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Alla Carta / Dot Gain

A new magazine from Milan looks at food through a designer's eye.

Interview By John Dugan, January 15, 2013

In our new column Dot Gain, we explore the world of independent print publishing.

Our first installment is on Alla Carta, a new bi-annual from Milan, Italy founded by Yara De Nicola, Valentina Barzaghi, and Fabiana Fierotti. The Italian editors explore a typical Italian trait "the enjoyment of food" from an alternative viewpoint which mixes expected dining mag items such as recipes with unusual, fashion photography. The debut issue features Guest Editor in Chef Davide Oldani, breakfast with photographer Marco Glaviano, lunch with designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua, dinner with director Chiara Clemente. It's much more than an appetizer.

We wanted to find out more about Alla Carta, which is subtitled "Dissertations Around the Table," so we fired off some questions to the founders and then took a lunch break.

Why a print magazine now?

If it’s not the right time for printed magazines, it’s definitely the time for independent projects. While we witness the end of mainstream publications, independent publishers became more powerful every day. We want to believe in paper, carta in Italian. At a time when the web may appear to be the only valid avenue of communication, we want Alla Carta to be an ode to the most precious of mediums and on paper we want to record our voice.

How are food and fashion connected?

Alla Carta
is not just about food and fashion is about eating and eating means life, culture, fashion, cinema, design... We found food the perfect incentive to explore whatever surround us.

How did the three of you meet and decide to do a magazine?

We were friends before being partners and we had a chance to work together in different projects. We all have a real passion in publishing and we wanted to work on a personal editorial project, so we did. After realizing all of our meetings were always during a meal we just made food our starting point.

What magazines or designers are you influenced by? Inspired by?

We love magazines of every sort. We believe they are the most effective manifestation of the contemporary world. The ones that more inspire us are those expression of a real creative mind, like Self Service, Fantastic Man, Gentlewoman, Purple, Apartamento, Candy, Herself

The interviews are very informal and friendly. Does that reflect on the personalities of you three, is it very Italian or something new?

The conviviality of meals is rooted very deeply in the Italian culture and, of course, in us. Interviews are informal and friendly because that’s how a good meal makes you feel.

What's in the next issue?
Papaya, watermelon, roses, coffee, cuttlefish, ice cream…

Alla Carta