Nightmare Kitchens, the Cannavacciuolo bistro.

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Nightmare Kitchens
is the name of the program where Cannavacciuolo, the TV celebrity chef, dispenses advice on how to renovate from scratch failing restaurants. Nightmarish K itchens, however, is also the scenario that emerges from the NAS inspection of Cannavacciuolo’s Bistrot Torino.

The Carabinieri’s Anti-Sophistication Unit, as part of its inspections of upscale Turin restaurants, found a number of serious violations of the law in the Cannavacciuolo kitchen. With regard to both sanitation requirements and consumer information regulations.

The hibernation cells contained not only fish, but also vegetables and, even, pasta. With no mention on the menus of which of the expensive dishes were made from frozen products. Fraud in trade, according to unanimous case law. (1)

Between the kitchen and pantry, raw materials and ingredients of unknown origin, with no documents to trace the suppliers. In defiance of the duty to ensure food traceability, according to a rule that has been in place throughout Europe for 13 years now. (2)

Chef Cannavacciuolo downplays, there would be ‘carelessness’ to mark asterisks of frozen food on menus, good food can’t be thrown away, then the staff would eat it. Maybe even the neighborhood cats, as well. ‘So what? Not at all.

Even more serious are the unsolicited justifications of the emblazoned chef’s ‘fans’ in the newspapers. La Repubblica ventures crackpot legal theorems that fish should always be slaughtered to eliminate Anisakis. Too bad, however, that culling-a very different concept from the storage of frozen food-applies only to seafood products to be consumed raw.

The NAS are the only ones to thank, because it is thanks to them that the Nightmare Kitchens are being brought into the spotlight – albeit, out of the spotlight – and forced into restoration. Whether in ethnic establishments, fast food or starred restaurants, patron protection against food safety risks and fraud always follows the same principles.

And the law is the same for everyone, in courtrooms as in restaurants. If Bistrot Torino Cannavacciuolo is not in compliance, you pay the consequences. Like everyone else and indeed more so, in proportion to the starry price of dinner.

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) Criminal Code, Article 515

(2) See reg. EU 178/02, so called ‘General Food Law’, article 18