The tale of Cinderella it contains all the main elements of the stories that allowed us to hear them when we were children. There are a brave heroine who faces a thousand obstacles, there is endless twists and turnsthere is a happy ending written by rather ironic karmahow ironic is our heroine, the most contemporary of princesses, the one who saves herselfreplacing the glass slipper in its case with a sizzling frying pan.
Cinderella, a chef’s battle against obesity and discrimination
You have to leave here to tell the story of Stefania Camuri. From the kitchen of a restaurant, the She loves me, she doesn’t love me from Campiglia Marittima, the final landing of a long love and hate affair with foodof battles, efforts, failures and victories.
A story that Stefania tells with great sincerity in the autobiographical book “Cenerpentola”.
the food is the common thread which runs throughout the life of this woman: hers greatest passion and its greatest tormentyesterday as today.
From all over Tuscany and beyond, diners flock to Campiglia every evening, hungry and curious to discover what one of the region’s most creative chefs has created for them. A woman who treats food not only with respect, but with devotion: she studies it, uses it, transforms it and sublimates it.
Food is today the tool through which a recognized talent expresses itself, but yesterday it was its greatest enemy.
And even now, in truth, relations are not quite “peaceful”.
“I like food”
“I like foodI’ve always liked it,” Stefania said to Your city magazine. “My parents in Carpi, where I was born, had a delicatessen, then they opened a restaurant.
Food has always been central to my life, since my birth. Even as a child I had a great passion, I loved to eat good things. When I was at home in the afternoon, the best time for me was when I had a snack, not when I could play”.
Food, however, was also the thing that kept Stefania’s parents away from home for so long.
“The food, the family restaurant, was the only thing that kept mom and dad from having dinner with my sister and I every night like other parents did. The thing that has never made us experience a day of celebration as others have. Today that I too am a mother and do their same job, I know that they did the right thing, but as a child I suffered for that”.
As a child, when Stefania found great consolation in her love for this food that got so much attention and so much time from mom and dad. And so our heroine, without even realizing it, is seduced by a great passion, which, however, soon reveals itself authoritative lovewhich takes his body and, through him, slowly, everything else.
Excessive love, bullying and discrimination
As a teenager, Stefania becomes painfully aware of her physique. His body is tall, taller than any of his peers.
Stefania loves to eat and moves too little, she feels guilty and uncomfortable, and the pounds increase. And while the kilos increase, the safety decreases and the difficulties of relating to the world increase. So Stefania, in this big and soft body, it begins to hideshe uses it as a shield: a buffer between her and the pain they cause meanness, jokes, intimidation.
“I was trying to please everyone. I had pledged to be the most helpful, kindest of classmates. I pledged to compensate for what my physique took away from me by canceling my personality, by always putting myself at the service of others”.
An adolescence in which Stefania grew despite everything a dream. Curious, very good at learning foreign languages and a great lover of travel, thanks to her different experiences of studying abroad, when the time comes she tries to achieve his greatest wish: work in tourism. That’s when she really understands that her physicality, seen and judged by others, is something that keeps her grounded, and prevents it from flying.
“Obesity is a defect that no one forgives”
“Obesity is a fault that no one forgives. Those who are obese not only constantly feel guilty, but also suffer severe discrimination in everyday life. I studied languages because I dreamed of working in the world of tourism and travel. I applied in the tourist villages and no one considered me, despite the fact that in these contexts there are many different positions. I didn’t expect them to hire me as an animator: I could work in the office, in the store, in the kitchen, do a lot of things. I was better prepared than anyone else and I always got sidelined.
But the real sliding door of my life came before the biggest disappointment.
I took a step away from my dream and realized that what kept me from realizing it was my extra pounds, indeed, the way they were viewed. I wanted to work in an airline, certainly not as a flight attendant. A desk job, a desk job, anything would have been enough. Because I was very prepared, I came to the interview, but that’s when I got stuck discrimination on my physique. It was a painful moment, but a turning point in my life.”
Sliding doors: it’s time for a change
Stefania decides that It’s time for a changethat to regain possession of your body is to give yourself the possibilities to which everyone is entitled, and to make a courageous decision.
“I went to my parents and I was categorical. I announced that I wanted to do stomach operation. They objected in every way, but now I had made up my mind”.
It was in the 90s and Stefania was one of the first Italians to undergo an operation very common today for cases of obesity. At the time, the risk was high, very high. But she decided that the life she wanted to live without that weight, without this bulky speaker which prevented anyone from seeing what was inside.
Our heroine faces the operation with courage and begins a new life, a life that is not always easy, in which food is always the protagonist, for better or for worse.
Having faded the dream of working while traveling, Stefania finds her place in the kitchen of the family restaurant. The operation removed the extra pounds, but left her on a “curse”: even today, he cannot eat solid foodhis body cannot hold them back and ends up rejecting any bite.
Yet our Cinderella continues to fall prey to the fascination of food. After learning in the family restaurant, she opened her own, with her husband.
A dream in the rubble
But the trials for her are not over yet.
A few days after the inauguration of his restaurant, in Emilia the earth shakes and everything collapses. The earthquake robs her of another dream, but Stefania is now tempered by disappointments and difficulties. He rolls up his sleeves and finds himself in Tuscany, to “do the summer” in the restaurants of the coast.
He realizes that it can go further sliding door of its existence and decides that yes, we can start from there.
She is joined by her husband and two children and, after much work, retires this dream remained buried, in time of a roar, from the rubble of the earthquake. He finds the right place and opens his restaurant.
Here he pours out all the love and energy he has, and creates something special, deeply personal yet very popular with the public.
Now Stefania says proudly, “They come from all over Tuscany to eat at Mamanonmama, and they come for my dishes!”
Cinderella and the “idiot” karma that might make sense
Stefania Camurri’s dishes are authentic happy ending to Cinderella’s tale. They are the way this strong and determined woman got her life back indeed, moreover, they are the way she leaves its mark every dayoffering its customers moments of pure pleasure.
This pleasure that he is still denied.
It is here, in the kitchen of his restaurant in Campiglia Marittima, that our chef has tamed his demons. Indeed, he browned, salted, blanched, chopped, fried, seasoned, stuffed and sautéed them.
His passion for food has not waned, but now she’s in charge of the game.
Food is no longer an enemy, it is a subject to be respected, of course, to be studied, but also to be shaped.
It is no longer Stefania who is at the mercy of food, it is food that is in her hands. Hands that have worked so hard and understood so much. Hands that don’t hate what they touch, but caress it with love and transform it into special, unexpected and creative creations.
“For me, making a dish is like painting with a palette of several colors in your hand. I study each texture, each flavor, each smell, each property of the raw material, then I let myself be guided by my taste and my creativity. I’m an experimenter, I want to get to the bottom and discover all the secrets of foodthen use it to please those who eat it”.
A dedication and a wisdom that have made her and her recipes very well known, but which are also the landing point of a long and tiring existential journey.
“I know there is a lot of suffering in the world, but obesity and the relationship to food is me. For me it was so painful and tiring to get out of it, that I can’t only to talk about this experience, and I also do it because I hope that telling it will help someone else. My life is driven by such “insane” karma that leads me today to stay all day in contact with food, with my constant desire to eat, and knowing that I have no right, that if I do, I will suffer. And just this strange path of fate has convinced me that, in life , nothing is a coincidence. Even in my troubled journey, there is a meaning, and I think it is the fact that in the end, it led me to create something deeply mine“.