Electrolux talks ‘senses’ with the Cube’s Chef Eros Picco
Read our interview with Eros Picco, one of the guest chefs at The Cube in Milan this spring. Here Eros , who runs Milan restaurant Innocenti Evasioni, talks about the senses and how they inspire and influence him in his work:
Which is your favourite sense? Do you have one?
No, I don’t have a clear preference. All five senses are essential before I even start to cook. I use them to understand if some ingredient smells good or if it has the right consistency when touched. In this way I know if the food can be cooked or not. It’s impossible to name a favorite sense. Apart from hearing, all the other four are absolutely crucial for my profession.
How do you work with the different senses in your cooking?
I work with the senses during both the cooking process and when the plates are presented to my clients. Starting with sight: I like to surprise my guests with interesting colours that match whichever season we are in. For example in summer I use bright colours like the red of tomatoes or the rich green of basil. In winter, I prefer more subdued colours, like the brown colour of chestnuts or the yellow of squash. Then we have touch. Using their cutlery I encourage my guests to ’play’ with the food, discovering whether it is soft, crispy or dry. When it comes to smell, I like to cover the plate when it’s very aromatic, and then dramatically uncover it at the table, so that the guests can be surprised and enveloped by different, powerful scents all at one time. Then of course there is sound… One example is the sizzle in the pan when we serve the food. And finally taste… probably the most important one, which enables us to enjoy the ingredients.
How does a setting like the open space of the Cube affect how you work with the senses?
Of course when the kitchen is open, as is the case in The Cube, peoples’ senses are more involved. The guest uses the five senses in an magnified way! We have direct contact with sight, smell and sound. People can have a real preview of the ingredients they will taste. For example when I add some good white wine in the rice preparing a risotto, the wine evaporates all around, with a delicious infusing smell… or when I melt the butter a rich, caramel aroma permeates the room.
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