Joia celebrated its 30th anniversary! It opened on 29 September 1989. Together with my co-workers, many of whom have become so good that I realise that one day I could allow them to take up the reins of the restaurant, I organised a huge party.
Invitees from all over the world came to celebrate my restaurant, which had become a byword for haute and ethical cuisine, the symbol of a forward-oriented style of cooking. It was known as the restaurant that serves food that ‘nourishes’ the soul, one’s consciousness and body. The leitmotif of the party was to combine the different forms of artistic expression. I asked the great Korean artist, Eun Mo, to create an installation, and the music composer, Bruno Dorella, with whom we invented a revolutionary sound environment, to play during the evening.
In the kitchen, we constantly churned out food for our open day, during which people got to meet the cooks and engaged with them for hours. Giovanni Hanninen, a first-class photographer, immortalised snapshots of the event, while during the shooting, the Korean choreographer and dancer, Yong Min, performed haiku of the great Zen masters for the guests. The celebration released an extraordinary energy and I felt incredibly grateful for this important achievement. Thirty years ago, who would have thought that such an unconventional idea for that time could have realised so many aspirations?
For Joia’s 30th anniversary I published the most important book of my career, “Il codice della cucina vegetariana”, (“The Code of Vegetarian Cuisine”), a 700-page volume in which I describe my experiences over the years. It is a very comprehensive book that covers subjects ranging from the best vegetables to mushrooms and wild herbs, from green philosophy to data on nutrition, from how to create a cuisine to the foundations for preparing it, as well as salads and desserts. The aim was to bring people closer to a healthy, ethical, and delicious vegetarian cuisine.