Flavour goes on stage: how a doctor with a passion for taste ended up as a TV personality too.
My experience on TV began by chance, almost as a joke. MasterChef Italia was my springboard to other popular TV programs.
A doctor on TV. How did I get there? Thinking back to how this experience began puts a smile on my lips. Some background first: I have always had a great passion for cooking and for one type of cooking in particular, cooking with real ingredients from small producers, to bring out fresh, immediate, well-balanced flavours.
This natural inclination of mine has always led me to cook with pleasure for my friends. My life is studded with occasions where, invited to a friend’s house, I wound up bustling around their kitchen to make an impromptu meal or rescue their dinner party plans.
My friend Cristiana, who was very familiar with this passion of mine, enrolled me in the selection stages of MasterChef Italia. Before going to the interviews, we watched an episode together (I had never seen it before). The first thing I told her? ‘I can’t do those things.’ But she had no doubt about me and, in the end, I eliminated everyone to claim the victory.
Cooking with sensitivity and training the tastebuds
Following a recipe and cooking are two very different concepts. This I learned from my grandmother and also in the MasterChef Italia kitchen. Cooking requires technique, but above all it needs passion, heart, and sensitivity. Technique makes you virtuous, sensitivity adds something that nothing else can. If there is one thing that helped me win the MasterChef title, it’s the latter, I believe.
On TV, I have been a judge on the long-running show La Prova del Cuoco (The test of the cook), and I have collaborated with Mi Manda Rai Tre to address topics on food and cooking.
I have been a guest on many other TV programmes as well, and each of these experiences has allowed me to explore new ways to communicate with different audiences.
I have a secret project that I would like to realize.
To have a spot on a TV programme where I could talk about the flavours of my grandmother’s recipes, and the recipes of an entire generation born after the 1920s. Older people are the last guardians of our culinary heritage, with a knowledge of flavour, foodways, cultural history, and our shared origins, which we risk losing forever.
A stage to delve into themes that are very close to my heart: flavour, cooking, farm-grown ingredients, traditions, sustainability, and health.