Giovanni Marbese, or Gio, as I know him, is an Italian food anthropologist and owns Tone Bread Lab, an experimental bakery in Milan. It’s a funny story how I know this guy. I was staying in Milan, close to the bakery, a year ago and a friend recommended I go there for breakfast. I went in and ordered a coffee and a pastry and there was one table open to sit and I sat down and the Slippurinn book I co-authored just happened to be sitting there. Aside of it being me that sat there, this is an Icelandic cookbook on the table of a bakery in Milan. Think about that. Then, I was in Iceland this past July and I went to Slippurinn, the restaurant from the book, and Gio was there and I got to know him better. He has done a lot of work with food in the Nordic region, so it wasn’t that odd that he was there, but, another strange coincidence. Anyway, Gio has worked with Slow Food within the Ark of Taste project for years. It’s an online catalogue of endangered food around the world, and he was also co-coordinator of the Nordic Countries communities of Slow Food. He has come up with all sorts of creative ideas about safeguarding cuisines and disappearing ingredients and foods that are disappearing. Tone is an offshoot of that. He regularly uses endangered ingredients and inside the bakery he has this traditional Georgian bread oven, called Tone. We discuss everything he has going on at the bread lab, as well as everything else he has going on, like the Milano Food Project, Phantom Bread and Food Emotions.
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