GetFileAttachment.jpg

WHITE IS WHITE IS HOT!

ACADEMIA is born, a new line of sneakers created by the desire of D.A.T.E. 
to exalt the classic aesthetics and the tradition of Made in Italy. 
It will be presented at an exclusive preview during the upcoming edition of WHITE SHOW, the international contemporary fashion show in Milan.
Inspired by the rigor and refinement of the Historical Academies, 
the collection is characterized by a demanding and no frills, declaring the poetics of purity.

GetFileAttachment.jpgThis is just one of the most completely Made in Italy designs –
from inspiration to design, from leather to realization – studied scrupulously in all the details and declined in versions for him and her. First, this name with which the model was baptized is a low sneaker,
with a clean and elegant taste.
The white rubber sole is a hybrid between a cassette-like construction and a refined running.

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ARGENTA,ITALY. FUTURE HOT CHEFS COMPETING IN THE SILVER CITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text and Photos by Cesare Zucca 

I had a blast in Argenta, Italy ! This is a friendly little town that hosts its historic Fair at the 60th edition. The Italian word argento means silver as the legend says that the river around the town sometime gets that shining silverish reflex from the sky. Here I had the honor to be one of the judges of ORO D’ARGENTA, a tough competition between young cooking promises coming from the Culinary Schools of Sardinia, Sicily, Lazio, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The show featured the School Pellegrino Artusi of Riolo Terme, Ravenna with a rabbit surprisingly paired to a pear mousse that got some ‘more traditional’ judges quite annoyed, but that I personally didn’t hate…Talking about tradition & innovation, the Remo Brindisi Institute in Comacchio, Ferrara, was inspired by their own a national treasure: the eel served with which orange flavoured vegetable couscous and crisp bacon, getting my enthusiastic votes…and the prizes for best presentation and popular jury favorite.                                                   Thanks to its marinated mackerel, Pietro Piazza in Palermo, won the Golden Wine Award for the best wine and dish combination, sponsored by Tenute Garusol.                The Malatesta School of Rimini served a successful stuffed chicken with blueberry sauce that went straight to the final.                                                                                The Amerigo Vespucci team in Rome, launched a creation named 444 Kilometers, which is the distance between Rome and Argenta, Cool name for a not so convincing ‘gnocchetti alla romana’ with hare topping.                                                                      Ipsia Ferraris of Carbonia-Iglesias, surprised with fresh kamut pasta, pumpkin flower mousse, parmesan, caramelized onions and orange bottarga,                                       while Ipssar of San Pellegrino Terme Bergamo opted for local rabbit and couscous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the winner was…
The Institute Tonino Guerra di Cervia, Ravenna who prepared a juicy and tender duck with almonds, dried tomatoes, parmesan,  mashed potatoes, blueberry foam and crunchy waffles. This quite traditional tasting dish will take Aurora Llavanji, Fabio Faggi, Riccardo Giovannini and Domenico Magnifico to the spectacular Cous Cous Fest in San Vito Lo. Capo, Sicily during the International Cultural Integration Festival whose 20th edition begins on Friday, September 15, where they will have the opportunity to meet the most important international chefs.                                                                                     The show, brilliantly hosted by funny Actor-Chef Andy Luotto and charming Eliana Chiavetta, was an opportunity to discover the flavors and the atmosphere of the Delta del Po Park, UNESCO heritage and its valuable wildlife, fish and herbs, among some excellences in the wine &food industry: such as the wide range of Giulio Bellini’s Bia CousCous,  Tenuta Garusola wines from the Consorzio Bosco Eliceo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand finale with a local idol: the native starred Chef  Igles Corelli. His dish was a colorful bonanza of couscous, all cooked with different vegetables such as carrots, aloe vera, cabbage, etc. A carnivalesque dish that reminded me of the Missoni fabrics, the Gustav Klimt palette and those Pollock brush strokes. The taste? a Carnival joke!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not to mention a ‘suspense’ moment due to the upcoming rain.‘Show must go on’ dictated the organizers and the unsinkable people of FeedBack PR …In less than an hour they were able to move the outdoor stage, lights and cameras from Piazza Garibaldi into a big tent wisely called…Rolling , Action, Eat !See you next year in the Silver City ! Yummy…..

Milan: At Sforza Castle, Vivaldi meets Piazzolla

Summer in the City ?
New York Central Park offers Shakespeare in the Park,
London Hyde Park rocks with
Justin Bieber and
Phil Collins performances.
What about Milan?
The city gets an amazing location, the beautiful Park where the Sforza Castle stills reigns as it did for centuries .
Every night in the Cortile delle Armi the stage vibrates of music and emotions.
Last night the program hosted a quite surprising mix of different musics,
Last night
Vivaldi met Piazzolla
Two centuries, two continents and more than ten thousand kilometers are the physical and temporal distances separating the two artists: Vivaldi and Astor Piazzolla in dialogue with their respective “Four Seasons”. From the brilliant and balanced Venetian baroque to Piazzolla’s tormented Las cuatro estaciones porteñas
The unprecedented combo started from the famous Vivaldi’ Spring  followed by Piazzolla Fall, then interacting with all the other seasons by both the musicians.
A great night, Thanks to the magic violin of Francesco
Manara from Teatro alla Scala and the
Milano Chamber Orchestra directed by Lorenzo Passerini
Tonight a new show:  From Summertime to Roman holidays, a compilation of the best original songs from iconic movies. and more…. such as Jobim’s Desafinado, Callin you from Bagdad cafè, Streisand’s The way we were , Over the rainbow, and much more
all performed by Quartet Archimia.

Munich. The Flushing Meadows. Surprise!

Text and Photos © Cesare Zucca
While in Munich, I had the pleasure to stay in the ‘one and only’ Design Hotel The FLUSHING MEADOWS, Fraunhoferstraße 32. The pleasant surprises started with the Glockenbachviertel district where the venue is located, which is not only home to Munich’s gay and lesbian scene, but a destination for a hip young crowd of all backgrounds. The area offers fashionable bars, snug bistros, trendy stores and supercool shops, all nested in one of Munich’s most picturesque boroughs.

 

 

At your arrival, downstairs on the street, your are welcomed by a small bar serving fresh juices, including their popular Better Danke, a green multivitamin shake.

 

 

 

 

Let’s get in. By a metallic elevator I reached the reception on the 4th floor, where Ramon and lovely Aglaia escorted me to a definitely surprising room on the 3rd floor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let me tell you that all the 16 rooms are different and each of them is dedicated to local celebrities who designed them, including Michi Beck , member of the well-known German hip hop group Die Fantastischen Vier , while the 4th floor rooms has been designed by the owners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My room 305 was styled by the local techno musician, DJ Hell. Black was the inspirational color, including a metal skeleton band stand in an alcove and a vinyl record player ready for action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually it couldn’t be more appropriate, since myself I have been spinning records for many years, back in the ’80 Milan disco scene.
Totally different atmosphere for the other room I experimented, the 306,that offered a combo of high-tech furniture, sound proved walls and 2 pretty romantic feathers ceiling lamps, ballerina style.

 

 

 

Other additions include a Nespresso machine, coffee capsules, complimentary bottles of mineral water, and a pile of trendy magazines to flick through.

 

 

 

 

The bathrooms are a sleek combination of white tiling and copper details on the  powerful showers.                           Super comfy mattresses, private access to the rooms, free WiFi.

