Nicola Batavia | Live Chat Series | Episode 1

The first Instagram Live Chat Series with MDFF Greece—Athens’s (Nov 6-8) guest Daniel Gava, Brand strategy advisor to the architecture and design industry. Daniel has been invited to present the live chat series via an Instagram Takeover, joined by top creative industry fellows to talk about the current state of affairs, the think tanks, and practices currently in motion.

This is part of MDFF Greece’s initiative New Forms Of Presence, as a response to this forced intermission, in which guests of the festival are invited to experience new ways of expression, communication, connection, beyond the traditional formats of engagement, enhancing a spirit of community within the creative “tribe.” The guests are invited to reinvent themselves through a series of personal semiotics, always connected to each one’s oeuvre or discourse; to present, connect, and communicate, beyond their familiar form of presence, allowing new shapes of being to come forth via new contexts. 

The concept was based on the idea of presenting our guest Daniel Gava by raising a simple question: What is the new form of presence for a Brand strategy advisor to the architecture and design industry during a lockdown? How can a live experience exchange, to a certain extent, touch upon thoughts, reflections, and topics of discussion that we hold behind the screen? These live chats aim at the one hand to zoom into the guests individually, and on the other hand, zoom out looking at the way each can share knowledge and observations or inspirations that relate to the industry each one represents.

This first “episode” includes three 20 mins chats with three guests. 


A conversation with Nicola Batavia 

The third and last part of the live chat episode sees Nicola Batavia, Founder of Birichin Restaurant, and The Egg Bistrot, and an internationally renowned chef, and one of the greatest ambassadors of the Italian cuisine. He is also called the Olympic Chef since he was Nike’s official chef for the London, Beijing and Turin Olympics.

The chat sees into the manifestations of gastronomic creativity during a lockdown — such as the cooking at home tutorials and home delivering high cuisine —, and the expected readjustment of the restaurant ecosystem.

“…The situation in Italy is getting slowly better, but we still need to wait a month. The restaurants will open their doors in June… It’s not everything clear to understand why we cannot open sooner, but the industry is not going so well… My restaurant is open for 27 years, so we are quite strong in Turin, so it won’t be so difficult for me, for us, for my team to get back to work. I said to my staff, forget this summer and let’s start in October when it’s going to be autumn/winter, and Turin will be stronger for the truffle time… But this moment is disastrous all around Italy, especially for the summer places…What’s happening on the Amalfi coast? It’s one of the best coasts around the world, and it’s completely dead… I love design, for me in the kitchen and in food, the design is very important because it helps me to stay updated. From my side, the delivery was already prepared six years ago; we were doing delivery as part of my business. So, when this happened, it was a chance to improve it. The menu was more informal for the bistro… so, what we did with this Covid-19 we just implemented the dishes…but of course, it is fine delivery, so it’s not for everyone… It’s two months, and we are at home. What about the people who frequent my restaurant every night? What do they do if they stay home? Try to think of a rich man who cannot spend his money?… Food is culture, food is passion, so it needs to be transparent…If you get inside the Birichin, we have a big glass between the kitchen and the dining room… Chefs and customers are united. We need to share the reason, emotions… This period you need to catch out something that is not there yet…This is for me, another big challenge… For a chef, traveling is very important because you receive a message… The project in store is: I have a set menu, and I want to prepare the set menu in 15 different cities in Europe. One city every month for 15 months; But I don’t want to go to the restaurant I want to go to Appartments…The sponsor is Airbnb because I want to rent apartments and invite people and social people, like bloggers or journalists, but the same menu in 15 cities…”_Nicola Batavia