Food&Kitchen: photographer Luigi Bussolati answers our questions

28-06-2017 Parma-based photographer Luigi Bussolati responds to our mini-questionnaire today. With a diploma in photography from Centro Riccardo Bauer in Milan, Luigi has been combining intense personal research into photography with communication projects for more than thirty years, working for a number of different enterprises, institutions, agencies and magazines.
His two most recent projects are “Well Tempered Sight”, dedicated to a whole year of leaves, and “Ab Ovo”, which is all about the egg, a symbol of creation and formal beauty as well as the primordial food, a sneak preview of which is presented here.
What do you think, Luigi, when entering your kitchen?
I clear my mind of all thoughts.”
What dish best represents your life, and why?
Bread, butter and jam. It is an alchemic union of opposites, and it generates perfect harmony. It’s my madeleine; I find my roots in it, and I believe it provides the foundations of the art of pastry-making/em>.”
What is the top in the kitchen, according to you?
The fragrance of baking bread, after the dough has risen for many hours. Making bread is like watching a small miracle unfold: all the elements come together to give life to something nourishing. Even after years of doing it, I still find it thrilling. I’m grateful to the person who taught me this.”
What is the ingredient you can’t do without?
My ancestors were cheese-makers, and I can’t do without butter and cheese.”
What is the funniest item in your kitchen?
A burgundy-coloured apron my daughters Agata and Anita gave me, with “Dad’s cooking is so good” written on it in yellow.
When was the last time you had a really good meal?
Last Saturday, at home with friends. Cooking and eating with friends always makes a meal special.”
Is there a dish you’d like to try making?
When I was in Spain, I had a few timid encounters with Catalonian paella, but I have not yet learned to make it the way I would like to.”
Which recipe do you do best?
All the recipes that connect me with thoughts of somebody, or some place or time in my life. I have been thinking of collecting together some material for an autobiography or diary with recipes I have discovered through my travels and through people I have met. In addition to my family recipes, I love a special recipe for spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, “aglio e olio a modo mio”, which my dear friend Marco used to make in Australia; he was a cook on an aboriginal reserve for some time. An “aio e oio” with a secret, that renders even large amounts of garlic innocuous.”
What traits do you admire in a chef?
The fact that a dish can take me into a story.”
What is the meaning of food, in your experience?
Food is a very powerful way of connecting with memory and culture. The different ways of making and sharing food always remind me that everything is about relationships.”

Mariagrazia Villa

Photos: Luigi Bussolati

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