Guten Morgen!
A rich and healthy breakfast is served till noon (or even later) in the nice roof top bar with its little terrace overlooking the City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Be cool’ is staff’s password.
Original and unconventional, Flushing Meadows is undoubtedly the coolest place to stay in Munich.
I ‘ll go back …After all, I ‘ve got 14 more rooms to discover and …more surprises waiting…

for more info
The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar”
Fraunhoferstraße 32, 80469 München, Germany

Phone:
+49 89 55279170

 

 

My gospel article published in ‘Onda d’Urso’


Dear Barbara,
nel tuo prossimo viaggio a NY, non perderti una domenica-gospel a Harlem, meta delle comunità afro-americane e di visitatori provenienti da tutto il mondo.

Articolo di Cesare “Pumpkin” Zucca

Le messe iniziano alle 11. Riprese video e foto vietate. Sconsigliabile (e irriverente) fare i furbi. Per chi ama viaggiare in gruppo, esistono tour organizzati, tra cui harlemspirituals.com. Per chi, come te, preferisce viaggiare indipendente, basterà zigzagare per le strade e lasciarsi attirare dalla musica, sia provenga da una grande cattedrale, sia da piccoli edifici, dove le funzioni sono meno coreografiche, ma spesso più intime e coinvolgenti. Ecco le più famose.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem
Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

New Mount Zion Baptist Church (171 W 140 St). Il suo coro gospel è considerato tra i migliori  di Harlem. Mount Neboh Baptist Church (1883 A. Clayton Powell Av) Oltre agli inni sacri, ascolterai canzoni popolari come ‘Oh Happy Day’, Abyssinian Baptist Church (132 Odell Clark Pl/W 138 St) gioiello architettonico, ma turistica e quindi lunga fila per entrare, Metropolitan Baptist Church (151 W 128 St) ospita illustri cori provenienti da altre congregazioni. La mia preferita è Greater Refuge Temple (2081 A. Clayton Powell Av). Energia alle stelle, musica trascinante, accompagnata dai tamburelli delle black ladies dagli incredibili cappellini.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

E dopo questa full immersion di fede e musica, ti meriti un lunch soul food, la cucina afro-americana originaria del Sud degli USA. Da provare: fried chicken croccante pollo fritto, collards e turnip greens erbe amare e verdure saltate con salsa all’ aceto, black eye beans fagioli neri, cornbread, pane caldo di mais, candied yams patate dolci, grits semolino di mais tritato e pecan pie, fantastica crostata alle noci.

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

Gospel e cibo dell'anima: una domenica ad Harlem

 Da accanito turista-non- turista, sconsiglio il popolarissimo Sylvia’s Restaurant (328 Malcolm X) con musica dal vivo. Meglio Amy Ruth‘s (113 West 116 St), famoso per il pollo fritto. Spoonbread (547 Lenox, 366 W 110 Street) Due locali creati dalla leggendaria Norma Arden, una delle prime modelle nere nella storia della moda. Popolarissimi (e consigliabili) i self service con ricco buffet e atmosfera locale. Tra questi Londel’s (2620 Frederick Douglas Blvd), due Jacob’s (2695 F. Douglass Blvd, 373 Lenox Ave) e quattro Manna’s (486 Malcolm X Blvd, 2353 F.Douglass Blvd, 54 E 125 St, 70 W 125 St) Prezzi popolari. Ci si serve da soli e si paga a peso. E’ lì che va la gente nera di Harlem.

Big kiss from Pumpkin

Fotografie di Cesare ‘Pumpkin’ Zucca

Article published in ‘Turismo del Gusto’

Dal giallo del Tiepolo al rosa delle Dolomiti…
Testo e foto © Cesare Zucca

La mia avventura con Laite è iniziata nella suntuosa Galleria Tiepolo del Palazzo Clerici a Milano, dove Champagne Veuve Clicquot ospitava ‘Atelier des Grandes Dames’ tributo a Madame Clicquot, Grande Dame dello Champagne.Tra gli ospiti speciali della serata spiccavano 10 top chefs, tra cui Fabrizia Meroi.

 

Appena hanno annunciato che il suo ristorante era situato a Sappada (Belluno)… ho avuto uno shock. Sappada è un incantevole villaggio circondato dalle spettacolari Dolomiti…

Qui il paesaggio è caratterizzato da tipiche abitazioni montane in legno scuro decorate da fregi e, in estate, da mille fiori colorati, in un’atmosfera da fiaba.

Mia madre è nata in paesino vicino e lì la mia famiglia ha trascorso molte vacanze estive.
Conosco Fabrizia e le prometto di sperimentare Laite durante il mio prossimo viaggio a Sappada.
E l’ho fatto!

A tavola da Laite

 

Il minuscolo ristorante si trova nell’antica borgata Hoffe, un gioiello nascosto dove le case sono mescolate ai vecchi tabiè, le cui finestre, affacciate sulle spettacolari Dolomiti, sono arricchite da cascate di gerani selvatici.

 

 

 

Due accoglienti stanze in legno, riportano a un’atmosfera familiare con echi di tempi passati.Con nuove invenzioni, in un menu che rispetta la cucina locale, Laite continua a sedurre i suoi ospiti con i piatti sapientemente preparati da Fabrizia e la superba ospitalità (e la conoscenza dei vini) fornita da Roberto Brovedani.

La creatività di Fabrizia rivela intuizione e immaginazione, come nel Tagliolino di Riso Nero Venere, piatto senza precedenti, dove il riso ridotto in polvere, si trasforma in una pasta, servita con cavolo, prosciutto affumicato, kummel e felicemente abbinato a un ottimo Pecorino Rève Velenosi.

Come antipasti, ho assaggiato una deliziosa melanzana con saurnchotte (tradizionale ricotta acida) e peperoni.

Poi è arrivato il piatto ‘hit’ di Francesca: Cervofondente, cervo marinato sei ore con spezie, canna da zucchero e servito con schiuma di muschio, tuberi e radici zestati con una lacrima di resina di pino e buonenrico, un’erba selvatica locale. Accoppiato a un ottimo dry Riesling by Villa Huesgen/By The Glass.Fabrizia ama armonizzare la tradizione con la creatività come nel Tortello all’Uovo, una revisione del tradizionale tortello, qui diventato di patate, riempito di un rosso d’uovo à la coque e sormontato da anice e porcini, irrorati di burro fuso.

 

 

E che dire di quei gialletti marinati in kefir, aromatizzati con camomilla e barbabietole, tutto per guarnire un tenerissimo bocconcino di vitello?

Per finire in freschezza

Un trio rinfrescante: sorbetto di albicocche, rabarbaro e piselli, accoppiati a un seducente e ambrato Anselmi 2016 I Capitelli, con aromi di albicocche, miele e buccia d’arancia, fichi secchi.
Ecco la mia avventura, profumata dall’atmosfera di un luogo accogliente, familiare, cordiale e con un incredibile chef.

Non cheap, ma vale ogni euro.Ottimi vini più la versione di Fabrizia della sopa coada, (classica zuppa di piccione) di Treviso. Questa volta l’ho persa, ma l’estate 2018 arriverà… e tornerò!

Laite
Via Hoffe 10, 32047 Sappada (BL) Italia
T: +39 0435 46 90 70
www.ristorantelaite.com

Munich: Anna Hotel, grandma (and myself) are satisfied!

