Friday, June 9, 2017

food is alchemy

Planning Turin Epicurean Capital 2017, Chef Marco Giachello introduced us to his friend Margherita Frari at Associazione Qubi'.
We sat down with an espresso and got to know Margherita who is also a professional chef with a special interest in food properties and powers.

Margherita Frari and Marco Giachello

Grown up with a Martha Stewart-like mom from Southern Italy, like many Italians, Margherita has always appreciated good food, but had also always somewhat taken it from granted till she studied abroad while at college.
When she got married to a naval officer, she had the chance to follow him to four different Italian regions and this allowed her to first hand experience the deep diversity of Italian food and to appreciate even more the access to the freshest ingredients.
Maternity though was her real turning point because she had to quickly and very creatively come up with dishes to satisfy her kids and from this need she got the right boost to enroll in a professional cooking class to get a real cooking certification.

To her creativity, health and conviviality are all synonyms of the whole food experience. In the best of the Italian images, as much as her house is always open to her three kids' friends, her kitchen aims to be the direct extension of her house and family: welcoming.

As a culinary professional, Margherita believes that food is real alchemy in the sense we start from simple elements that mixed up together make a table, and in the end, this table with its foods brings people together thus creating conviviality.

As we listen to her we can't help thinking how this is even more true in Italy, especially in Turin, where indeed time is money and good quality food a strong value. So people are very willing to make time to prepare and enjoy their meals sitting down with family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Margherita Frari

In Margherita's kitchen the ingredients make up to 90% of the final dish and this is why her cooking classes usually start with a tour of the farmers' section at the Porta Palazzo market!
Natural and fresh foods taste so much better compared to what we can buy in a grocery store, and personally knowing the farmer, allows her and her students to get the best cooking tips 😉

Thanks to her mom, Margherita is also big at recycling food and left overs in many creative ways. Reducing food wastes is a priority even more today as many people can't afford to throw away food. This is also one of the Qubi' kitchen philosophies.

Ultimately though, as food gets people together, she deeply feels that her mission is conviviality and happiness.

Having transitioned from the office to the kitchen, now Margherita would like to become more of a food communicator, sharing with people around the world the benefits of food for both our physical and spiritual well-being. She calls it food well-being and this is also what she likes to convey in her cooking classes: simple foods not only can make us healthy but also happy when eaten in the proper conditions, surrounded by our family and friends.  And vice-versa, the regular foods' influence is "upgraded" when we have them in an optimal situation.

Associazione Qubi'
Of an equal importance, Margherita thinks that the direct contact with food is very therapeutic: look at all the handwork it involves! 
Certainly, all those of you out there who cook, bake, kneed and knit know well how mentally refreshed you feel after keeping your hands busy and that's what makes cooking fun!!

To her food is also exploration and expansion of multiple possibilities, combinations and discoveries of new flavors and textures.
Her chef training gave her the discipline to follow precise instructions and respecting quantities in order to keep the dishes' consistency, but her creativity always allows her to try new things and invent new dishes starting with the ingredients she has in her pantry.

Indeed we do wish Margherita Frari to travel around the world, connecting with new people of different backgrounds, sprinkling her food knowledge and sharing her passion as she is currently doing at Qubi', here in Turin.

For us we are very grateful for our chat with her because she got on our wavelength and suggested the sensorial aperitif of the 4th edition of Turin Epicurean Capital to allow our guests the most insider's look on food: from the neurological perspective!

Follow Margherita on her Facebook page and get in touch with her for a cooking class or workshop both in Turin or in your town.
You can reach her via e-mail:

Thank you, Margherita!

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