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Allegrini 2018

IF PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE THE FREEDOM TO TRAVEL, RESTAURANT KITCHENS WOULDN’T EXIST. THE MELTING POT WHERE ANYONE, INCLUDING A DISHWASHER FROM GHANA, CAN BECOME PARTNERS WITH THE GREATEST CHEFS IN THE WORLD. THE STORY OF ALÌ AND RENÉ REDZEPI

If people didn’t have the freedom to travel, among other things, restaurant kitchens, as we know them today - the melting pots of cultures, traditions and products, wouldn’t exist. They are also a place for opportunities, because the climb up from dishwasher to chef is certainly more realistic and practical than a reality show. For instance, the story of Alì Sonko, who worked for 13 years at Noma alongside René Redzepi, first as a dishwasher, and now as a partner in the Danish chef’s new venture, who on December 1st will re-open a totally renovated establishment, transformed into a kind of urban farm in the famous Christiania. It is a “fantastic project”, said Redzepi, “but what would it be without people?”
“Alì is the heart and soul of Noma”, Redzepi told the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera".
“I think people do not realize what it means to be around a person like him. He always has a smile on his face, no matter how his children had behaved that day. My father's name was Alì, too, and when he arrived to Denmark from Macedonia, he started as a dishwasher”.
It’s a story of times gone by, which sadly clashes with the protectionist wave many governments around the world are imposing.
Not only Washington, where not a day goes by without President Trump declaring his hostility toward a group of people, but also in England, where the prime minister Theresa May has escalated from Brexit to hard Brexit.

And, in Denmark as well the government has adopted an iron fist against migration. What is the result? Companies are struggling because they can’t find workers. The story of Alì, who came from Ghana starting out as a dishwasher and then becoming partner of one of the greatest chefs in the world, is characteristic of how people, by nature, are travelers, discoverers and experimenters. To restrict them with walls (whether physical or fictitious) and prejudices is not part of history nor is it part of the kitchen.

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