Anna hotel, is one of Munich’s first design hotels, is located at the heart of the city, right by the Karlsplatz / Stachus, close to the central railway station.
At my arrival I had warm welcome with several pleasant touches in my room .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From a nice of the city,
to a beautiful perfumed bag of lavander, to  a rich local fruits plate,to a smart couple of condoms hidden in a anna hotel box.

 

 

 

 

 

Nice thoughts, I though…. I felt a blend of contemporary design, elegance, warm colors and a mattress for a 5 star comfort…including the possibility to use free of charge the sauna, steam bath, whirlpool, fitness room and rest area can be used in the next door Hotel Königshof.
I started the morning with a rich breakfast buffet
and topped up your energy levels over the day from a
wide selection juices, bread, cold cuts, cheeses, salmon, fruits, delicious desserts,
including a seductive apricot tarte…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ordered a poached egg ,unexpecatcly  served with a kinda of a sweet n sour sauce.
Then I met with loveley  Silva Caldera, Sales & Marketing Manager . She is from Italy and yes, we spoke italian…She was so nice to give me few tips on the City, where to go, what to do…and my curiosity was satisfied when I knew that the name Anna comes from  the grandmother of the first owner, then we took a tour of the hotel.
Anna that boasts of 75 rooms, including 11 teak deck rooms with glass shower and coloured LED lighting , 5 tower rooms with view over Karlsplatz, among other rooms with terraces and a spectacular tower suite with great view.
Again, service, comfort, accuracy and a warm smile targeted anna hotel exactly like grand ma would have loved…

 

 

 

 

 

For your info
https://www.annahotel.de
Schützenstr. 1 | 80335 Munich

 

SHOT CALLER

LA FRATELLANZA , original title SHOT CALLER will be released in Italy in the first week of September . Great movie! Don’t miss it. In crime thriller Directed by RicRoman Waugh’s (Snitch), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Swords throne) interprets Jacob Harlon, a successful Pasadena businessman married to Kate (Lake Bell)

 

 

All this ends in a night when, drunk at the wheel, Jacob causes a deadly accident in which his best friend Tom (Max Greenfield) loses life.

Jacob is sentenced to two years in jail surrounded by true criminals. While surviving inside the prison hierarchy, where a wrong move can mean the end of the game, Jacob is forced to make though choices.

LAITE: when a restaurant is more than an adventure…

Text and Photos by Cesare Zucca

You know that Mr. NTT (Non Touristy Tourist)  is always eager to know of hidden gem destinations and unusual venues, well …my adventure with Laite started in the luscious Tiepolo’s Gallery, a sumptuous hall in Palazzo Clerici, one of Milan’s most charming 17th century historic palace, where Champagne Veuve Clicquot Milan hosted ‘Atelier des Grandes Dames’ as a grand tribute to Madame Clicquot, Grande Dame Of Champagne.
The event was intented to promote a network of women’s catering talent who have been able to assert their entrepreneurship and their professional style.

 

 

Special guests of the evening were 10 top female starred Italian Chefs,
including Fabrizia Meroi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as they announced that her restaurant was located in Sappada (Belluno) … I had a shock. Sappada is an enchanting little village surrounded by the spectacular Dolomites. My mother was born there and my family spent many summer vacations.
I meet Fabrizia and promised her to try Laite cuisine during my next trip to Sappada.
And I did it!
LAITE
Laite’s two cozy wooden rooms bring back a family atmosphere with echoes of times gone-by. It lies amongst an ancient village sourrended by the spectacular Dolomites. The village of Sappada is a hidden gem where houses are mixed with old tabiè (barns), where the windows are enriched by colorful cascades of carnations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laite continues to seduce its guests with the skillfully prepared dishes of Fabrizia Meroi and the superb hospitality (and knowledge of wines) provided by Roberto Brovedani.

 

 

 

 

Daring Fabrizia creates a never-ending stream of new dishes that suggest intuition and imagination, like the unprecedented Venus Black Rice Tagliolino,

 

made from the deconstruction of black rice, surprisingly reivented as pasta and served with cabbage, smoked ham and kummel, wisely paired with Rève Velenosi Pecorino white wine.

 

 

 

 

As starters, I tried a delicious eggplant with saurnchotte (Sappada traditional sour ricotta) and a soft mousse of peppers.

 

 

 

 

and Francesca hit dish: Cervofondente, tender deer marinated 6 hours with spices, sugar cane, moss foam, goodbye, local wild herb and served with tubers and roots and zested with a tear of circus, pine resin …
paired to a high-quality Mosel Riesling dry Riesling by Villa Huesgen/By The Glass.
Fabrizia loves to harmonize tradition with creativity like in the Tortello all’Uovo, new version of the raditional tortello pasta, here filled with a semi-boiled egg yolk and topped with anis and porcini Mushrooms and served with burned butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about those gialletti, delicious chantarelles marinated in kefir and flavored with chamomille and beetroot to garnish a tender veal? New inventions in a menu that respect the local cuisine

 

To end the feast, the refreshing trio: apricot, rhubarb and pees sorbets, paired to a seductive Anselmi 2016 I Capitelli with amber reflections and intriguing aromas of apricot jam, orange blossom honey, orange peel and dried figs.

 

 

 

 

My story feels the athmosphere of a cozy place with friendly friendly service and an amazing top chef. Not cheap but worth every euro. And very good wines..plus Fabrizia’s version of sopa coada, a classic regional pizza dish from Treviso.
I missed that this time, but summer 2018 will arrive sooner or later … and I’ll be back!

Laite
Via Hoffe 10, 32047 Sappada (BL) Italy
T: +39 0435 46 90 70
www.ristorantelaite.com

You know that Mr. NTT (Non Touristy Tourist)  is always eager to know of hidden gem destinations and unusual venues, well …my adventure with Laite started in the luscious Tiepolo’s Gallery, a sumptuous hall in Palazzo Clerici, one of Milan’s most charming 17th century historic palace, where Champagne Veuve Clicquot Milan hosted ‘Atelier des Grandes Dames’ as a grand tribute to Madame Clicquot, Grande Dame Of Champagne.
The event was intented to promote a network of women’s catering talent who have been able to assert their entrepreneurship and their professional style.

 

 

 

Special guests of the evening were 10 top female starred Italian Chefs,
including Fabrizia Meroi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as they announced that her restaurant was located in Sappada (Belluno) … I had a shock. Sappada is an enchanting little village surrounded by the spectacular Dolomites. My mother was born there and my family spent many summer vacations.
I meet Fabrizia and promised her to try Laite cuisine during my next trip to Sappada.
And I did it!
LAITE
Laite’s two cozy wooden rooms bring back a family atmosphere with echoes of times gone-by. It lies amongst an ancient village sourrended by the spectacular Dolomites. The village of Sappada is a hidden gem where houses are mixed with old tabiè (barns), where the windows are enriched by colorful cascades of carnations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laite continues to seduce its guests with the skillfully prepared dishes of Fabrizia Meroi and the superb hospitality (and knowledge of wines) provided by Roberto Brovedani.

 

 

 

 

Daring Fabrizia creates a never-ending stream of new dishes that suggest intuition and imagination, like the unprecedented Venus Black Rice Tagliolino,

 

made from the deconstruction of black rice, surprisingly reivented as pasta and served with cabbage, smoked ham and kummel, wisely paired with Rève Velenosi Pecorino white wine.

