Xin Ge Liu: from Beijing to Florence, a “stolen” fashion chef

Xin Ge Liu: from Beijing to Florence, a “stolen” fashion chef

From the drawing, one mood board (that table with photos, newspaper clippings, fabrics, etc. that visually shows the common thread of a project), well, from an aesthetic idea, a combination of colors and shapes, to then “fill” them with ingredients.

This is the decidedly original approach chosen by Xin Ge Liu reinterpret the great and varied tradition of Chinese cuisine with raw materials and Italian and European suggestions. Not even thirty years old, she came to Florence ten years ago to study fashion design at Polimoda, in the Tuscan city she met Lapo Bandinelli and “as usually happens inlife, I took a different course”.

But bringing to the kitchen a decidedly unconventional approach, practically invested in the creative phase. Thus was born, two years ago, on the banks of the Arno, Il Dim Sum Flavora small restaurant (nine seats) with show kitchen where customer service comes first.

“I often draw at night, I like it because there is a lot of peace. Then I add taste and storytelling to the design”, explained Liu at the congress identity of milan. Attention to the aesthetic side “as in haute couture” thus gives small sculptures with strong colors, often reinterpretations of classics such as Dim Sum or Sheng Jian Bao, a popular traditional Shanghai dish offered in various versions. “For us, classic recipes are not immutable, they are the expression of a society and a culture at that particular historical moment, so we have no qualms about adapting them and making them contemporary,” adds Bandinelli.

It’s not just about aesthetics: Xin Ge Liu’s dishes often want convey emotions and arise from facts and personal moments. Thus, for example, “Emotion”, a black taro ravioli wrapped in a “net” of mushrooms stuffed with edamame and bamboo, recalls the desire to get out of chaos and find peace. The shibari chicken, it’s donetato a little classic of the restaurant, it is instead inspired by an ancient and widespread Chinese recipe dating back to the 17th century, the Daokou. The marinade uses eight kinds of spices and a concentrated broth, slow cooking makes the meat tender and flavorful. Inside, however, Xin Ge has hidden an egg, “it is there to be released because this is the theme of the dish, the overwhelming desire to break a bond or bond that has bound us in life”.

Childhood memories are not lacking: “Glu Glu Bao It reminds me of my childhood in Beijing, when at around 4 in the afternoon the fumes would rise from the kitchens and I would immediately get hungry.”

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