A four-digit kitchen, Is it possible to cook for 1,300 people? Is it possible to do it every day of the year?

For those who know the daily life of San Patrignano there are not many doubts. The answer is only one. Yup! Every morning they find themselves dealing with the usual bet: a challenge that is not exaggerated when defined as titanic.

Because it’s not just about cooking, but it’s a much more complex action: preparing lunch and dinner, and doing it for (1,300 residents) that has no equal in the world. Obviously we are talking about the residents, both men and women, working at the kitchen of San Patrignano. A sector that with its service allows the community to live its most sacred moment every day. Being the moment when they all meet up to share with each other the pleasure of eating a nice dish of pasta. Mattia Rossi, one of the leaders who coordinates the kitchen work, knows how fundamental and at the same time difficult is the work of the guys. In fact, every day there are stressful scenarios; between overflowing pots of pasta, endless lines of ingredients, never average menus and tight times that must be respected. “Although over the years we have accumulated a lot of experience in this activity, we are aware that it is never easy and obvious to prepare a meal for such a large number of people. What allows us to always reach the goal is a careful, defined and well-run organization ». Therefore, we do not leave anything to chance. It is the first principle on which the vast realm of cooking is regulated. A rule that translates into rigorous and daily planning. “Every evening one of the managers is concerned with writing the reminder for the next day – explains Mattia Rossi introducing us to the modus operandi of the sector – within it are assigned the tasks of each according to what is the menu and those that are the needs of the day. We can never improvise, it is unthinkable “. Within this daily variable there is a fixed organizational structure. The hundred youths in the sector (70 men and 30 women) are distributed in three basic macro areas. There are girls who take care of the preparation of the first course and coffee. There is a group of youths who have the task of preparing the main courses, side dishes and cold cuts. Then there is a third team, known as “the group of the diets” who, outside the general menu, have the task of preparing specific dishes aimed at satisfying different needs. There are diets that many residents – one hundred – follow for health reasons, meals for patients in the medical center and finally, the meals for the children at the nursery school according to the regional directives of the Ausl. The cuisine of San Patrignano is not just a sector that offers a service to the community, but also and above all, it’s a place of change for the youths on program. «The kitchen represents an important opportunity for both, the growth, from a human and from a professional point of view – continues Andrea Gremoli, one of the leaders of the sector – is a context that requires a lot of interaction with each other, allowing them to learn the basics of a job and maybe discover or mature a passion that already exists ». Significant, from this point of view, is the story of Laura, a Sardinian girl who has been in San Patrignano for two years and three months. She began her program at the cultivations sector and then came to the kitchen. The reason for this change had to do with her precociously abandoned dream; of becoming a cook. “My father was an electrician by profession and every time he placed himself at the stove for me it was a party. He did not limit himself by putting something on the table, but he always prepared particular and refined dishes ». And so Laura, influenced by her father’s passion and inspiration, decided to join the restoration schooling, but her choice was destined to have a short duration. When she was only 14, she abandoned everything, home and school, to follow, unfortunately, a greater and stronger love of hers. Today, after years spent between excesses and substances, she decides to take back her life starting from that old dream. From the fields of the cultivation she has moved to that of the kitchen and through the Community’s Study Center, she has once again started the restoration schooling: a decisive step to resume a brusquely interrupted passion and to realize a desire, born almost by magic, observing and admiring a father who in the kitchen knew how to make each dish become a little surprise.