 

 

 

 

As starters, I tried a delicious eggplant with saurnchotte (Sappada traditional sour ricotta) and a soft mousse of peppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Francesca hit dish: Cervofondente, tender deer marinated 6 hours with spices, sugar cane, moss foam, goodbye, local wild herb and served with tubers and roots and zested with a tear of circus, pine resin … paired to a high-quality Mosel Riesling dry Riesling by Villa Huesgen/By The Glass.
Fabrizia loves to harmonize tradition with creativity like in the Tortello all’Uovo, new version of the raditional tortello pasta, here filled with a semi-boiled egg yolk and topped with anis and porcini Mushrooms and served with burned butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about those gialletti, delicious chantarelles marinated in kefir and flavored with chamomille and beetroot to garnish a tender veal? New inventions in a menu that respect the local cuisine

 

To end the feast, the refreshing trio: apricot, rhubarb and pees sorbets, paired to a seductive Anselmi 2016 I Capitelli with amber reflections and intriguing aromas of apricot jam, orange blossom honey, orange peel and dried figs.

 

 

 

 

My story feels the athmosphere of a cozy place with friendly friendly service and an amazing top chef. Not cheap but worth every euro. And very good wines..plus Fabrizia’s version of sopa coada, a classic regional pizza dish from Treviso.
I missed that this time, but summer 2018 will arrive sooner or later … and I’ll be back!

Laite
Via Hoffe 10, 32047 Sappada (BL) Italy
T: +39 0435 46 90 70
http://www.ristorantelaite.com

THE “GENTLE GIANT” IS WAITING…with a ‘secret’ phone number…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The river Po, called the “gentle giant”, is the longest river in Italy. With its 650 km (about 400 miles), it runs through the Po Plain and flows into the Adriatic Sea, forming a delta and one of the largest wetlands in Europe and in the Mediterranean Sea. The Po Delta Park is a wonderful land, where blue sky and clouds get reflected on the water, like a magical palette of hundreds of shades. It should be experienced by bike, by boat, by canoe, or on foot, by walking slowly across, discovering the gentleness of its landscape, the warm and rough welcome of the fishing lodges, the emotion of the boat bridges, the wide horizons, the activity in the fishing lagoons and in the vegetable gardens. From equipped beaches of Rosolina mare, Boccasette and Porto Barricata to some isolated sandbars strips of land that are formed at low tide and where there are numerous colonies of wading birds: gulls, terns etc..making the area a wonderful bird-watching attraction. I discovered Scano Boa island, where the fishermen used to live in straw houses and recently retrieved to allow visitors to experience the life of these lands. You must get a boat to get there , ask locally and yes I have their ‘secret’ mobile number)

There I had a succulent lunch thanks to Signora Chef…….. who generously prepared yummy clams with tomatoes and garlic, fried mussels and fried fish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To get there , you must ask locally how to call a boat , to reserve a great meal … well you got t have Lady’s number ….which I do !!!!  Check below..)

 

 

 

From September 18th to 23rd 2017 Po Delta and its jewel Venetian Botanical Garden, will host the World Youth Forum MAB UNESCO 2017.Hundreds of young people aged 18 to 35 coming from 120 countries around the world will gather in the heart its Biosphere Reserve.

                                              The Forum is conceived as an event that will provide young people with a unique opportunity to meet, debate and share their vision and commitment to sustainable development. It aims to become a place where strategies and action proposals can be discussed and implemented in order to achieve,

 

 

 

 

Since the area produces the excellent Riso del Delta del Po,  all the partecipants will be challenging in a cooking competition where that rice that will be the main ingredient of tipical dishes from different countries.
I am crazy for risotto and rice…I soooo wish to be in the jury …

 

 

 

 

 

Delta people just love their land.
“The Po Delta is a territory where development can start from the pursuit of happiness.” says Marco Gottardi, Po Delta Park’s director, while expert guide Sandro Vidali like narrate about the last 400 years when the Venetians diverted the course of the Po. Isabella Finotti guided me through the fascinating botanical garden, which is a unique habitat for many species of animals and plants. Alessio Greguoldo has experimented with a new oyster farming system in the Po Delta. Today, more than 1,500 Delta people are members of the fisheries Consortium of Scardovari. Numbers are huge! About 80,000 quintals of clams and 50,000 of mussels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay
Ca’ Zen, a 17th-century Venetian villa, nestled in a garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agriturismo Monte Scala, clean and cozy.

 

 

 

 

                         Where to eat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osteria del pesce  Via San Gaetano, 78 Cà Pisani Porto Viro (Rovigo)
Trattoria alla Rosa (my favorite) Via Treponti, 8/A, 45011 Bellombra (Rovigo)
Il Bilancione, Via Bacucco, 17, Ariano Nel Polesine ( Rovigo)
Scanno Boa (ask locally how to get there by boat, and yes….
I do have their cell number +39 345 92 34483

 

info@parcodeltapo.org
www.parcodeltapo.org

Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas. Kick back away from the crowds in luxury

by Phlilip Sinsheimer
Photo:Cesare Zucca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand.
After a few days in Hua Hin city,
I checked in for 2 nights at the Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas about 30 minute drive south in a super quiet locality called Pranburi.

 

 

Even though unlucky with unexpected rain, the stay was just fantastic.

The villas are super spacious, comfortable and private.
Didn’t use the private pool to cool off from the sun, but after a long relaxing hot bath in the outdoor tub.

The food was awsome: just loved the breakfast buffet with various both Thaï and Western treats. Not the widest variety ever, but no one should be frustrated and everything was top notch. Who needs 90 items if half of them are disappointing.The à la carte menu of the restaurant with ocean view had me have the best Thaï food so far: true flavors with excellent ingredient sourcing. Loved the local Pranburi squid, partially sun dried for a great flavor and texture.

Killing time inside the villa, reading, watching TV, catching up with email left no time to boredom. The staff just couldn’t be nicer and professional.

Stepped out the resort to have a long walk along the ocean. The beach has been washed out on large portions, but discovered abot 7km South a beautiful beach.
Just outside the resort I had my favorite foot massage ever at Mali massage for a mere 300 Bahts. In the village great moment on a terrace with a Leo Beer and snacks.
Everyone in town seems relaxed and someone offered a free ride back to the hotel.
Loved that place.

TIGER’S EYE: when passion for the local meets global artistry…

Text: Philip Sinsheimer
Photo: Philip Sinsheimer, Cesare Zucca

 

 

 

Many foreign chefs seem to flock to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital and we were not going to miss going to the trendy and much talked about Tiger’s Eye, the latest restaurant of South African chef Timothy Bruyn.

 

 

 

 

Both lauded by personal and professional contacts, Cesare and I managed to get a table in this rather small and intimate, modern and quietly sophisticated venue. Let’s be honest, visiting a star chef restaurant is always a thrill and, unfortunately, often somewhat a disappointment? Is it because the expectation is too high? Or simply because the marketing generated by fame trumps the soul of the cuisine, as if the personality of the chef in the limelight overshadows the distinction of the plate. Well, in all honesty, this is NOT the case at the Tiger’s Eye.

Timothy is a truly passionate and involved young chef and he personally delivers each of his creations to the table with just enough explanation to satisfy the curiosity without giving a self-serving description of his genius idea. Young, handsome, humble… and talented, the fame is justified. He managed to achieve what is truly difficult: creating “fusion” dishes, using local ingredients and bringing them into a very personal, delicate highlight.

