In this series, our co-workers share the books, websites, movies and initiatives that have inspired and influenced their thinking.
Federico Casotto leads our Food Lab, where he applies design thinking on products and experiences related to food, cooking and eating. We are currently working on a new multifunctional space that will also be the home of our Food Lab, with a professional kitchen to experiment and test our ideas at. We’ll tell you more about that soon – in the meantime, here is Federico’s list of influences. We hope it will inspire you!
I like what he does and how he does it. He is a great, engaging and relevant writer. With his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, he was the first to raise the question and issues of industrial farming on that high level. With Cooked, he connected these issues to the kitchen by showing how important is for both individuals and societies to spend more time cooking. If people will cook what they eat, they will learn to appreciate quality, to eat less and be healthier.
The founder of the Slow Food movement deserves a Nobel Prize, if you ask me. He drew people’s attention to the main ethical issues of the food system by stating that they threaten not only our health but also our pleasure and the quality of our lives. His idea of good is a perfect blend of ethics, pleasure, and health.
Farmageddon by Isabel Oakeshott and Philip Lymbery
A complete and wonderful report on industrial agriculture and farming, and animal breeding, and a series of impressive case studies that explore the impact of industrial farming on lands and communities.
I check Food Navigator, Food Web, Modern Farmer and Il Fatto Alimentare on a regular basis to follow the topical discussion and to stay on top of what is going on in the industry. The printed magazine by Modern Farmer is also visually stunning, and it reframes the traditional image of a farmer beautifully.
The scene in which Argon Ego, the fearsome gourmet critic, tastes the ratatouille for the first time, encapsulates the essence of a food experience perfectly. It has to do with memories, emotions, staying in the moment… When the critic tastes the simple dish skillfully prepared by the mouse, the pen drops from his hand: all intellectual exercises are suddenly useless, all this talking, analysing, and questioning around the gastronomic pleasure suddenly becomes nonsense. Gianfranco Marrone provided a brilliant analysis of the scene in his book Gastromania.