PUNTOITALY No29 - January 2022

How would you define in a few words Antonio Mezzalira, a well-rounded chef with a passion for gelato? I’m stubborn, precise, an experimenter and fortunately very curious. I’m passionate about food, I always search for balance between different textures, temperatures and flavours, searching for a “Wow” effect in what I taste. What were the milestones of your career? I started at the very bottom of the ranks. To pay my way through hospitality school, I did a little bit of everything, from a barista to a fast-food employee. Everything is useful, but not really… Then, I finally reached a turning point, working in a laboratory with the Alajmo family, in an environment of continuous learning to love and respect ingredients. I discovered gelato in Trento, with the Chef Alfredo Chiocchetti (the first to obtain a Michelin star in the Trentino region). It was with him that I experimented my first gourmet gelato (an illumination). More than twenty years ago, the winning idea was not just to add an ingredient, for example gorgonzola cheese, in a base mix, but to start from the specific ingredient and develop the recipe around it, balancing it to obtain the final flavour together keeping in mind the other ingredients present on the plate. That process is now the norm. After studies, books, courses, further apprenticeships, sleepless nights and continuous experiments (which never end), I opened my gelato shop that made me grow, Golosi di Natura. The following year, I won the Coppa D’Oro award at Mig Longarone, considered one of the most important awards in the gelato world, with a Prosecco-flavoured gelato. In 2011, I discovered trehalose: some colleagues returning from Japan told me about a sugar that is not very sweet, which was used in gelato there because the Japanese people do not love overly sweet products. Here was the missing piece for gourmet gelato. In 2012, I started to collaborate with various companies, and I have the possibility to have two recurring columns on the magazines Punto.It and Punto.De, which allowed me to get to know the world of gelato chefs. In 2013/2014, I was nominated the director of Gelato Festival Italy-Europe. 23