 

 

 

 

The eyes are ravished with the delicate balance and precision of the composition .
Cured fish first course, expertly cooked duck breast with red curry were clear salutes to khmer cuisine.

 

But the chef follows his love of fine food to wherever his heart goes. One thing remains constant, the attention to the sourcing of the products.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy goes local whenever possible. He was kind enough to take me on a dazzling tour the next morning of two of his favorite markets knowing all ingredients and saluting the vendors he works with talking in Khmer .

 

 

His involvement in the local community is genuine and heartfelt. When he can’t find the quality he expects at his footstep, he’ll go a little further. The best mozzarella he found is made freshly in Siem Reap and the best oysters he found come from Vietnam.

 

 

Sensible fusion, not confusion.
For wines, his home country is well represented and we enjoyed a beautiful South African Chenin Blanc for the opening of our tasting menu. For the reds, I was wowed by the excellent and well priced Château Haut Saint brice, Saint Emilion Grand Cru which went so well with the duck. Hipsters will also appreciate the wide selection of beers.THE TIGER’S EYE
49 SOTHEAROS BLVD
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
TEL 855 (0)17876382
WWW.THETIGERSEYE.ASIA

Italy: welcome to ROMAGNA, where people love to host …

Unsinkable promoter Roy Berardi and Fausto Faggioli, organized an educational press tour featuring Italian and international press members such as Australian Desmond O’Grady, Alabama’s Pauline Fitzgerald, Chef/Author Philip Sinsheimer from Los Angeles, Silvia Donnini from Milan and me, from…everywhere in the world!
Our base was Fattorie Faggioli  at Borgo Basino, on the heights of Cusercoli,
There we were welcomed and pampered by the Faggioli family with the proverbial warmth and empathy of Romagna
. For a Non Touristy Tourist like me, this place was heaven, far from noise, cars, immersed in a peaceful green valley. I was feeling the quality of life, in s natural environment that contributed to the health of its spirit and body.
Mountain trips are provided, among herb gathering, hay baths,
healthy sauna with herbs and mud bath.
Here rooms are cozy, there is a nice swimming pool.
The spectacular food are made by fresh products cultivated on the premises, totally
home-made, healthy and delicious with prices definitely affordable
In addition to that  the Faggiolis organize an internship for workers and future experts.
Our group was taken around to visit local borghi (little historical villages) and to acknowledge the identification of identity and biodiversity, of a territory that is now actively engaged in the tourism development of the new “Destination Romagna”. that I consider the most genuine, deep and sincere Region in Italy, where nature, history, wine and food and wine relate to roots, memories and traditions.
We started visiting Ravenna discovering of the quirky “Hospitality Shops” of the historic center and participating to a Happy Bio  meeting by the sea hosted by the Regional Advisor To agriculture
delightful Mrs. Simona Caselli.
On the second day, Alberto Zattini, took us to the grandiose Piazza Saffi in Forli,
then we moved In Bertinoro, where we met Tourism Concil Mirko Capuano,
Lunch  (with a spectacular view)  at Osteria Cà de Bè
 
I loved their hand made fresh pastas. especially the passatelli in brodo,
followed by tastings of  delicious rabbit with vegetables and roasted pig, 
to end with the famous latteruolo
a signature dessert
created by iconic 19th century chef
Pellegrino Artusi
                                                                                                                                           In Predappio, Mussolini’s birth place, we were welcomed by Mayor Giorgio Frassineti, we ended the day at the vineyards of the Poderi da Nespoli and the visit to the wine cellar. Quite a journey …so Roy decided to give us a relaxing morning at the  Emi and Gianmarco Rossi‘s Terme di Fratta, a luxury hotel with an equipped spa that blends wellness, beauty and health.
The next day we moved to the Ridracoli Dam, taking a suggestive sailing around the lake at the edge of the great National Park forest. In the hamlet of Santa Sofia, then, walk with the councilor Ilaria Marianini to discover the the  River Bidente outdoor sculpture park, curated by Renato Barilli and Claudio Spadoni. Gran finale In Pianetto di Galeata with a succulent dinner at Osteria La Campanara
authentic testimonial of the Romagna gastronomy.
I finally had the traditional tripe with tomatoes, among pastas and excellent Sangiovese and Albana the masters of local winery.

 

 
For the next two days, Philip and I went to the close Forlimpopoli the city that every year pays a tribute to its most illustrious citizen Pellegrino Artusi, the acknowledged father of  modern Italian cookery, Pellegrino was born in 1820 in Forlimpopoli. He was a succesful businessman, became a wealthy man and, at age 45, was able to concentrate full time on his passion: the home cuisine. He loved to search, ponder recipes and have someone else cook his experiments. After long research, he narrowed his findings to 790 favorite recipes that he collected in a manual called “La Scienza in Cucina e l’Arte di Mangiar Bene” (“The Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well”).
The city celebrates Pellegrino hosting the Festa Artusiana, a tempting feast where  from now till June 2th,  from 7 p.m. to midnight, the historical city center changes into a “town to be tasted.” The big castle dominates the borgo, where courts, alleys, streets and squares have names of recipes from Artusi’s book.
All the best restaurants and the street vendors in the area are invited to participate and include in their menus several of Artusi’s specialties.
For nine evenings, Forlimpopoli becomes the capital city of “Eating Well,” thanks to the partnership with Casa Artusi, the first Italian gastronomic center devoted entirely to traditional home cookery. Casa boasts a library, a museum and a school that teaches practical courses both for food lovers and professionals wanting to learn how to improve their skills.
We had a wonderful Artusi dinner in the Casa’s restaurant. tarting with a  traditional welcome small carrot soup,
then the famous tortelli , stuffed with ricotta cheese and fine spices,followed by paccheri pasta with duck ragu and beef with cloves and white beans, to end with an almond chocolate dessert with zabaione cream.
Yummy!!
To welcome Philip, Laila Tentoni, Casa Artusi Director set up a fresh pasta making class , coached by Carla Brigliadori  head teacher of the Artusi cooking school…not only … but
also accurately supervised by a local Marietta ( the name is from Artusi,s assistant) and the attentive eye of Alberto Capatti, considered the top connoisseur of the Artusi cuisine.
So, if you want to feel welcome…put Romagna in your next vacation agenda.
              A region where people love to host, eat, drink and love tobe merry …

PHNOM PENH, luxury, comfort and gourmet food at the INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL


By Philip Sinsheimer
Photos: Cesare Zucca

Cesare had planned it all and planned it well. We arrived in Cambodia’s capital and enjoyed a 2-night stay at the Intercontinental a magnificent venue that isn’t in the touristic epicenter of Phnom Penh which would be close to the river, close to the Royal Palace, but actually it is rather central taking the city in its full scope. There are good things about staying at a hotel that is NOT particularly meant for tourists and that ISN’T in the touristic hub of town.

 

For one thing, your fellow hotel guests do not resemble your neighbors back home! That is a change right there that you will not get from checking in the most popular touristic TripAdvisor foreign based venues.                                  Grandiose lobby, courteous check-in, impeccable service and comfortable room with all amenities.  Not to mention, a 24 hours business center a well equipped Spa, and a surprising swimming pool with ‘elephant fountains’

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else do you want?

