers, it’s us. Customers when we explain our actions to them, when we explain to them our card changes and why we changed, they are all happy and happy. They tell us Bravo for this initiative.
For example, we have decided to remove bottled water. Me in my, restaurant there is no more water bottle, there is only water in carafe. We are in a starred restaurant, the most beautiful Parisian palace in the world, and we only have water in a filtered carafe.
I thought to myself that today we no longer need to bottle water. I know that glass is the least polluting thing but suddenly I pollute even less because I don’t use glass. I simply have pretty carafes that I had hand-blown in Austria.
I save about 150,000 kg of glass per year, that’s huge! If all French restaurants adopt this view of things, the change will happen much faster. There are many businesses that must either change, die or give way to new businesses. Businesses that are more respectful of our universe and that is an obligation.
We recycle 100% of our food waste, we are on a big recycling awareness project and I think that by next year I will be the first Parisian palace to independently recycle 100% of food waste. We are living proof that you can make money by being kind to the planet. »

Interview by Manon Bollery
© Photo Manon Bollery

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