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Lands joined by the sea

Preamble

During the course of my career I have understood how Sicily, my land, is the result of the contamination of the peoples who lived in this territory. The cookery of my land isn’t but the fruit of these different experiences. Greek, Roman, Norman, Arab, Phoenician and up to French and Spanish rule: today I’m the heritage of these cultures.

Consequently, I would like to go as far as to look for these same experiences in various Mediterranean countries. In fact, I have noticed that my gestures are similar to those of other chefs, and my travels have led me to understand that the territory on which I persist every day is alike in all the Mediterranean countries. The only difference concerns their microclimate, the season, the costumes and traditions of each of them.

It comes naturally to me to try and understand what the relationship of my colleagues with their territory, with the raw materials of that area, with the seasons, is like.

It’s this search into everyday gestures that made me realize how the phenomenon of globalization, despite having brought wealth, on the other hand has affected the peoples’ traditions.

I believe that today the chef is the only one who can recover the acts that are no longer handed out from mother to child. As habits change, culture also changes: traditions are lost, and centuries of history are lost with them.

Ingredients which previously were valuable, are not valuable any longer, as their demand ceases. The loss of value of raw materials is accompanied by the loss of value of the work of the craftsman, the farmer, the fisherman or the producer; and so the loss of tradition, of history and of that knowledge becomes a loss of work and impoverishment of the entire chain.

There is no longer economic and social sustainability.

For this reason the idea of ‘​nnumari was born.

nnumari is the moment of conviviality when at the same table we compare how each chef from each Mediterranean country works the same raw material or how he faces similar problems or has already examined that problem and found a solution, involving the entire supply chain.

So I said to myself: why not to bring the supply chain itself to that table too? And why not to bring other representatives to that table to make that gathering become a think tank open to artists, communicators, treasurers, entrepreneurs?

We are all part of the Mediterranean, we all have problems in common and the duty to find solutions, together.

The aim of ‘nnumari is to study sustainable economic, social and environmental development models common to all Mediterranean peoples.

I would like to talk especially about the sea.

The chef makes himself available to make the supply chain reflect upon the sustainability of the sea. I regard it as a vegetable garden and wonder why the same rules of those of the land haven’t been applied to that garden. Why isn’t there the same care? Why is it not protected? The moment I consider the sea a land without rules, I can even kill the plant which grows there before that plant has borne fruit. So, I will never eat that fruit and I will never know what taste it would have had.

The risk we run today with the sea is to lose its treasures forever.

We must therefore reflect on how to rule the Mediterranean, how to manage it, how to make it everyone’s heritage.

As unfortunately it has already happened, the problem is that we run short of experience, and tradition and culture are lost with it, leaving only faded photographs in their place.

Those similar territories, those same gestures make me think that all those countries are not divided by the Mediterranean, but are lands joined by the sea.

Pino Cuttaia

What do you think about it?

‘nnumari is an ambitious project we strongly believe in. Your support, though symbolic, is important to us.