A good meal, well, that we had, check, check!

 

 

THE BREAKFAST FEAST
The breakfast experience was outstanding, even after having experienced some of the most lavish spreads in Southeast Asia in the previous weeks. Outstanding by the luxury of the ingredients used or the diversity of the offerings? That’s not the point. The striking element was actually constraint. Less can be more. It is an asset to know just how many things one can get right and serve at its best of freshness.

 

Talking of freshness and quality of service, I think the best thing was this open bar of fruit and vegetables that you could choose before seeing them juiced before your eyes. Yes, we had seen at other breakfast buffets a whole variety of fresh fruit juices, but what is more luxurious than “made to order”? I had become shortly before our long trip a quasi-addict of fresh ginger juice. Not a tea, but fresh ginger extraction with just enough water not to choke in public.
Well, to my surprise, my request for a full glass of ginger juice was met with no surprised eyebrow meaning “are you sure? You must be out of your mind!”, but with a smile and a reassuring “yes, Sir, of course! I will bring that to your table in a couple of minutes”.

Real class is treating a client’s unusual demands appear as total normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHINESE GASTRONOMY
Our second noteworthy experience was the dinner we had at Xiang Palace the hotel’s gourmet Chinese restaurant.

 

 

Besides the comfort and poise of the room, pleasure came from the expertise showcased by the chef in what are two of the most testing and iconic elements of Cantonese gastronomy.
The feast began with a trio of masterly prepared dim sum bites with a medal of honor to the delicacy of the sea scallop one for the exquisite freshness of both the filling and the wrapping.

 

 

 

 

 

Then we got to taste perfectly roasted meats with a winning trio of duck, chicken and crispy pork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having the pleasure of tasting true foreign cuisine is in itself a sign that Phnom Penh Intercontinental has become also a world class cosmopolitan culinary destination.

Caserta Region, Italy: a beautiful journey to the Villa

 

 

 

To celebrate their wines, Villa Matilde owners Maria Ida and Salvatore Avallone, invited distributors, buyers, bloggers to spend a wonderful time in Cellole, in the Caserta Region,

 

 

The location boasts a wonderful vineyard, a restaurant, a swimming pool, several bedrooms and, of course, good wines and delicious specialties from a traditional or revisited cucina napoletana.

 

We were all invited and the Villa looked really festive.

 

 

 

 

 

Actually the celebrations started the night before, indulging in a luscious dinner in the terrace of the five-star, overlooking the beautiful bay, unexpectedly lighten up by fireworks.

 

 

 


There I met Mr. Avallone. and his team among other journalists and several wine distributors from all over Europe. During the all event, guests were invited to try the wines.
I loved the golden and soft Falanghina Roccamonfina 

a  sophisticated fruity white that brings hints of pineapple, banana, yellow peach to rose and sage a great glass to star you meal , served with appetizer , light dishes, fish and white meat.

Then the Mata Rosé, elegant sparkling wine obtained from one of the oldest and noble native Carnation vines, the Alleanic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My
special applause goes to Terre Cerase Rosè, (I have to confess:I had 4 glasses) with a floral the bouquet of morello cherries, black and red wild berries, plus delicate hints of spices, ideal with fish, poultry, veal and making an outstanding paired with bufala mozzarella.

 

 

 

 

Last but not the list the reason why we all were there. We were graciously invited to Celebrate the king of the Villa, His Magesty Falerno del Massico, a red wine famous in literature and history is a blend of aglianico and piedirosso; the clusters are carefully quality-selected from the hillside vineyards on the San Castrese estate growing on the slopes of the extinct Roccamonfina volcano, in the province of Caserta. Showing a deep red, its intense, rich bouquet is brimming with fragrant sweet violets, cherries, blackberries, and raspberries, finely balanced in all teir components. The “Falerno Party” started with the Exclusive Ceremony of opening and tasting Falerno del Massico aging in Amphora:
What an entertaining show! Fabio Gennarelli (Wine Making Director) opened one of the “Phitos” the traditional clay Amphora used exclusively by Villa Matilde, followed by an a unique sensing experience: the Vertical tasting of Falerno del Massico Vigna Camarato spanning from 1995 to 2010.  A parade of eight glasses where every “millesime” was telling his own story.

 

 

 

 

The outdoor lunch featured delicious seafood bites(I had to video some) and the one and only pizza fritta, freshly fried and stuffed by the expert hands of the Chef from “La Masardona”.

 

 

 

 

Not to mention the final dinner stuck between tradition and  innovation, created by the chefs of
Taverna del Falerno
and the “Grand Hotel Parker’s 5 Stars Restaurant”  pairing their dishes with the new Villa Matilde baby born:

sparkling Spumante Mata Falanghina, with its warm golden reflections and a fine and elegant perlage, thanks to the long stay on yeasts. Just put your nose to the glass to feel delicate scents of ripe fruit mixed with hints of yeast and crust of bread. The taste is fresh, elegant and harmonious, with acidic and intense fruity notes typical of the Falanghina, which are accompanied by pleasing sensations.
A dinner that brought
the culture of food of Napoli and Campania.ending with a nice souvenir that anyone who is a little superstitious would have love it . A little red corn, mounted on a Villa Matilde cork, a traditional “Good Luck”
for the Neapolitan people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sicilian oranges conquer USA

This year the NY Summer Fancy Food will smell and taste of Sicilian oranges…

In the Level 3 at Booth 2220 the annual event will host for the first time Mongibello, the new red Sicilian orange juice  by Oranfrizer, with a name inspired by Etna Volcano.
The product will participate in the Italian Food Awards USA 2017, is thought and dedicated only to the American market.

Over the Ocean, the company exports non-sourced juices for 20 years, with the launch of Mongibello and targeted communications strategies to propose new sales channels.I tried it and I lived it! No concentrate, it tastes like a real just squeezed fresh orange..

 

 

 

The NY Summer Fancy Food Show is the best specialty food industry trade event in North America, from June 25t till 27th ,

 

 

                 If you will be in NY, do not miss to tray this nectar of Sicily !

 

 

Not to be missed: the one and only ELEPHANT BAR in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh by night: legendary Elephant Bar leads to other delights…

By Philip Sinsheimer
Photo. Cesare Zucca

The team of the Raffles Siem Reap, engaged us to pay a visit to a real jewel., located in their sister property in Phnom Penh, I am talking of the historic Elephant Bar,

a place that exudes the charm of old school luxury. Not only do the walls spoke of history but, the service evokes a tempo of another time, a pace where the demands of productivity are not part of the game. Not to say we waited a long time for our cocktails, we waited just the right time for it to be made to perfection!
The signature cocktail is the Femme Fatale,
created for Jacqueline Kennedy during her 1967 visit in Cambodia.

 

The bar boasts a selection of 54 hand-picked gins and among the most recent offerings you can pair your libation with a spoonful of Giaveri caviar from Italy for a very friendly $5.

We were hosted by the young French F&B manager of this legendary institution,
Thomas Bianco.

