When I first meet Maradona Youssef, a 35-year-old chef from Lebanon, he’s playing with mud. Standing outside the kitchen at Duca di Dolle, a vineyard in the prosecco-producing hills of Italy, he’s prodding several misshapen lumps of wet earth arranged on a tray. The mud parcels contain fish and, once cooked, will be the main course of that evening’s “healthy dinner.” Collaborating with functional medicine specialist Dr Monica Bossi, Youssef is pioneering a science-backed nutrition-focused haute cuisine that he soon hopes will cement his name in Italy’s restaurant scene.
Youssef moved to the northeastern Italian city of Trieste at the age of 21. Appearing on Italy’s MasterChef cooking
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