Cook it, Record it, Success: a BTV and BFood Event

The Event 

On Thursday 4th of May, “Il Sapore del Successo” (“Success’s taste”) took place in Aula Perego, with the moderation of Professor S. Borghini. The event was dedicated to the discussion of food and cooking related topics and organized thanks to the collaboration between BocconiTv and BFood. The conference has seen the interventions of two Italian guests coming from the Food and TV world: Lorenzo Biagiarelli and Roberto Valbuzzi.  

Lorenzo defines himself “Not a Chef”: he is a food blogger, participates in many food-related TV shows like “E’ sempre Mezzogiorno!”, where he focusses on culinary anecdotes and fake gastronomical myths. On the other hand, Roberto has his own restaurant in Valtellina but is mainly known in Italy for his role as judge in the famous TV program “Cortesie per gli Ospiti” and for the participation to other cooking shows. 

The meeting covered many topics of the culinary world, from personal histories and job prospects to trends and the impact caused by the pandemic. It ended with a Q&A from the public. 

Photos taken for BocconiTV by Federico Pes

How TV Shows change our lives 

Firstly, both the guests talked about their experience in tv as expert of the food sector. 

Lorenzo Biagiarelli focused his intervention on the relevance of the cooking tradition for Italian culture. Since he is one of the presenters of “E’ sempre Mezzogiorno!” (“It’s always Midday!”), a show cooking that takes place every day on Rai1 just before lunchtime, he has underlined how the show has become an element of the everyday life for many Italian people, seeing the participation of different segments (the two most affectioned age groups are <18 and >65).  

In this way, the show has a twofold role: educate by disseminating knowledge and entertain the audience by keeping company.  

Roberto Valbuzzi, on the other hand, has based his intervention on the theme of the spread of food-related shows in the last 10-15 years and on his personal experience in this field (he first appeared on TV 13 years ago). The advent of many formats which see Chefs as presenters or as judges has set the basis for changes in the way people perceive the world of catering. He indeed thinks that this phenomenon has brought an openness from the public to new behaviors, that’s why so many children have grown up perceiving food differently from the old generations. He has taken as an example the role of the “plating”, which has now become a form of art thanks to shows and visibility of famous chefs.  

What about Covid-19? 

At least once, during the first lockdown, we all cooked something new, rediscovering the passion for cooking or doing our first recipe ever. How has this renewed interest impacted our lives after the pandemic? 

Roberto Valbuzzi has spoken about the changes of “roles” that we are assisting to after these three difficult years. Indeed, the Italian stereotypes still see women spending all day in the kitchen while their husbands “are working and come home expecting to be served with dinner”. Luckily, things are now changing. Many men are approaching the kitchen as it already happens in the Northern Countries, eradicating the idea that women whocook are just “housewives” while men that cook are “chefs”. At the same time, women chefs are now more respected, despite their authority still seen differently from that of their male counterparts. 

Another trend emerging after the pandemic is related to healthy foods. Despite social networks frequently share fake news about diet, and despite the stereotype of the chef is that of a short and fat man grabbing a greasy spoon, Roberto has noticed positive changes in the direction of a more aware and conscious behavior toward the food world. This requires a change of mindset, also considering the role that traditional and “fat” dishes have in Italian lives, but he seems to be confident that new customs of consumption will be explored in the next years. 

On the other hand, a big amount of the population still sees the price as the main driver in the choice of the food, not caring about quality of origins of the ingredients. 

What about meat consumption? 

During the Q&A phase, the two guests were asked their opinion on meat consumption.  

They both said that it is a real problem for numerous reasons and debunked, supported by data, that the “Mediterranean diet” is not based on this food category. They are absolutely for the use of alternatives, such as cultivated meat. Roberto brought from his experience as chef the fact that he only cooks wild game meat coming from the are in which his restaurant is located, proposing said meat on the menu only in certain periods of the year to ensure the respect of the Valtellina Valley ecosystem. Sadly, he also underlined how often attention to the environment and to meat consumption is considered merely as a trend by famous chefs, which only propose “Veg Menus” to gain clients. They do not care, he says, about the provenience nor about the supply chain which brings ingredients into their kitchens. 

For sure, the event has left many interesting points of reflection for all present, making the audience reflect about consumption, awareness and inclusion in the catering world, as well as the role of TV for the development of the sector. So, I would like to thank BFood for having organized this event with BocconiTV and the two guests for their exciting thoughts and answers. 

Written by Francesca Della Rocca