 

We hit it off immediately and Thomas offered to meet with me the next night for a night in town. What a treat! We met with his charming Cambodian wife and I got to experience the best true khmer cuisine at their favorite restaurant, Kravanh, located at 112 Samdach Sothearos Blvd,
Simple, yet lovely decor with soft lighting (pic below), great service, nice wines and yes, a real gastronomic adventure at an affordable price. The “phlear trey” traditional marinated raw fish salad tossed with a variety of fresh herbs was incredible, definitely one of the best dish of my entire stay in Cambodia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening ended in a fun and lively bar, Chez Flo, located at 308 St 308, Phnom Penh, in the trendy Bassac lane area. Cocktails were impeccably executed by a young and hip bartender who really knew his stuff. Thomas had him create on the spot a cocktail combining ingredients I loved: bourbon, fresh lime and ginger juice, simple sugar and mint leaves. Shaken with egg white and served on the rocks with a splash of angustura bitters. What a treat! Thomas coined the name Tsin-Tsin for the cocktail in a heartbeat, combining the first letter of his first first name and the first 3 letters of my last name for an inviting chin-chin ring to it. It is now on the menu of the Elephant Bar, sealing in history the final touch of a night made of whimsy, fun and good taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info for The Elephant Bar at Ruffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh  at
http://www.raffles.com/phnom-penh/dining/elephant-bar/

MY LIFE AS IMAGE CONSULTANT. Italian interview by Mattia Marzi/Rockol.it

Ambra in versione sadomaso, un’irriconoscibile Annie Lennox, Ramazzotti il borgataro e Madonna la businesswoman: parla lo stylist delle star.

Ambra in versione sadomaso, un'irriconoscibile Annie Lennox, Ramazzotti il borgataro e Madonna la businesswoman: parla lo stylist delle star
Avete visto la copertina del nuovo singolo di Marcella Bella, “Non mi basti più”? Capelli ricci e ribelli, rossetto rosso marcatissimo, sguardo provocante: sembra ringiovanita di quarant’anni. Il look della voce di “Montagne verdi” per il suo nuovo progetto discografico, prodotto da Mario Biondi, è curato da Cesare Zucca, stylist che nel corso della sua lunga carriera ha avuto modo di collaborare con star della musica italiana e internazionale. Di cose da raccontare ne ha parecchie, Zucca: partita da alcuni locali della Milano degli anni ’70 e ’80, la sua avventura nel mondo della musica (e dello spettacolo) lo ha portato addirittura a lavorare negli Stati Uniti, dove ha vissuto per diversi anni. Il suo motto? “L’arte di comandare sta nell’arte di delegare, ad attorniarsi del meglio senza temere che il meglio possa scavalcare qualcun altro”, risponde Zucca. Ma quanto conta l’immagine, oggi, per una popstar? Ne abbiamo parlato con lui.

Non è un caso che Marcella Bella abbia scelto proprio te come stylist per il suo nuovo progetto discografico: la vostra prima collaborazione, quella per il look di “Nell’aria”, risale a oltre trent’anni fa.
Ascoltai il disco, mi piacque molto. Cercai di eliminare il capello riccio, ma lei proprio non voleva saperne di tagliarlo. Così raccogliemmo i capelli e attaccammo alcuni ciuffetti che le davano un’atmosfera non dico punk, ma più nuova rispetto ai suoi precedenti lavori. Ora ha lavorato con Mario Biondi al suo nuovo album, davvero notevole, e mi ha voluto nuovamente al suo fianco.

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Ma andiamo con ordine: come cominciò questo tuo lungo viaggio nel mondo della musica e dello spettacolo?
Tutto ebbe inizio in tre discoteche molto in voga a Milano tra la fine degli anni ’70 e i primi anni ’80, Primadonna, Divina e No Ties. Non facevo il dj, ci lavoravo come pr, come organizzatore di feste. Presi a lavorare Claudio Cecchetto: era bravissimo a mixare, ma sul palco era una mummia, non diceva mezza parola e non intratteneva il pubblico. Ricordo che mi dovetti allontanare per qualche giorno e dissi a Cecchetto di provare a sciogliersi un po’, a intrattenere la folla. Quando tornai, lo trovai che era un’altra persona.

Nello stesso periodo lavoravi anche come ufficio stampa per la EMI italiana, per la quale incidevano – tra gli altri – Alan Sorrenti, Francesco Guccini e poi, verso la fine degli anni ’70, anche Franco Battiato e Pino Daniele. Cosa ricordi di quel periodo?
Battiato arrivò in EMI dopo una serie di album sperimentali. Curiosamente, avevo suonato insieme a lui all’inizio della sua carriera: facevamo parte del complesso che accompagnava Ombretta Colli, la moglie di Giorgio Gaber. Andai in sala d’incisione quando Battiato registrò insieme ad Alice “Chan-son egocentrique” e fu lì che capii da dove venivano fuori i suoi testi: totale improvvisazione con grande senso dell’humour. Quanto a Pino Daniele, ricordo che quando la EMI lo mise sotto contratto chiesero a me di fargli qualche foto, perché non avevano budget.

Poi arrivò la prima collaborazione come stylist, quella con Alan Sorrenti.
Alla EMI avevano un nuovo artista da riproporre, Alan Sorrenti, appunto, che veniva da alcuni dischi prog rock e che aveva appena inciso “Figli delle stelle”: si ripresentava sulle scene con sonorità diverse, decisamente disco. Chiesero a me di curare la sua immagine, di rimetterlo in ordine. Per prima cosa, via i capelli lunghi. Poi, gli abiti: in quel periodo, era il 1977, Gianni Versace aveva realizzato la prima collezione da uomo, tutto bianco e Superman. Era perfetta. Presi il portfolio con le foto e andai a Roma, a farle visionare ai miei capi della EMI, che bocciarono in totale il progetto: “Troppo disco, troppo gay”, mi dissero. Ma Alan si sentiva a suo agio con quella nuova immagine e quindi, alla fine, venne scelto proprio il mio look. “Figli delle stelle” andò al primo posto in classifica: non che il merito fosse del look, ma in qualche modo contribuì al successo del singolo. Così mi licenziai dalla EMI e cominciai a curare l’immagine degli artisti.
Poco tempo dopo ti affidarono il look di Kate Bush per la sua partecipazione al Festivalbar del 1978 con “Wuthering heights”,come fu lavorare con lei?
Quel singolo rimase nel cassetto di quello che si occupava del repertorio straniero della EMI Italiana per cinque o sei mesi, pensavano che fosse una canzone troppo strana. Incontrai Kate Bush a Nizza, lei stava registrando nello stesso studio in cui i Rolling Stones avevano registrato “Exile on Main Street”. Mi diede carta bianca: l’arte di comandare sta nell’arte di delegare, appunto. Andai a New York ad acquistare qualche maschera, poi a Milano feci realizzare alcuni costumi da samurai. Chiesi agli scenografi della Scala di costruire un grande aquilone. Il giorno dell’esibizione all’Arena di Verona, Kate arrivò con molto ritardo. In quel periodo era seguita da Hilary Walker, ex manager di Paul McCartney. La trascinai in camerino per darle una sistemata. La coreografia prevedeva che lei si nascondesse dietro l’aquilone e che ad un certo punto i due samurai girassero l’aquilone. Ma nessuno disse a Kate che l’Arena era gremita, quella sera, e quando l’aquilone si girò lei rimase esterrefatta

 Nel 1981 fu la volta di Alice, in gara al Festival di Sanremo con “Per Elisa”.
Voleva un’immagine forte, aggressiva, alternativa, un po’ maschile. Ci trovammo in perfetta armonia: si trattò semplicemente di mettere in pratica le idee che giravano già nella sua testa. Non si aspettava assolutamente di vincere quell’edizione del Festival e quando le comunicarono che sarebbe dovuta tornare sul palco per cantare la sua canzone, non tirò fuori dalla borsa rossetto o altri trucchi.

