Chef Mohamad Zaghal
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Articles
Program Visit of Chef Mohammad Zaghal in Italy
By Giuseppe Orefici of Slow Food Campania | 27.09.2009

Mohammed Zaghal, an International famous Lebanese Chef, during his trip to Italy last 29th September, chose as a stop the Campania and was a host of Slow Food Campania, driven by his deep interest for the production of the buffalo mozzarella.

 

In Tenuta Vannulo, a biological firm that arises in the Paestum plain, not far from the notorious archeological area, the Chef had the opportunity to have a broad vision of the complete productive chain in a journey where all senses have been deeply awaken.

 

The attentive gaze of Zaghal seemed to want to print permanently in his mind all what he was observing from the pasture where the imposing cows move slowly, to the milking stage and the processing of the raw milk by the experts and masters in dairy products until reaching the final exaltation of the savor with the taste of the final product.

 

In Vannulo, Mohammed tasted the buffalo mozzarella and the yogurt from the buffalo milk. The next day, the Chef visited a cheese factory in Caserta, “La Salicella” located in Francolise, where after having observed the processing spots, he moved to savoring the mozzarella and the smoked provola cheese on thatch (paglia).

 

Mohammed showed more and more enthusiasm for the sensory involvement induced by this “family of Campania products” which can be truly defined as unique. The values that lead Mohammed Zaghal to carry out with such passion his “job” are the same ones found in the philosophy of Slow Food: “simply” the love for the cuisine made of genuine food produced with respect to the environment and to the individuals which compete for its realization.

 

During the time spent together, Zaghal has more than once asserted that his dishes are the outcome of a continuous reseach based on the curiosity towards the originality of the products used. For that reason he particularly appreciated the work that Slow Food is accomplishing to create a network in order to put in contact with each others the actors of the gastronomic productive chain: producers, caterers, consumers (co-producers). His enthusiasm has increased as he discovered that this project is pursued closely not only on the international and national levels also on the local one, thanks to the operation of Condotte present all over Italy as well as last but not least the newborn Massico e Roccamonfina. On the track of those discussions, the Chef has expressed his wish for such a reality to be also spread out on his native land, showing his readiness to put it into effect personally.

 

On the occasion of the trip of Mohammed Zaghal across the Excellencies and diversities of the territory in Campania, the “Condotta Massico e Roccamonfina” within a planning policy well defined , organized the event “The Shores of the same Sea”, “Sponde dello stesso mare” dedicated to producers and caterers of the territory. The evening was held in a convivial atmosphere, seasoned by the well-known about cuisine of Berardino Lombardi, who finds his origins in the lands of Conca della Campania. The objective was the comparison and exchange between local producers and caterers, with the intention either to raise problems related to a welcoming with the aim to involve all actors on the territory or to try to create a “short production chain” in which are represented the various typically terms and riches of our Condotta. The actors were therefore, the producers, the caterers and the co-producers who communicate with large involvement through words in form of narration, who have risen the difficulties related to an activeness that make its roots plunge into the exaltation of the biodiversity of our lands and in the local search for raw materials, enriched by the passion and the willingness that have drawn closer for many years all those who have accepted the invitation. Among the story telling, welcomed with great participation and sharing, there is the dream of Mohammed to create between Italy and Lebanon a network of relations and a comparison between the persons, not only a traffic of products.

 

His conviction, largely supported by all presents, is that with the exchange of learning, of know how , thus of whatever is related to food, it is possible to establish solid and profitable collaborations because an idea, unlike a good substance, (if even of high quality such food), could involve not one but many men and could contribute to form “networks of human relations” more than exchange of goods. 

 
© All photographs are property of Chef Mohamad Zaghal. Pictures are personally taken by the Chef. Credits