MILAN, Italy – Inspiring Chefs is the title of the 22nd edition of the Lavazza Calendar, a landmark for lovers of fine art photography. With the famous portrait photographer Martin Schoeller chosen to produce this edition, this year the Calendar 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 top cuisine. As with the previous editions, this year the Calendarʼs creative direction was entrusted to the Armando Testa Agency.
The Magnificent Seven chosen for this yearʼs Calendar are Ferran Adrià, his brother Albert, Michel Bras, Massimo Bottura, Antonino Cannavacciuolo, Carlo Cracco and Davide Oldani, 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 (a former of none other than Annie Leibovitz), who is well used to celebrating some of the best-known faces on the planet. Most importantly, this yearʼs 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).
Francesca Lavazza, the companyʼs Corporate Image Director, explains this yearʼs approach: “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”.
“The Lavazza Calendar has a long tradition linked to great masters of photography such as Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz, who came before me.” explains Martin Schoeller.
“I couldnʼt help but be enthusiastic about taking part, and I am honoured to be included within the story of the Lavazza family, whose world revolves around its passion for photography and espresso”.
Schoeller continues: “Being able to work with seven of the worldʼs most famous chefs, making them the protagonists and revealing their latest inspirations, gave me the chance to look for what makes them laugh at themselves, their desire to transmit their philosophy of life and work”.
Over the years, the Lavazza Calendar has taken on artistic and cultural connotations that go far beyond fleeting trends and glamour: for many years now, the Calendar has expressed — and often anticipated — new artistic trends by using the topics of the moment to trace the history of Italian tradition, on an avant garde artistic journey.
This has made it a cult object, partly thanks to the decision to work with some of the greatest exponents of modern photography. Edition after edition, the Lavazza Calendars speak of a desire to push the boundaries of creativity, a passion that goes hand-in-hand with the brandʼs propensity to experiment with new products in its tireless quest for even better quality and an outstanding product.
It is an approach that 10 years ago led Lavazza to work with some of the top names in haute cuisine, testimonials to the brandʼs dedication and passion for great food. They were people who all shared Lavazzaʼs vision, something that Martin Schoeller has interpreted so masterfully with Inspiring Chefs.
The end result is unique: an incredible alchemy of photographs that tell stories with an almost cinematic quality, a seamless natural sequence that speaks of inspiration. And coffee.
Meanwhile the chefs, certainly not the obvious choice of protagonist for a calendar, felt instantly at ease on Schoellerʼs sets, as they revealed their inner selves to the lens, espresso cup in hand.