Con Loredana Berté, invece, collaborasti a più riprese: prima per l’album “Jazz” del 1983, poi per “Savoir faire” del 1984 e, infine, per “Carioca” del 1985. Tutti quelli che lavorarono con lei raccontano che Loredana aveva un carattere non facile. Confermi?
Quella con Loredana fu la collaborazione più difficile, ma anche la più bella. Ci furono litigi, ma anche momenti molto intensi. Ho mille ricordi di quel periodo. Ed è vero che che era un personaggio con cui non era così semplice lavorare. Loredana, che tendenzialmente indossava sempre jeans e magliette a maniche corte, per “Il mare d’inverno” scelse un look post-atomico, come lo chiamava lei, a brandelli. Per “Carioca”, invece, preferì un’immagine più estiva. Era sempre un gradino verso il futuro, estremamente attenta alla contemporaneità, a quello che funzionava in quel preciso momento. Il primo lavoro che fece senza di me fu il Festival di Sanremo con il pancione finto, quello di “Re”. L’idea venne ripresa da Lady Gaga, è vero, ma prima di Loredana lo aveva già fatto Barbra Streisand in un film.

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Restando sempre in Italia: nel 1984 curasti il look di Eros Ramazzotti, che quell’anno cercava di farsi conoscere dal grande pubblico partecipando, tra le Nuove Proposte, al Festival di Sanremo. Come ti arrivò la proposta di collaborare con lui?
Mi chiamò il suo produttore, Renato Brioschi, ex membro dei Profeti: “Ho un giovane che va a Sanremo, ma non sono molto sicuro del look. Puoi dargli un’occhiata?”, mi chiese. Era domenica, Ramazzotti si sarebbe esibito quattro giorni dopo, il giovedì. Mi arrivò a casa questo ragazzo con i riccioloni, romano, un po’ borgataro, aveva appena finito di giocare a pallone. Gli dissi: “Devi essere il nuovo James Dean”. Pensavo a “I ragazzi della 56esima strada”, jeans e capelli rockabilly. Trovai un parrucchiere disponibile di lunedì, un amico, e mi procurai un paio di magliette, una riciclata da Alan Sorrenti. Ramazzotti partì per Sanremo e vinse con “Terra promessa”. Lo rividi qualche anno dopo a Miami, dove abitavo. Aveva in programma un concerto a Milano con Tina Turner e mi invitò a fargli da direttore artistico.Dopo le tante collaborazioni con artisti italiani, poi, arrivarono quelle con le star internazionali: su tutte, Madonna. Come arrivasti a lei?
Sognavo di lavorare con lei da tempo e capii che se fossi rimasto a lavorare a Milano non sarebbe mai successo. Così, feci le valigie e volai a Los Angeles. Condividevo l’appartamento con Bob Esty, arrangiatore e produttore che all’epoca lavorava con Donna Summer e Giorgio Moroder. Cominciai a lavorare con alcuni clienti e un giorno mi chiamarono per dirmi che Madonna, reduce dall’album “True blue”, aveva visto i miei lavori e voleva che collaborassi con lei per un book fotografico. Fu relativamente semplice lavorare con Madonna: era precisissima e molto pignola. Sapeva di avere un grande potere e voleva dominarlo: una grande businesswoman.

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Della collaborazione con Annie Lennox, invece, cosa ricordi?
Avevo due abiti, uno di Versace e l’altro di Missoni. Le proposi di fare un gioco:  la regina di picche. capelli neri e abito rosso. A riguardare quelle foto, oggi, appare irriconoscibile. Qualche tempo dopo venne in Italia insieme agli Eurythmics, per un concerto al Palatrussardi di Milano. Andai in albergo e lasciai un regalo nella stanza del suo manager. Due o tre giorni dopo mi lasciò un messaggio nella segreteria del telefono: “Hi, this is Annie… Annie Lennox. Ho ricevuto il tuo regalo, vieni al concerto: ti faccio trovare due pass”. Mi aveva dato un pass per tutte le aree. Andai in camerino e scoprii che aveva fatto registrare tutto il concerto per ascoltare com’era venuto, a livello di suono. La nostra collaborazione finì perché il suo manager, geloso, tagliò i rapporti.

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Una collaborazione che non ti ha dato le soddisfazioni che ti aspettavi, invece?

 

Ambra Angiolini, la più grande disillusione artistica. C’era un servizio fotografico da fare, le mandai l’idea: i sette vizi capitali. Un po’ sexy e sadomaso: Ambra, che verso la metà degli anni ’90 faceva un programma in tv insieme ai ballerini Luca Tommassini e Kevin Stea, Qualche giorno prima le spiegai il look: avrebbe avuto un sigaro in bocca e due guanti di pelle nera lucida. Ambra entusiasta. Eravamo nello studio che avevo affittato per il set, Ambra era nel suo camerino. Dopo un po’ la mamma uscì e mi disse: “Non si trova con questo trucco, non si sente a suo agio. Le è preso un crampo allo stomaco”. Evidentemente una pessima scusa per non lavorare e professionalità zero.
Chiusi tutto, pagai studio e assistenti e fermai la produzione.

L’immagine, in musica, è legata in particolar modo ai videoclip: negli anni ’80 e ’90, a volte, il video era più importante della canzone. Oggi è ancora così, secondo te?
Assolutamente sì, considerando anche che i video di oggi possono vantare del supporto di internet, a differenza di quelli degli anni ’80 e ’90. Quando mi paragonano i video di Lady Gaga e quelli di Madonna rispondo sempre che Madonna non aveva internet. Prima, però, c’era un’attenzione diversa: si viveva l’attesa del videoclip.

Ma quanto conta il look per una popstar, oggi?
Conta eccome. Tra l’altro, oggi è molto diffuso anche l’anti-look: penso a personaggi come LP, che si presenta senza trucco, magliettina e jeans. Anche quello di Sia è un anti-look, perché non vuole farsi vedere. Dietro, però c’è una grande idea di marketing. Anche se sembra che dietro non ci sia uno studio, anche questi non-look fanno tendenza.

Le varie popstar internazionali contemporanee, penso a Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Adele, Beyoncé e Rihanna, secondo te fanno un buon uso del look ?
Sì, anche se certi look sono meno riusciti di altri. Katy Perry sorprende ogni volta, Beyoncé fa grandi ricerche sulla sua immagine.

Certe loro scelte hanno fatto discutere: ricordi il vestito di carne che Lady Gaga ha indossato qualche anno fa agli MTV Video Awards?
Me lo ricordo benissimo. E ricordo anche quando si presentò alla cerimonia dei Grammy dentro l’uovo, tipo un feto. Lady Gaga, comunque, è una grande. Anche lei, ad esempio, ora che si è avvicinata al country ha scelto un non-look.

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Con chi ti piacerebbe lavorare, in futuro?
Del panorama italiano l’unico artista che con cui mi piacerebbe collaborare è Raphael Gualazzi: mi è piaciuta molto la sua “L’estate di John Wayne”, trovo che il video sia meraviglioso, sembra girato dal nipote di Fellini. Quanto agli artisti internazionali: sarebbe stato molto bello lavorare con Amy Winehouse.di Mattia Marzi

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