Some Italian food for thought

Some Italian food for thought

Outside view

Some Italian food for thought

Italian movie director Federico Fellini once said, “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”

This popular quote still travels the internet and social media sites in the form of memes and statuses.

On his first visit to Bangalore, chef Antonello Cancedda from Italy used this quote to sum up his feelings on food and everything else.

For the past three years, the chef has been living in Chandigarh and working for JW Marriott. He says he took up the job because it gave him a chance to come to India. 

   “I used to learn yoga when I was in Italy but I had stopped for a few years in between. When I got this offer from JW Marriott, I took it up because they are a really good hotel and it was destiny – I could pursue my yoga again,” he says.

Antonello believes that yoga helps a person keep fit and in working shape. “If you do yoga, the rest will take care of itself. Like if you have the right car, you can go and explore the rest of the world. But if your body isn’t healthy, you won’t be able to do anything,” he says.

He says one should balance their diet to stay healthy. “There are two kinds of diets: alkaline and acidic. One should make sure that their everyday diet consists of at least 80 percent of alkaline foods and only 20 percent of acidic foods.” While fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts come under the alkaline chart, meats, sugars, fats and oils fall under acidic foods.

According to him, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest because it consists of mostly fresh fruits, vegetables and the weekly meat. And he tells Metrolife just how essential pasta is to an Italian. “Pasta with a simple tomato sauce, basil and extra virgin olive oil is the staple food for Italians. It is in our DNA like rice and ‘dal’ is in the Indians. We could go a week without pizza but not pasta,” he says. He adds that pasta with white sauce and lasagna is usually the meals for the weekends.

While most Indian make a massive meal out of pizzas, he says, “Pizza is something to eat in the evening, it’s very light.” He adds that it is hard to find authentic Italian food in India. “What you get here is the standard. People know about pizzas and pastas but they don’t know how to make homemade pastas, stuffed pasta, ravioli or tortellini.

If you go to the most popular Italian restaurant in the city, it won’t be authentic because they will either be adding ‘masala’ to the pasta or chicken ‘tikka’ to the pizza to cater to the crowd. It is more about comfort food. What they call ‘Italian’ here is more Indianised.”

The talented chef will be whipping up some authentic Tuscan meals at the JW Marriott till August 24.

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