Interview: Pier Bussetti, Castello di Govone, Govone (Piemonte, Italia)
The most common answers are always “My mother was a great cook, also my grandmother was cooking perfectly…” It’s true for my mother, but not for my grandmother. My mother started to work as houskeeper of a very rich family and loved to cook … che had golden hands. But I’ve started because together with a good friend of mine we decided to go to the hotel school since it seemed a great thing to us – we saw in it the possibility to travel and to escape from a small provincial place.
How would you describe the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is most typical about it?
My cuisine is an absolute research with all that this includes: ingredients, techniques, concepts, new tastes, … And the taste is the most extreme research. Because everything can be done, but always in the name of the taste.
Let’s go to your childhood. Are there any memories, tastes, flavours, which are important for your creations of today?
absolutely: il carpione piemontese – this special kind of marinade on the base of vinegar is used to conserve products – fish, meat, vegetables. And then my mother’s risotto – what I really love to cook today is risotto.
Aromatic herbs, spices, citrus fruits and … vinegar.
Who were your tutors and mentors? Who has influenced you the most and how?
Without any doubt my teacher from the hotel school Gilberto Rosa. He died a few years ago and for some of his pupils, like me, it was a real trauma. He knew how to transmit the passion for what we are doing.
Who/what is inspiring you today?
Design. The sense of beauty which has to go parallel with the taste – it has to be connected, it has to serve to it. I’m also professor at IAAD (Istituto di Arte Applicata e Design/Institute of Applied Arts and Design ) from Torino where I take care of the cathedra of “Food & Design”.
Creativity and technique. What is more important for you and why?
Both, of course! Even if I choose the first: you can always learn the technique or collaborate with professionals who are good at it, but creativity can’t be learned and can’t be bought. You have it or you don’t.
What’s your favourite dish?
I should repeat myself …. risotto.
What was your biggest success?
The spoon shock: Notorious’ Spark. This is a micro plate which I’m serving at the beginning of my most creative tasting menu. It was exhibited at Triennale di Milano in a permanent exposition called “The new italian design: the mobile landscape of the new italian design”. Then it started to travel around the world … it just came back from Istanbul – from the museum of modern and contemporary art of the turkish capital. This is my trade mark because I started a new technique in which I’m using capsules of eatable collagen – to serve food!
Do you have any realizable or realized dreams?
Of course … I’m working on it. It has to do with my world of course, but it’s bad to talk about it before it’s realized.
Do you have also any unrealizable dream?
I think not. I’m trying to be concrete in my madness.
If you wouldn’t be a chef, what would you do?
A motorcycle mechanic: one of my dreams was preparing motorcycles for motocross of the champions.
All the photos are from the archive of Pier Bussetti.