Giovanni Cuocci

On the outskirts of Modena, Cuocci uses cooking to care for his region and the people around him. In his restaurant-farm La lanterna di Diogene he partners with people with intellectual disabilities, who grow, prepare and serve the very best of Emilia Romagna’s artisanal cuisine.  This inspiring and innovative gastronomic-social cooperative transforms food not only into delicious dishes but also into new opportunities for its members. The chef has created a workplace that allows normal professional interactions with one of the most invisible and neglected groups in our society, while also showcasing the true value of their talents and capabilities.

When I started working in kitchens, I felt impelled to take care of everything around me: the soil,
people with problems. Nobody cared about what these people were capable of, but I wanted to give
them a job they could enjoy and do with people they wanted to be with.”