Emanuele Ridi: I’m not getting the inspiration to cook right now, I’m demotivated. I regret the attitude of young people

Emanuele Ridi: I’m not getting the inspiration to cook right now, I’m demotivated. I regret the attitude of young people
Emanuele Ridi: I’m not getting the inspiration to cook right now, I’m demotivated. I regret the attitude of young people

Without exaggeration, every Czech knows Emanuel Ridi. His cooking shows have a huge following. We were lucky enough to try cooking a few recipes with Emanuel and he was a very nice teacher and companion. What did he tell us about himself, what do he think are the differences between Czech and Italian dads and what must he have in the kitchen?

Everyone knows you as a famous chef, but few people know that you are also an athlete and that, for example, you run a lot?

I used to run more, I completed about eight half marathons and one thirty. For example, I ran a half marathon in 1:59 hours. I also gave the one in Prague and Karlovy Vary. I do less sports today, for example now I haven’t worn my shoes for 14 days.

Apart from that, I go boxing, I also danced in StarDance, not at all since then. And I also love skiing, I like to go to the Italian region of Trentino – Alto Adige. I headed there this year as well.

But when we arrived I got covid and spent the whole stay in bed. I wasn’t meant to enjoy the Dolomites.

VIDEO: Emanuele Ridi in the Jan Kraus Show. Watch the interview.

Source: Youtube

Were you looking forward to Italian mountain food?

I love Italian-Tyrolean cuisine. Spits, dumplings, sausages… Cabbage in all possible ways. In the north of Italy, for example, they make a cabbage salad with bacon, and that is the most, I could easily eat a whole pot of it.

I like their soups, but also the dumplings, which either float in the soup, or tris, which are three different types of dumplings, for example, spinach, bacon, and beetroot. And that is liberally drizzled with melted butter.

Have you ever had it on the menu at your restaurant?

At most once. I prefer to cook Italian cuisine from the center to the south, this is more Tyrolean.

Where did you learn to ski? You come from Elba, after all.

Dad took me three or four times as a little boy to the north of Italy. When I was ten, I had a stupid fall and was riding down the ski slope in what was then a rustler’s outfit, and he couldn’t stop it. From then on, I was afraid and went to the mountains only once before I was thirty.

I took up skiing again at the age of 43. I had to remind myself a bit, but since then I go twice a year. Once with my partner, the second time for a men’s ride with my son.

Are you raising your son in Italian or Czech? Do you see differences in upbringing?

Today I don’t see such a difference. But in general, as parents, we are softer and we spoiled our children ourselves. In Italy, children are lively, their parents allow them everything, but I have experienced something similar many times in my restaurant in Prague.

When I was little, I had to eat everything, I couldn’t leave the table until my dad got up. But times are changing.

What is the role of Italian fathers in the family? Do they participate in childcare?

I have the feeling that Czech dads pay more attention to children than us Italians. In our country, the mother takes care of small children more, then the father comes in, but he remains active longer than the Czech father, accompanying his son even through adulthood.

The Czech dad, on the other hand, pays more attention to children’s sports and accompanies them. Before, there was no such thing as a man driving a pram. That has changed, both in the Czech Republic and in Italy.

Italians are famous for taking care of their appearance, don’t you miss it a little here?

I have benefited from this as a single man here for many years. With a modified appearance, I was more interesting to women. It was also one of the reasons why I liked Prague so much. But that is changing today. Young men are already taking care of themselves a lot, this applies to clothes and cosmetics.

How did you actually get here?

When I was eighteen, my dad moved to Prague. Acquaintances told him that there is a hunger for everything in the Czech Republic and that you can do anything there. So he opened seven clothing stores and I helped him.

I learned Czech quite quickly. Mainly sentences like: do you want to try bigger pants? But dad was a bohemian and his business didn’t last long. He did well for a long time, but then he lost everything and I more or less found myself on the street. At least I had the opportunity to try many professions.

Like what? Where did the road lead next?

Everything – I worked as a waiter, I sold perfumes in the markets, but also distributed Italian ingredients and long-lasting pastries. We worked a lot, I easily did two jobs a day.

I finished in one and ran to the other. We got on well when dad had the shops, then I had to get over my pride and work hard to get it back.

When did you think of starting a restaurant?

