Andrea Cova’s Food Art: a showroom of Italian Taste @ Porta Genova – Part 1
Andrea Cova is 24 years old, and he belongs a project that is a success, even if it is just four years old.
Andrea Cova is not a chef, but he knows “how to do”.
“I don’t cook. I create” – he says.
A conceptual cuisine. He doesn’t cook, but he is able to. He knows how to combine ingredients (he studied comparing). So, he can produce an excellent combination of science and taste: this is what he offers both in his Food Art and catering.
He studied all types of restaurants, costumers and food. It has been a sort of evolution.
For more than a year, the restaurant was a workshop of ideas, where you can study, doing experiments (sometimes successful and sometimes not).
“Changes in taste, and non – stop studies. Everything was so funny!”
Why a new restaurant in Via Vigevano 34, in Porta Genova? This area is very interesting because of the real people that live here. At the beginning, there were workers and little factories; then fashion and design factories. Real people work in creativity fields, in different ways and trends. They appreciate our working philosophy. I have a good relationship with customers that come in lunch time. I love this world: we are like a laboratory that creates tastes. When we decided to enlarge the restaurant, we also decided to stay close to this area to maintain this concept.
What do you mean by “enlarge”? The new restaurant will be bigger and more current than the one that is today. It’s good, but now there are new colours and trends. It’s a new circle, cleaner and more natural that will be in the new location in via Vigevano 10, 200m away.
Which are your costumers? From a survey, we know that 70% are women between 30-35 years old, with a particular ideology, philosophy, and an open mind that let they appreciate what is quality and what it is not. They support our working philosophy.
What is quality? I mean a 360° quality: this is a taste-house. Our welcome, when you sit down, when you look at what is around you and finally what you eat: all these parts are important. But we are in a restaurant, so eating is the base. Quality, research and attention of the products make you feel good in a place that makes you feel good, too. We are what we eat: eating good means living good.
Is it too expensive? It’s not an affair about the price, but it’s on the quality. That is not always expensive. Today, quality means healthy products. If you cream a risotto with potato cream and not butter, you don’t weigh down your body and you don’t have an additional cost. Behind this dish, there is a study made in order to have a health, tasty and pleasant dish. Quality means research.
Food Art was born in order to… I think it’s important to have a place where you can feel good. I come from interior design world. During the last four years it has been an evolution, a change that reached this sector. As an “officer works” I was ignoran, but I ate in every kind of restaurant. As a costumer, I knew what I would, than I started to get all these things in my project. By the smile when you walk in, to the memory of your dish, then the study of what we offer you. In my place, everything is in just to make you feel good.
How can you combine quality with low cost and maintain a high level of clientele? We are not talking about low cost, but it’s an honest cost. Low cost means low quality, because raw materials are proportional to the cost. “Honesty” is different. For
example, our fish, that is one of our main raw materials. With farmed fish I use low cost and I offer low quality: that fish was fatten with feeds and had defects that change its taste and organism. On the contrary, fished fish means more costs but better organism. Another example: 150 grams of Kobe fillet, the most precious meat, (140€ per Kg): here it costs 35€. You pay more than any other dish in another restaurant, but you pay 10€ more than a pizza for a product that costs ten times more. This is honesty.
What about Menu Lunch? It is our business card and advertising made by and for people that taste and like our products. We let people try our products and their quality with under- cost (and
not low cost!). If there is the word-of-mouth advertising and costumers return … here it is our success. We make them understand what does it mean feeling good, eating
healthy, being served in the right way, and feeling ok in this atmosphere.
Without frills? Theme nights? Music? There were, but we stopped it . On September the Moondays will start again. Every first Monday of the month, we organize parties that involve art and design world, with previews inside the restaurant. The artworks will be exhibited for the next month: the art event becomes party.
… to be continued …
Interviewer: Paola Perfetti
Transleater: Giulia Perfetti