Above, from left: Scannabue’s co-owner and chef Paolo Fantini and co-owner and front-of-the-house Gianluigi Desana (image via the Scannabue Facebook).
In a brilliant video shared on social media last week, a pair of Torinese restaurateurs imagine a world where restaurants are just a figment of the past.
In the short film directed by Stefano Cravero and produced by chef Paolo Fantini and Gianluigi Desana, owners of Scannabue Caffè, Restaurant, e Gastronomia, a museum docent (with lanyard and all, played wonderfully by Italian actor Francesca Bracchino) leads a group of Italian and foreign tourists on a tour of the “restaurant museum.”
“Just think,” she says to her tour group, “they used to all sit around the same table and share the bread in the middle!”
“That’s disgusting!” blurts out one of the Italians in the group.
“Yes, I know,” commiserates the docent as she notes that “we need to remember: that was more than a year ago!”
There’s even a quip about American dining.
After one of the tourists asks the docent whether or not there were restaurants in other parts of the world like America, she doesn’t miss a beat before answering: “Oh, yes, they had restaurants in America as well. But let’s just say they were ‘faster.'”
The cortometraggio has really touched a nerve in Italy.
As of this posting, the video had been shared more than 400 times on Facebook. And it’s been featured in the Italian mainstream media.
The rituals of dining and gastrocentric socializing are key to the Italian identity. So many of my Italian friends have told me about how restaurant closures have weighed on their souls (not to mention winemaker friends who previously depended on independent restaurants like Scannabue for much of their sales).
You don’t need to understand Italian to follow along (although it’s even more funny if you can pick up on some of the nuance of Bracchino’s delivery).
The hilarious yet poignant video came to my attention via one of my favorite food and wine blogs, Sapori del Piemonte, edited by one of the most talented people in the trade and a great friend, Filippo Larganà.