The 18 Settembre, the Pazar i Ri in Tirana will be invaded by 12 Albanian chefs from Italy, Greece, Belgium, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden and Denmark, in what will be the most important event of the Albanian gastronomy.
All the chefs will return to Tirana with a mission: to open a new era of Albanian cuisine, bringing their experience of world-renowned restaurants run by kitchen icons such as Rene Rexhepi, Enrico Crippa and Gordon Ramsey.
This event - organized by "Rrno për me gatue" and the association of Albanian producers - aims to raise awareness among kitchen professionals and the public, as well as to promote the re-foundation of Albanian cuisine based on local products.
The event will involve young Albanian chefs and will contribute to increasing their prestige, showing them that it is possible to grow professionally thanks to the local heritage without necessarily having to leave Albania.
The program of the event
During the event to be held from 10: 00 to 17: 00, 12 will be shown among the most authentic Albanian recipes. Each of the invited 12 chefs will endeavor to recreate a totally modern dish, but based on the traditional recipe.
Another very important element of the event will be the use of local products for recipes. For this reason, a brief presentation of the products has also been designed. The event will be fully documented - through photos and videos - so that you can have an archive that will serve as a training base for the future.
The invited chefs
- Fejsal Demi, Copenhagen - Noma
- Mario Peqini, Milan - Piazza Duomo
- Erion Karaj, London - Heddon Street Kitchen
- Roland Bukri, Montalcino - Osticcio
- Entiana Osmenzeza, Florence
- Albert Hazma, Lasithi - Dionyos
- Ardit Curri, San Gimignano - San Martino 26
- Besnik Gashi, Malmo - BAR
- Bleri Dervishi, Milan - Lumoi
- Loris Pema, Milan - Pandenus
- Pol Porcari, New York - Le Cirque
- Rahman Buqaj, Antwerpen - Felix Pakhuis
Guests of honor
- Eugenio Boer, [bu: r] - restaurantboer.com
- Professor Andrea Shundi, author of the book "Arbëresh EtnoGastronomy", United States
- Andrea Pieroni, rector of the university of gastronomic sciences
Brief history of Albanian gastronomy
The isolation and poverty during the 45 years of the communist regime, as well as the agrarian reforms implemented by the dictatorship, destroyed the Albanian culinary tradition formed over the centuries, dismantling the activity of small farmers.
In the same way Albanian cuisine has always been very influenced by the nearby culinary cultures, so much so that it is often considered as a mix between Mediterranean, Balkan and Ottoman cuisine.
However, the true identity crisis of Albanian gastronomy came after the communist era, during the years of transition. Globalization, including mass emigration and the chaotic industrialization of the food sector, is currently the biggest challenge in Albanian cuisine.
The challenges of Albanian gastronomy
The Albanian kitchen industry is facing important challenges. The traditional Albanian cuisine currently represents more a curiosity than having the place it deserves. At this moment it is a primary need to document the development of these traditions before they disappear definitively.
In addition to this, Albania is also facing a major challenge in recruiting the necessary staff in the culinary sector. The education system is not in international standards and most cooking schools are practically privately owned, often based on simple commercial interests.
Young people need inspiring models: they must come to understand that their talent is needed in Albania, and that I can have a future here too without having to emigrate abroad.
The refounding of Albanian cuisine
Albania needs to recreate its cuisine in a modern form but based on ancient traditions, as well as all the other chefs in the world are doing; finding again the roots of the kitchen revitalizing them, and relying on the local product.
This is now a global trend, which contributes to the conservation and development of cultural heritage in a stable way, opposing the power of globalization and its mass industrial methods.
In Albania there are chefs who are working according to this philosophy, but this community is too small. For this reason there is a need for the commitment of the elite, wherever they are, so that they can complete this mission.
Hence the idea of founding "RRNO per me gatue", an international network composed of the best Albanian chefs inside and outside Albania: united for a single goal, to refound Albanian cuisine.
"Rrno për me gatue"
"Rrno për me gatue" is a gastronomic movement founded by a group of Albanian chefs with the aim of preserving, re-founding, developing and promoting Albanian cuisine.
The name was inspired by the famous book entitled "Rrno vetëm për me tregue" written by At Zef Pllumi, a Franciscan priest who spent 23 years of his life between prison and forced labor during the communist regime.
"Rrno për me gatue" chose the Albanian mountain lily as a symbol of movement. It can be perceived as a symbol of authenticity, stability, beauty and simplicity; all values closely linked to the work this movement is doing to document the heritage of Albanian cuisine, but also to develop it.
This flower has many similar in the Balkans, in the same way as the Albanian cuisine. We cannot remain disconnected from the rest of Europe, or of the world; we are all 'cousins', but we have our own authenticity that identifies us, as well as the lily.
Manifest the Kuzhines if King Shqiptare - 18 Shtator, Pazari i Ri
Placed by RRNO op Zondag 9 september 2018