The secrets of Italian chef Enrico Crippa
The secrets of Italian chef Enrico Crippa
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The secrets of Italian chef Enrico Crippa

Why successful chefs need to be curious, smart and clever

Enrico Crippa is a very famous Italian chef, whose delicacies can be tasted at the Michelin-starred Piazza Duomo in Alba. Among his signature dishes, there are a very special salad and a unique potatoes cream.

The salad is called 21, 31, 41, 51..., and includes ingredients from the chef's farm arranged in such a way to become, as Mr Crippa highlighted during an interview with the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, an exposition of his food philosophy.

The potatoes cream, instead, is a cream hiding "a quail egg marinated in lapsang souchong tea and topped with white truffle". According to the chef, "the flavours of the tea create atmosphere. It evokes the feeling of going into an old farm house in Piedmont with a fire in the fireplace and you can smell the smoke in the air."

Crippa describes his exposure to the food world has been a step-by-step process. "As I learned more about cooking and the careers of chefs, I started to understand that you can travel and experiment. I began to feel that being in the kitchen would be my future. But I believe you can only be a good chef after the age of 40, if you start learning at 14. Sometimes you need to copy others before you can understand your own style of food. You need to not only learn how to cook, but also be curious like a child, smart and clever."

These are not the only qualities that can make a chef a very good one. They need to be very delicate but, at the same time, show they have identified their own style.  A style that, of course, as it happens for artists, can vary, and evolve through time incorporating different life experiences. "Artists have periods where they have lots of ideas, and sometimes need more time to think and write." The same can happen to chef, when they need to slow down and come up with new recipes.

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