Interview with Italo Bassi, three-Michelin-starred chef.

Interview with Italo Bassi, three-Michelin-starred chef.

Italo Bassi

On the occasion of the international launch of Mia Italian Culinary Academy, our press office met chef Italo Bassi – Head of the Professional Course in Italian Cuisine – to ask him a few questions about his background, his cuisine and the educational value of his teaching for Mia.

What is the Italo Bassi story? What do you think have been the most important moments in your career as a professional chef?

My story begins in Fusignano, a small town in Emilia-Romagna, where I was born on 26 July 1969. Following my fascination with the world of gastronomy, I attended hospitality training institute, to begin – from 1988 onwards – to ‘cut my teeth’ in several important hotels on the Romagna Riviera.

From the educational point of view, the most important experience was certainly the one I had at Trigabolo Restaurant in Argenta, under the guidance of the legendary chef Igles Corelli. From him I learnt the use of complex equipment and the value of experimentation in the kitchen.

After a brief yet intense experience at the Osteria del Teatro, I had the opportunity at only 19 years old to enter the doors of the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. From there began my rise in the world of Italian cuisine, enhanced – in 1992 – by an incredible experience in the East, where for a year I oversaw the opening and directed the Enoteca del Sol Levante. Back in Florence, I obtained the coveted position of Executive Chef.

The years at the Enoteca were characterised by long days and hard work. Efforts repaid by the most prestigious recognition, the three Michelin stars in 2003. By virtue of this achievement, I had the opportunity to travel as a representative of Italian Culture in the world and to broaden my culinary horizons, discovering new ingredients, flavours, and fragrances from mysterious and faraway lands.

What kind of impact has this renewed outlook on the world had on you?

I certainly gained from my travels the need to face new challenges. I think it was one of the main factors that led me – after 27 years – to leave the guidance of the Enoteca with a broken heart.

I felt the call for a more intimate and personal experience, closer to the idea of an experimental cuisine. From this need was born the ConFusion Boutique Restaurant, the physical realisation of my ideal.

What, then, is your idea of cooking? What is the philosophy behind it?

In this respect, the name of the restaurant itself provides a hint. With my proposal, I aim to astound my guests, transporting them into a multi-sensory universe, where design and culinary art blend to perfection.

I consider myself a promoter of experimental Eno-Gastro-Edonism, which over the years has become my manifesto, where I try to combine technical rigour with intellectual flair. My cuisine aims to be the phantom thread of personal experiences, always starting from Italian tradition, albeit enriched by exotic aromas and excellent raw materials.

Does this philosophy shine through in your training offer for Mia and in the recipes you have chosen for the course?

The course aims, first and foremost, to provide the basics of cooking. In the 10 modules that compose it, all the theoretical and practical notions necessary for the realisation of the chosen recipe are provided. Therefore, the dish should represent the conclusion of the training course. The ultimate goal is to convey the love of cooking and the importance of the sacrifice and dedication behind it.

What would you suggest to a potential student to convince him to join us?

I would tell them not to hesitate, that they should not pass up the chance to learn through a unique educational model such as the one at Mia Culinary Academy, which combines e-learning, personalised instruction, home study and internship. This last point I believe is key. Indeed, to experience a starred kitchen from the inside is something extraordinary, priceless.

If you are an aspiring chef and would like to find out more about our training course with chef Italo Bassi and our partner restaurants, all you have to do is click here.



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