WOMEN CREATORS OF TIME
Determination: Peserico conveys its values through the women who most represent them.
Chiara Pavan, resident chef at the Venissa restaurant in Mazzorbo, is the protagonist of a tale of passion for daily work, respect for nature, and love for the territory. Chiara pursues her ideal of environmental cuisine inspired by the habitat of the Venetian lagoon: an ecosystem that is a source of ideas and creativity but requires constant commitment and willpower. In a word: determination.
Discover the interview to Chiara Pavan.
Chiara, what does living on this island mean to you?
This habitat is an incredible source of inspiration, but also of infinite commitment and willpower. Somehow every day I have to 'come to terms' with the deep contrasts of the land, with its limitations and riches, and find the right balance in my dishes. I am supported by a strong determination and a great passion for my work.
Does your philosophical training support you in this challenge?
Of course! I am grateful to my course of study, the dialectic I learnt from the great masters of thought helps me to face contrasts and draw richness from them, day after day.
Your cuisine calls itself environmental, can you tell us what that means?
My environmental cuisine is an encounter between sustainability - i.e. great respect for the environment that surrounds me - and love for this land. In my work, ethical reason goes hand in hand with gastronomic research, regardless of dogmas, predefined rules and customs. A work towards a sustainable cuisine, which has led me, for example, to the total elimination of meat in my dishes, to the strict control of fish, to a research work towards vegetable raw materials, favouring invasive raw materials.
Do you personally look after the garden in Mazzorbo?
Yes, I am very proud to be responsible for it, it is an incredible place. It is a job that requires daily commitment but gives great satisfaction. I could not do it without the help of the Venice lagoon community.
How did you get where you are today?
I got here with a precise path, without ever skipping steps. With a lot of determination, passion for my work, but above all with great respect for those I met on my way.
What does determination mean to you?
Determination means commitment, but above all taking care: of myself, of others, of every detail of my work.
What is it that defines a 'feminine' cuisine today?
I don't know if mine is a feminine cuisine. I don't even know if it makes sense to define it with these parameters. It is simply my idea of gastronomy. But I also know - and this is undeniable - that haute cuisine until now has been a profession mainly performed by men. When we succeed in populating the sector with a greater female presence, some things will change. Firstly, in the concept of leadership, which will become less vertical and more about taking care: of the environment as of the people who work with us, of the place where we operate as of the diner who sits at our table. At the exact moment when these values will take the space they deserve, then yes, we will see a change that has to do with the feminine sphere. Of this I am certain.
What is the relationship with your work group?
My quest for sustainability is also reflected in my work ethic and in the management of the team that works with me. Listening, respect for roles, open dialogue. What I ask of my brigade is attention to detail, precision, love for their work, and the ability to support each other.
How do you reconcile work with time for yourself?
I always try to be in harmony with my work. I never experience it as time taken away from something else, and therein lies my good fortune. I am happy to be where I am, even if I forget when it is Sunday.
What is your relationship with fashion?
Haute cuisine and haute couture are two excellences of Made in Italy, and the shared projects of the two sectors are growing. The fascination of chefs, their style is often as much a focus of attention as their dishes. Personally, I love deconstructed fashion as much as deconstructed cuisine: the order of factors seems random but behind it there is great planning and attention to detail.
What is your life project?
Life itself is a long project. Made up of determination, choices and change. The important thing is to never lose sight of who I am and who I want to be. One step at a time, every day with new eyes.