“Arka” is a trendy bar & grill restaurant, elegantly inscribed in the real arch space of a St. Petersburg house.
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Lorenzo Whom: “The kitchen of the future is Mexican cuisine”

Lorenzo Kogo is a virtuoso chef who became the owner of the Michelin star at the age of 25. His restaurant El Coq in Marano Vicentino Northern Italy is famous for its unique style. Experience and skills Lorenzo inherited from the legendary Heston Blumenthal and Rene Redzeppi, and acquired in their own travels in restaurants in Asia.

In an interview with Forbes, Lorenzo spoke about which regions will be trendy in top-class restaurants in the future, and opened the recipe for how to make Ukrainian cuisine a part of world gourmet cuisine.

Lurenzo Kogo: “The kitchen of the future is Mexican cuisine”
Photo from the archive of Lorenzo Kogo
Photo: facebook.com/lorenzo.cogo/photos_stream
– Lorenzo, tell us which kitchen will be the most popular in the world in 2-3 years? What are the trends in the global restaurant industry, and what is gaining popularity?

– The kitchen of the next 2-3 years is, necessarily, Mexican cuisine, South American. Mexico should grow in popularity.

Why do I call it Mexico? Where the economy is strong, the kitchen is also strong – or should be strong. Look at modern Asia. This is the strongest region now. And there are many really high-end restaurants. The main reason for this – the economy, money. If all places are always ordered in your restaurant, you can invest a lot of money. If it is empty – you have no chance.

Prospects – for the regions that will develop. That is why Mexico will be popular in the future. This country may be the next “star” of the global restaurant industry. Also – Spain, even Greece … There is no money there, so at the moment it is impossible to continue to invest and grow – but this will be possible in the future.

– How do you feel, develop high cuisines of France, Spain, Greece?

– France is fairly stable. Similarly, in Spain – in some restaurants the places are fully booked, they develop. Italy, I think, is unstable.

It is great to create high cuisine and industry in the Scandinavians – in Denmark, Sweden. Why do they do it? Because the government invests a lot of money in their own states, they have an economy.

Today, a new product is a local product. My modern product is the closest product geographically from me that I can get.
However, I believe that in the future the world cuisine will be influenced by different states, but not Europe. South America – yes. They continue to make progress. Peru, Brazil – this is new, interesting, tasty.

– In your opinion, can Ukrainian cuisine become the most popular in the world?

– You know, you have a lot of money in the country. Perhaps there is a better feeling very rich and very poor, there is inequality in income. But the middle class means a lot to the country.

For some reason, it was in Ukraine that I remembered that ten years ago, when I was first in Australia, everything was copied there – from Spain, Italy, France.

Now, ten years later, I returned to Australia – to Melbourne and Sydney. And I am pleased that they are beginning to focus on their own products, for example, Aboriginal cuisine. These are some very personal things, but they form an individuality, and therefore success.

Of course, you need to pay a lot of attention to the location of your restaurant, economy and culture of visitors. The customer needs to grow. These are three things that will help you achieve success. Although it is usually impossible to achieve success in all three elements, so try to find the best option.
To make your kitchen high, you need to find strong inspiration. I believe that in Ukraine the kitchen will develop in the same way as in Australia. Now Ukrainian chefs are looking for ways to make a difference. It is possible that sometimes his identity is not manifested in society; instead, searches and copying take place – this is normal. But at one point you will realize that many things traditional for your land in the kitchen are good! And you will understand how to use it. As a result, someone will say: “I no longer want to use Italian products, I use Ukrainian.”

– What new unusual products are used in high cuisine today?

– I think that a new product is a local product. My modern product is the closest product geographically from me that I can get. For example, beets for Russia or Ukraine. Or Norwegian food, which always consists of the same ingredients.

Also for me and my style, the most modern ingredient is absinthe. I think his future is my meal. I love absinthe, bitterness. This is my identity, this is Italy for me.

– Do you use absinthe in some special dishes or in all?

– In various dishes. The essence is not in the ingredients – it is not good to talk about them. Speaking correctly about tastes. If you ask me what is the common [most common] taste in the world, then today the sour taste is the most modern. For me, bitterness is the taste of Italy.

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