If the Red Onion of Tropea is commonly eaten in China today, it is due to the cuisine of Paolo Dodaro first in Shanghai and now in Changsha. Recently appointed President Delegate of the Italian Culinary Consortium for China (ICC China), the Calabrian chef, native of Roccelletta of Borgia he put in the kitchen everything necessary to create a real veneration of the Red Army in the thousand-year-old Country-Continent of the Great Wall. Curiosity, commitment, attention to detail, listening and a lot of spirituality are the real ingredients put together to promote the distinctive Italian and Calabrian agri-food and food and wine identity on Asian tables. And the results are extraordinary.
Innocenza Giannuzzi, president of Casa Calabria International, a network of to which Dodaro himself is associated as ambassador of Calabrian food and beverage in China.
He is also among the most prestigious signatures of Gli Most Precious Rings of Calabria: a special story of approximately 252 pages dedicated through 17 national and international chefs to all the nuances and declinations of what, among the Distinctive Identity Markers (MID) of Calabria and a key element of the Mediterranean Diet, it has now become an indispensable ingredient for both gourmet and traditional recipes all over the world. New idea of new idea of marketing editor set up by the Consortium for the Protection of Tropea PGI Red Onion, the prestigious volume published by Rubbettino was presented on the occasion of La Tropea Experience, the Red Onion Festival held last September in Tropea .
Dodaro – continues Giannuzzi – continues to be talked about. The Chinese literally go crazy for this forty-eight year old from Calabria who has already completed his personal culinary transition from traditional to fusion forms some time ago and who is today daring new horizons: those of therapeutic cuisine which has a positive influence on some pathological trends. And the Red Onion is one of his best allies in this adventure.
From Germany to Russia, from America to the land of the Dragon where he has lived for years and has become the most famous Italian chef; cooking – the Chef tells us in The Most Precious Rings of Calabria – is relationship and experiment and I am happy that an unfailing tenacity has repaid me for so many sacrifices. After all, more than a quarter of his life was spent abroad amidst contaminations of tastes and flavors that formed him and created his identity as a master of the kitchen.
China – he adds – has demanding but at the same time generous palates. I have created a cuisine that does not deviate from their tradition but at the same time allows them to know, or rather, explore the frontiers of Mediterranean flavours. From Red Onion to ‘nduja, from extra virgin olive oil and chilli pepper are just some of the essential elements in the Dodaro culinary experience that drives the people of Shenzhou crazy.
The creative process – underlines the Chef who also started a family in China with his wife Susan who gave him two splendid children, Antonio and, recently, Davide – develops following instinct and inspiration and an analytical approach in choice of ingredients and their combinations.
In fact, that of Dodaro, who has become very popular on TV in the People’s Republic, is a true missionary work of Italian cuisine which is leading him to try his hand at what is probably his greatest challenge: completely clearing Made in Italy in China.
The dream – he reveals – is to create a platform that can facilitate the import of quality Italian products by making nutrition once again the protagonist within a large community where well-being for millennia has resided in what is experienced both at the spirituality and nutrition.