Grandma and grandpa had a restaurant on Elba. We drove to see them and I was messing around in the kitchen from an early age. In Prague, I often cooked at home for friends, they said it tasted better than in most Italian restaurants in Prague.

Because my ex-wife had a hotel school, she made me a guarantor, and I opened a restaurant in Prague 6.

What did grandma and grandpa cook? What inspired you?

I was small, but they influenced me a lot. Grandfather was a fisherman, grandmother a cook, they lived in symbiosis and that was their kitchen. Mediterranean, a little higher level, built on fish, fresh salads from their garden, there was a maximum of one steak on the menu.

The restaurant stood by the sea and they opened it in 1960, the season was only in summer, they rested in winter. I remember it very fondly. For example, when the restaurant was empty, my grandmother cooked something good for me, we lit a kerosene lamp and watched the sea and grandfather checking the nets.

Only a light could be seen from the ship. The restaurant still stands there, unfortunately it no longer belongs to our family, grandmother sold it after grandfather’s death and went to live with her sister. Today it is a bistro.

What ingredients can’t you do without?

Without extra virgin olive oil. This is the basis of 90 percent of Italian dishes and also the basis of success.

If dad hadn’t gone to Prague, do you think you would have become a chef in Italy? Maybe on Elba?

I don’t know, I can’t guess. At eighteen, I certainly didn’t know that I would also cook.

We talked about cooking, but now you’re also a TV host with your own show.

The restaurant was established, many people came to us. In 2008, a crazy client came in who had the idea to do a program with an Italian chef like Jamie Oliver. We filmed the pilot episode, showed it to several TV stations, and six months later Prima approached me saying they would go for it.

Within two months of the first episodes airing, I experienced a very strange situation, a huge wave of people flocked to me, which was good, but on the other hand, I lost a few regular clients who didn’t like it.

The show is very successful. Why do you think Czechs like Italian gastronomy?

It is popular all over the world. You can eat it every day, it’s varied, it contains a lot of vegetables, fresh ingredients, it’s lighter. That is, if you don’t just eat pizza or pasta.

I believe that in the Czech Republic it still remains in third place. The Czech one is the first, then the Asian cuisine jumped over it, and the Italian one is the third.

What do you miss from Italy in the Czech Republic?

The temperature is already starting to approach that of Italy. That would be fine. I miss bars where neighbors meet, everyone knows each other, they play cards together, there is a sense of togetherness and a good atmosphere… I don’t know of such a bar and I don’t go to one myself.

And what do you like more here?

After what happened at the Faculty of Philosophy, it’s harder to say, but I really appreciate the sense of security I had here until then. But it is getting worse all over Europe. The medical care also works excellently. We can be proud of that.

Where do you get your cooking inspiration?

Nowhere at the moment, I’m demotivated. Due to covid I had to give up many plans and ideas. I also regret the attitude of young people who want to work for me. Their only motivation is money, they don’t really enjoy work, and I don’t like that.

Having a small restaurant is fine, but if you have a big restaurant, you need ten people, and finding that many reliable staff is difficult. If I rebuke them, they pack up and leave because they always find a job.

But I live a lot on the new show that we are filming with Matěj Ruppert. Where we will shoot, I mostly come up with, and I enjoy it a lot.

Is it difficult to prepare the filming of the show Manu a Matěj? How many people do you have in your team?

We put the script together for three months. Colleagues and friends recommend interesting butchers and chefs to me, which we then go to.

One episode is about three days of filming, there are complications like for example it starts raining on the day when you need to shoot in an outdoor restaurant.

We try to go in the off-season, in the full season, for example, we have a problem finding accommodation, because the team consists of nine people. We don’t always succeed.

Don’t you ever get on Matej’s nerves?

When I add up the filming days, I realize that I spent a total of half a year with Matěj during our travels. And it’s still great. We love each other.

Where will the next parts take you and us?

We are going to southern Italy in the summer. And the Gargano, popular in Bohemia, from where we will then go upwards. We want to stop in Molise, which is such a small region, and then continue to the mountains in the Abruzzi region. But we have to show the Czechs a bit of the sea again.

Source: Vlasta magazine, Vlasta.cz

related articles

The article is in Czech

Tags: Emanuele Ridi inspiration cook demotivated regret attitude young people


PREV Ballerina shoes? Only red! | Vogue CS
NEXT REVIEW: Gentlemen: Serial gangster entertains the world