After talking to Niko Romito and Eugenio Boer, we travelled with our finger over the map to the Garda Lake (oh, how I miss the real travel!), where Riccardo Camanini heads his Lido84, the restaurant that won the World’s 50 Best One to Watch Award in 2019.
How did your town change because of the virus?
Gardone Riviera lives this situation, like many other cities and towns, in silence. You rarely see any car or person on the street. I think people got aware how dangerous this virus is and so they respect the rules we need to live by. It is actually quite paradoxical – we are living a very sensitive moment staying at home while outside there are beautiful spring days with 20C. You can feel a big worry in the air – regarding the health and also a sense of solidarity, people are showing lots of empathy.
What I am slowly starting to appreciate in this unpleasant situation is more time for the small things of the everyday life. Finally I have more time for reading and reflection and with Giancarlo we still go every day to Lido84 where we work on possible new projects and organisation.
What was your first thought when coronavirus appeared?
My first reaction was a worry. I have seen, even if only through media, what was going on in China, so when the government imposed some rules, we started following them strictly.
Quite some chefs have now, when restaurants are closed or empty, started offering their food as a take-away. What about you?
We decided to close our restaurant all together to not expose our team and guest to any risk.
What are you doing to remain positive?
More than focusing on positivity, I am trying to understand into depth what is really happening and trying to make some sense out of it, thinking about what actions and ideas this hard situation can stimulate.
How do you see life after coronavirus?
To be honest, I have no idea. t would require a complex analysis. For sure there will be a great passion for life but also a stronger awareness of what really counts in life.
Do you have any message for other chefs around the world?
I am often thinking of my colleagues. Each of us goes through this in his own way. I wish all best to all of them and I hope we can soon return to our restaurants and do what we love doing.