#Atribute to Tastenovembre 23 / 2014
...What is Giorgio Armani's all-time favourite dish? When asked, the designer settles on one from his childhood, a classic from the province of Reggio Emilia, where he grew up: tortelli alla piacentina.
Giorgio Armani is a man who has very simple tastes when it comes to food. He has spoken of his love of healthy, unfussy cooking, and the importance of fresh ingredients. Indeed, as well as enjoying grilled fish and vegetables, one of his favourite meals is the modest spaghetti al pomodoro – a piece of Italian home cooking that relies on perfectly cooked pasta and fresh tomatoes. ‘Of course, I’m Italian after all!’ says the designer. He explains: ‘I have to confess that I am not that keen on unfamiliar food. I love simple Italian cuisine, made from fresh ingredients. When the local cuisine is very alien, I find I start to crave a simple dish of pasta and pomodoro.’ Other favourite dishes are ‘the Caprese salad with Neapolitan tomatoes and fresh basil and risotto alla Milanese. It is this love of the simple and good things in life, devoid of artifice and unnecessary embellishment, that connects Armani’s adventures in the world of food and the house’s well-established aesthetic of elegance and refinement. Indeed, when talking about taste, where Armani is concerned there is a genuine consistency whether we are discussing the look of a dress or the composition of a dish served in one of the designer’s restaurants or cafés. Notably, Giorgio Armani pioneered the idea of a fashion brand having its own dining establishments with the opening of the first Emporio Armani Caffè twenty years ago. Over time he has made a number of additions to his offer of food and drink to his customers, a steady evolution of Armani cafés, bars and restaurants, not to mention the launch in 2002 of a collection of chocolates, teas, coffees and desserts – the delicious Armani/Dolci.
There are now nine Emporio Armani Caffè around the world and two Armani/Caffè, plus four Armani/Ristorante – one in the Armani/Ginza Tower in Tokyo, one in Armani/Fifth Avenue in New York, and two in the Armani Hotel in Milan and Dubai, as well as the restaurant Nobu Milano. There are also three Armani/Privè club. The Armani F&B world features also Armani/Aqua in Hong Kong as well as several restaurants inside the Armani Hotel Dubai, for an overall of 28 outlets. So what is an Armani dining experience? A warm welcome; the careful sourcing of quality ingredients; a fantastic setting; work inspired by passion and a love of food. All this is essential. Then, flavours complement the elegance of the surroundings, contributing to a harmonious, subtle aesthetic that conveys a sense of wellbeing. This is an individual approach to dining based on a philosophy that values simple, good food above all else. The range of Armani dining experiences has been conceived to offer variety, while preserving a consistent commitment to the core philosophy of non-formal entertainment. Emporio Armani Caffè has a modern and relaxed atmosphere; Armani/Ristorante is more of a classic gastronomic experience; while the unique experience of Nobu Milan is world famous – an original fusion of Japanese cuisine with South American and Peruvian influences, based on rare and high-quality ingredients, and Italian taste, the partnership of the great Nobu Matsuhisa, considered one of the world's leading chefs, and Giorgio Armani, makes cuisine at Nobu Milan, with its excellent flavours, a constant source of delight and surprise.
So interested in the world of food and drink is the designer, that he is constantly looking at ways to evolve his involvement in this area. Recently, the first of a number of special events to celebrate the Armani universe of dining took place at the Armani/Ristorante in Milan. Entitled A WORLD JOURNEY: FOUR CHEFS FROM FOUR CORNERS, it brought together chefs Alessandro Salvatico (Armani Hotel Dubai), Fabio Bano (Armani/Ristorante 5th Avenue New York), Francesco Mazzi (Armani/Ristorante Ginza Tokyo) and Filippo Gozzoli (Armani Hotel Milan). There will be further gatherings of this nature in the Armani restaurants in Tokyo, Dubai and New York. And last year, a new website – armanirestaurants.com – was launched to bring together the universe of Giorgio Armani restaurants in one place. Armanirestaurants.com comes with an intuitive interface for easy navigation. In addition to a Store Locator, the site features a photo gallery of dishes and dining spaces, exclusive videos, menus, the opportunity to book online and a news section with information about the events that will be taking place at the user’s nearest Armani/Ristorante or Armani Caffè.