Cook it Raw brings together avant-garde chefs and traditional food producers to explore the possibilities of cuisine. By providing an arena for true exchange, the gathering not only encourages innovation on the plate, but addresses environmental, social, and cultural issues as well. By creating an opportunity for participants to share and develop their skills and knowledge, Cook it Raw leaves its creative mark on both the chefs who travel and the cultural life of the host country. And by sparking new personal and creative connections, Cook it Raw not only helps preserve foodways in danger of extinction but influences the ideas and techniques of some of the most innovative chefs in the world, advancing, in other words, the very future of cuisine.
After five gatherings, Cook It Raw has reached a stage in which it is ready to expand from temporary gatherings to permanent influence focused on the following principles:
To each edition, Cook It Raw invites a dozen or so of the most influential and creative young chefs in the world. These chefs are united not only by their prominence, but by their dedication to exploring place through cuisine, their eagerness to learn, and their willingness to take risks. The roster changes with each incarnation.
But Cook It Raw focuses on more than just the biggest stars in the culinary universe. Because all great chefs know that they are only as good as their products, interaction with local producers is an integral part of the experience. At each Cook It Raw, the chefs work with the Region’s farmers, hunters, fishermen, artisans, cooks, and foragers. In the past editions, these have included: Soren Wiuff (Farmer, Copenhagen), Josko Gravner and Marco Perco (wine producers Collio) Josko Sirk (restaurateur and Vinegar producer, Collio) Lucio Brumat (Farmer, Collio), Jarkko Kuusisto (hunter, Levi, Lapland), Jari Rossi (Fisherman, Levi, Lapland), Erik/Aila/Janne Mustonen (Slaughter house, Levi, Lapland), Yoshihiro Yokomichi (salt farmer, Suzu coast, Noto Peninsula), Isao Yamamori (Sushi Master, Kanazawa), Akira Uesugi (Soba master, Ishikawa) Toyotaka Ikeda (Duck hunter, Kaga), Yorinobu Kano (Sake brewer, Kaga), and Seizo Fujimura (Utatsuyama Craft School, Kanazawa).
Each time Cook It Raw sets up a gathering, it delves into the fabric of some of the most intriguing destinations on earth and investigates their most interesting traditions. After days of immersion and engagement, the chefs present their discoveries on a plate, giving our guests—and worldwide following — a different sensory perspective on a destination they may or may not be familiar with.
Because developing a sense of place is so integral to the philosophy of Cook It Raw, every chapter is held in a new location. The chefs explore this new environment by foraging, fishing, hunting and harvesting, and engage with local experts who offer their unique insights into local produce and cooking techniques.
Once the chefs have learnt from local experts, explored the land, and used their own hands to forage, hunt and fish for produce, they have time to reflect on the possibilities and challenges that the new environment presents, and experiment as they begin to compose their culinary works of art.
On the final night of the event, each chef prepares a course that is served in an exuberant and exciting dinner. With a title that inevitably acts as an ode to the land that inspired it, each dish offers the chef’s individual interpretation of the sensory experiences that informed it.
Cook It Raw does not end when the chefs go home. By bringing their own creativity to traditional products and practices, the chefs can help re-invigorate local food culture. And they too have been changed: many of the things they learn will serve as sources of inspiration in their own kitchens. From this encounter of innovation and tradition lies the future of cuisine.