A protagonist of Italian cuisine, Carlo Cracco is without doubt one of the best known haute cuisine chefs in Italy.
The one time student of Gualtiero Marchesi and Alain Ducasse made a name for fine dining in Milan with his highly regarded two Michelin star restaurant, Cracco.
Here he reflects on his career as a young chef and his future ambitions as he steps up as a judge on the panel of top chefs at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016. (You can livestream the event here on 15 October at 7pm CEST).
What advice would you offer to the young chefs of today?
My advice is to be curious in order to discover and taste new things everyday. Keep your eyes well open.
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given to you?
To be focused, pay attention and learn from people with more experience.
What do you miss most about being a young chef?
Before, when I used to finish service I used to stop with my chefs to have a drink, now at the end of the day I don’t have the same energy.
Italian cuisine has been under the spotlight a lot this year – what is exciting you most about contemporary Italian cuisine?
Now it is easier to find new ingredients, there are a lot more resources and more awareness in the food world; this is very inspiring because we have more cards to play with.
Do you think it’s hard for young Italian chefs to be creative in a country steeped in tradition?
No, I think it is a great added value. You must know about tradition in order to be creative.
What are you currently working on and what are your plans for the immediate future?
I'm working on my new project in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.