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On 24th October Milan was the venue for the launch of the 2014 Lavazza Calendar entitled Inspiring Chefs which, thanks to the collaboration with the famous portrait photographer Martin Schoeller, shoots straight to the heart of its world by turning the spotlight on to the chefs: the people who make inspiration their mantra in the kitchen.

Lavazza has dedicated the whole of 2014 to these masters of the kitchen. As with the previous editions, this year the Calendar’s creative direction was entrusted to the Armando Testa agency.

The Magnificent Seven chosen for this year’s Calendar are Ferran Adrià, his brother Albert, Michel Bras, Massimo Bottura, Antonino Cannavacciuolo, Carlo Cracco and Davide Oldani. They are chefs and innovators who have all been won over by Lavazza coffee and have been reinterpreting it through their original creations for years.

It was an interesting challenge for an artist like Martin Schoeller, but most importantly, this year’s Calendar is unique: it is the first example of an artistic approach that places the chefs in the leading roles rather than as supporting actors in the figurative or photographic sense. In recent years there has been a clear shift in attitudes towards food, and attention has grown. The chefs themselves are a testament to this transformation, as they have inspired a new way of looking at food and made it a constantly-evolving subject of study (and experimentation).

“These chefs are not only pioneers of the new direction in taste, they are first and foremost our friends. What we wanted to do was put them at the centre of our world, which as always is playful, fun and slightly surreal.

With Martin and the Armando Testa agency, we imagined them as jugglers, immersed in bubbles of thought. Or as philosophers of nature, searching for the essence of life and the rediscovery of their origins … whether they be the white canvas of a grain of rice, books about our past, or the sea, the source of all life”. Francesca Lavazza, the company’s Corporate Image Director, explains this year’s approach:

The end result is unique: an incredible alchemy of photographs that tell stories with an almost cinematic quality. Meanwhile the chefs, certainly not the obvious choice of protagonist for a calendar, felt instantly at ease on Schoeller’s sets, as they revealed their inner selves to the lens, espresso cup in hand.

The press conference for the launch of the Lavazza Calendar was the ideal set to unveil the new partnership among Lavazza, Slow Food and the University of Gastronomic Science in Pollenzo. In conjunction with the opening of the two Advanced Italian Cookery courses, which were presented at the press conference by Carlo Petrini and will be attended by 20 Italian and 20 foreign young students next year, Lavazza will be providing two scholarships intended for two YOUNG INSPIRING CHEFS of the future among those identified as most talented by the University’s Scientific Committee, whose members include leading gastronomic experts.

The perfect closing of the event was The Impossible dinner which, in the venue of the Pelota complex in Milan and presented by Camila Raznovich, saw the chefs offering the audience an enchanting taste experience.