What inspired me to become a chef
was having grown up with my grandmother. Coming down from my room every morning
to find my grandmother cooking with so much love towards my father,
that is what inspired me. I’m Eugenio Boer, I’m the chef and owner
of the Restaurant ‘Bu:r’ here in Milan. My personal philosophy when cooking is
certainly respecting the seasons. If nature gives you certain ingredients at a
certain time of year, there will be a reason. Another thing which tremendously
influences my cooking is travelling. For me, travelling is the lifeblood of all my creations. When, in quotation marks, the ‘title’, the ‘claim’ of
the project ‘Eat My Dust’ came up, I liked it immediately. I definitely need a base ingredient
that has a very strong earth taste. Milan is fantastic. You just have to take a car and within an hour you’ve arrived and you find yourself
in a completely different environment. In the foothills, Prealps,
a beautiful area, in Val Brembana. Damian is my best friend. He’s the person with whom I’ve shared
many years of work, and still do, me in the kitchen and him in the restaurant. We always take hikes. Real contact with raw materials, the chance
to walk together with a friend, look around, get to know and discover things: this is fantastic. Watch out for the ants here. Incredible, yes there are lots. You know, there are a lot of wild animals around here. We could be eaten alive. By a groundhog. We’re at 1800 meters, the air is very clean.
The peaks here are at 2500 meters. We’re here searching for wild herbs that you
don’t find at the supermarket every day. This one? Ah calamint! This one is incredible.
Ah, we’ve been lucky. Come on, smell. It’s halfway between a type
of mint and a bit like oregano. Isn’t that lemon verbena? That is lemon verbena, yes. Really strong smellů of lemon… of citronella.
Smells of lemon. It’s crazy! What did you find?
Lemon verbena. That’s it!
That’s it! We got everything we needed.
High Five! Now we are going to prepare the base
we need for the beetroot Bavaroise. We’re going to take the beetroot, which we already cut
into cubes and put them in our jug. We’ll take our cheese … a little bit of fresh cream … a bit of salt … a bit of pepper … and we’ll blend everything! Now we’re going to put our
gelatin into the Bavarois mix It’s light, but at the same time it has a strong
taste because beetroot is very earthy. And we’ll put it in the blast chilling. We’re going to remove all the
water from inside our herbs, but we are not going to remove the
flavour nor the intensity of fragrances. And all of this is done by the dehydrator. And the result will be this.
A powder of fresh herbs. In the meantime, we are going to make another powder, which is the crumble, a ‘fake soil’ of
porcini mushrooms and buckwheat. Now we’re going to cook our crumble at
175 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Obviously, having a butter base, the butter has melted, we’ve stirred it every now and then, and this is the result. Beetroot Bavarois, with mountain cheese,
a light dusting of artichoke powder on top, a soil of herbs, a soil of buckwheat and
porcini mushrooms, fresh herbs and flowers. The greatest pleasure for me
when I cook is to stand at the back and look at the people in the restaurant who are happy. For me, nothing else matters, I have to be honest. I wander around the tables, I speak to my guests, I ask them inquisitively, I want to
know if the idea that I had in my head, that I tried to put on the plate in front of them… to spark their emotions has in
fact gone straight to their hearts. That’s when I’ve won.