Friday, July 11, 2008

Italians work to live finding life and culture important, not $

I am always impressed with the Italian lifestyle. I read in the Chicago Tribune today about how a world-remowned, Umbrian Chef has countered the weakend U.S. dollar and falling Italian economy. Rather than post the entire article I'll drop the link and provide a few quotes that deliver the point.

In short Chef Gianfranco Vissani noticed more and more empty tables at his 2 star Michelin restaurant just outside of Rome. He created a set menu for 30 Euro. His regular menu would easily cost 100 Euro.

"Other chefs told me: 'You're crazy,' " Vissani said, looking into the kitchen one morning as a battery of cooks prepared steaming blueberry-laced risotto and slender platters of salmon carpaccio. "With this meal, I make no money. … But my thought was: We have to do something. At 30 euros, we at least can preserve the culture of the table." Diners can still order La Carte, but he opened a community style room with one large table for people to enjoy a great, affordable lunch.

This may not seem like a big deal, but this is like True in Chicago offering a more affordable lunch just to make sure the culture of dining stays alive. I don't think this would ever happen in the U.S....ever!

"I believe the culture of food and wine needs to be spread to youngsters—and the young have no money now," "If we put up the prices, everyone will stay home and eat out of cans."
The Italians work to live and enjoy life as it comes. We should take a page from their lifestyle.

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