The idea began in 2019, when Luca Pronzato, a Parisian of Italian origin, decided to create We Are Ona (in Catalan, “Ona” means wave), a group of chefs, producers and vignerons, all “food creatives” from all over the world.
Born and raised in Paris, where his parents run a gourmet foods shop, Pronzato began working in bistros when he was 16. Over time he developed an interest in wine, deciding to study it and to learn about its production. After a trip around the world to gain more knowledge, he was hired as “front-of-house” at Noma, working there until the start of 2019.
At first the We Are Ona project was to offer a platform for young talents in the sector, helping to develop a new generation of revolutionary chefs. Now that the intuition has taken hold, We Are Ona is a community of creative people that moves, organizing temporary restaurants in unique locations, lasting from one week to six months, in coordination with cultural events of international importance.
The most significant stages of We Are Ona in the last year have been the Rencontres d’Arles, where the crew set up in an old stable turned into a sports club; the Venice Biennale – the location was a Baroque palace with a Fellini vibe; and the event of Flos at Fabbrica Orobia in the context of the exhibition “See the Stars Again” during Milano Design Week.
This year, for the recent Milano Design Week, the team has collaborated on the presentation of the creations of Cristina Celestino at Tennis Club Milano Bonacossa. In this case, We Are Ona was helmed by the talented chef Marine Hervouet and the wine experts Iris Godec and Pronzato, offering an incredible menu designed by the trio.
Now the project shifts to New York, during the contemporary art week, from 12 to 17 May, where Pronzato and his entourage will enliven a pop-up restaurant at WSA, a cultural hub at 161 Water St. that becomes a crossroads of the most innovative trends in art, production, workspace, food, fun and culture. The set-up has been assigned to the artist, architect and furniture designer Harry Nuriev, founder and creative director of Crosby Studios, with headquarters in New York and Paris, defined by T:The New York Times Style Magazine as a pioneering voice in the field of global minimalism.
“When I met Luca first I was inspired by the world he had created around people and food. I had an idea to create a concept that can travel both the real world and the virtual world,” he explains. “I wanted to work on the concept of pop-up restaurants, inspired by We Are Ona: a table that travels and does not have any permanent address. The silver/inox of the pieces I made represents the idea of the virtual world. Relatively speaking, it is a dialogue between reality and the virtual world.”
Finally, the dining experience has been entrusted to Mory Sacko, the award-winning chef at the helm of his restaurant MoSuke in Paris, which combines African, Japanese and French influences, indicated by Time as “Next Generation Leaders.” Pronzato says he is “one of the world’s most talented chefs in his generation.”
“I am thrilled to be collaborating with We Are Ona on this pop-up,” Sacko says. “New York City is the image of the world as I convey it through my cuisine: cosmopolitan, multicultural and intensely open to the world.”
The next steps of We Are Ona will be in Basel during Art Basel, from 8 to 18 June, and in Venice for the 80th International Film Festival, from 30 August to 9 September.