From Milan to Manila, Chef Davide Oldani’s renowned Cucina POP is appeasing appetites with its accessible, appealing offerings
The culinary world is as creative and dynamic, as it is exciting and revolutionary – some ways more delicious than others. Our tastebuds have been tickled and tantalized (perhaps on occasion, even traumatized?) by food trend after food trend. Foodies the globe over salivate in anticipation of the next big thing in gourmet goodness. From unusual epicurean treats like gold leaf ice cream and sushi donuts, to concepts that have changed the landscape of the food realm (food trucks, “delivery only’ restaurants, molecular cuisine, pre-measured “cook-it-yourself” meal packs, vegan this and organic that, to name just a few), and those that have left us doing a double take (dining in the dark, and dining in the nude, for instance), food crazes come and go, then come around again; with the truly satisfying ones lingering for way longer.
One food trend that is likely here to stay is acclaimed Italian Chef Davide Oldani’s Cucina POP (or, POP Cuisine), which he simply defines as a seamless fusion of essential but quality ingredients in dishes that are made accessible to popular culture – hence, POPular cuisine. Through his dishes, Oldani brings forth his straightforward, yet oh-so-delicious philosophy: from start to finish – from every ingredient that goes into each dish, to its preparation and final presentation – each meal should be put together with simplicity, excellence, and passion.
Essential meets well-made
“My Cucina POP comes from the desire to blend the essential with the well-made, to create something good that is accessible, to combine tradition with innovation. I am convinced that the greatness of Italian cuisine lies not only in the variety and flavors, but also in its openness to continuous re-interpretation,” shares Oldani.
Chef Oldani brought Cucina POP to the forefront of the gustatory scene when he opened his first restaurant D’O, in 2003, in Comaredo, near Milan. Having honed his craft under the tutelage of such luminaries of the culinary industry as Chef Alain Ducasse, Michel Roux Jr., pastry chef Pierre Hermés, and Oldani’s mentor Gualtiero Marchesi—the first chef in Italy to earn three stars from Michelin.
The Explosion of Cucina POP
Shortly after the opening of D’O, the restaurant received the Michelin Star recognition,
and Oldani was deemed one of the greatest chefs of modern Italian cuisine.
The awards poured in from thereon: Oldani was named Ambassador Expo for 2015, Food & Sport Ambassador by CONI and was selected as chef of Casa Italia for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. To boot, he was personally selected by fashion mogul, Giorgio Armani, to be the culinary consultant of the Aman Resort in Venice.
Oldani has since expanded his passion for Cucina POP to include innovatively designed utensils, kitchen and table pieces that – like his food – are a masterful fusion of form and function. The talented chef likewise continues to spread his palate pleasing philosophy through his weekly column in Sports Week, and ongoing collaborations with culinary magazine, La Cucina Italiana.
POP Cuisine on the Manila Scene
In December of 2016, Oldani’s first restaurant outside of Milan opened its doors in the heart of upscale Bonifacio Global City. In partnership with dynamic restaurant group, FOODEE Global Concepts, FOO’D by Davide Oldani is fast becoming the go-to destination for excellent meals that will certainly whet the appetite but won’t break the bank.
Recently, Oldani visited Manila for an Open Kitchen Demo, which ran from Jan. 22 to 23. Diners were feted with one scrumptious dish after another, prepared by the Chef himself and by the restaurant’s skilled team.
“The aesthetics of FOO’D by Davide Oldani is minimal, but it’s enveloped by the warmth of Italy. I chose the Philippines to become the home of my first restaurant outside of Milan because it’s a country with great economic development. I was lucky to have met talented entrepreneurs like Eric and Rodolfo e Nicolò and to bring my vision to life,” Oldani relates. “Here at FOO’D by Davide Oldani we combine the highest quality (of ingredients) with an affordable price for the Manila market.”
We can talk on and on about the culinary genius that is Cucina POP, but as Oldani so concisely puts it: “I do not know any other way to appreciate a dish other than to eat it.”
Board this food-trendy bandwagon for yourself, and see what all the POP is about.
For more information, follow FOO’D by Davide Oldani on Facebook @FOODbyDOManila and on Instagram @FOODbyDO_PH.
By ANGIE DUARTE