Beppo Tonon the Professional
“The presentation of food affects vision, prepares and conditions the palate to receive, and flavours are better perceived.”
This is the secret of a great professional who in 20 years has never ceased to amaze and thrill.
How long has Beppo Tonon been carving fruit and vegetables and what pushed him in this direction?
I’ve been working on this technique for 23 years, the whole time experimenting with new proportions and new balances.
Actually I started as an adult. It all started with a wedding banquet at our shop for one of the pilots of the “Frecce Tricolori” aerobatic demonstration team.
I was so scared of not making a good impression that I quickly registered for two courses on carving at the prestigious Etoile school.
Discovering that I had a particular talent for carving shaped the following years of my professional career.
So a journey that started in adulthood and has taken you where?
I started by studying and applying the techniques in the preparation and decoration of vegetable buffets, then moving on to fruit carving, which is very evocative in cups of gelato. The first real turning point was my victory of the prestigious “Coppa D’Autore” at the Longarone Gelato Trade Show with my “Africa Cup.”
That victory truly launched me into the industry and drove me to continue in the research and study of new decorating techniques.
At a certain point television programs came calling, which represent the most powerful media stage. How did that go?
True! With my involvement in the Raidue show “Morning in the Family,” my name and more importantly the concept of gelato and buffet presentation was introduced to Italian families and influenced viewers.
An entire sector was evolving, the quality of the product, including artisanal gelato, combining attention to detail and the use of colours with design ideas that had never been tried before. A real boom.
How much did the television appearances affect Beppo Tonon’s career?
I must say that it had a huge effect. A sort of unstoppable avalanche with a string of calls, appointments, popularity.
It was a source of great professional satisfaction for sure, but at a very high price: an almost total loss of freedom and a very strong restriction of time.
An undeniable fact that led to me neglecting my family because of all the work.
Every choice is a crossroads, and oftentimes an illuminated road obscures another one.
How many times has Beppo Tonon been on TV in all these years?
Over 350 both in Italy and abroad. I’ve been a guest on television shows all over the world.
From the United States to Russia, from Japan to almost all European countries.
A real marathon! An exceptional exchange with different cultures that allowed me to experience artistic and professional realities of the highest level.
I learned a lot by wandering around the world.
Apart from having little free time, any regrets?
I guess not!
What is Beppo Tonon’s greatest professional flaw?
I am too thoughtful and therefore not very instinctive. I am almost maniacally meticulous with everything I do, experiencing everything as if it were the last, I never leave anything to chance. I consider this to be a limit.
What is Beppo Tonon’s greatest professional strength?
I believe it is the absolute sharing of my work, of my techniques with others. When I teach courses I try to convey everything I know, I’m not afraid of my colleagues, indeed, I hope that some students surpass the master. I give it all.
In 2006 there was another important milestone, the victory at the Gelato World Cup. Any
thoughts or memories?
A magnificent experience. I worked with a first class team and it was an exhilarating competition.
A significant challenge, completed with determination.
A wonderful memory. In my career I have only “competed” in four official contests. And I won them all.
One last question, what rules must the modern concept of beauty follow?
In my opinion, beauty must always take into account who the audience is or will be.
Simplicity always wins, the continuous search for the essential is the real goal.
We must convey emotion. In the world of food, even a beginner can do wonders with a simple slicer!
The more you are successful with simplicity and the essential, the more value you have to offer.
The show has to get on stage as quickly as possible.