Alessandro Porcelli

Alessandro Porcelli belongs to an exclusive club. I don’t mean Cook it Raw, which he founded and runs with some of the world’s most famous chefs, including  principal client and collaborator René Redzepi. I mean the select group of people who have made the great drive across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax. Porcelli doubled back to Toronto after reaching the Atlantic and it’s been 25 years since he abandoned his Pontiac Bonneville at the Pearson Airport parking lot to return to Europe, a career as a restaurateur then photojournalist in Dublin, a marketing executive for FIAT in Madrid and finally a restaurant consultant and impresario in Copenhagen.

The car is unlikely to be there when he returns in April as a delegate to Terroir 2013, but at the baggage carousel he may well bump into some of the Cook It Raw chefs who are joining as delegates to Terroir, including Noma’s Redzepi, Magnus Nilsson (Favikan) and Kobe Desmarault (In De Wulf), among other heavyweights from around the world (see the full program here).

The video below is a recording of a Google+ Hangout conducted this week between Porcelli in Copenhagen, me in Toronto and Terroir chair Arlene Stein in Berlin. In it Porcelli explains how Cook It Raw was born out of his initial efforts to promote Redzepi’s work and Nordic cuisine to Scandinavians and how it quickly grew into a worldwide chef phenomenon.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the not-for-profit corporation which publishes it. Follow him at