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Interview to: Nevio Lupi

Q1) Do you think the high quality restaurant sector can be a driving force to  create a synergy between restaurant owners/ chefs and producers of the high quality EVOOs, offering consumers new opportunities to discover the fascinating feature of the world of Italian EVOO?
The high-end restaurants require row materials of exceptional quality and therefore very expensive, whereas in fast food chains the lower price limits the choice in the selection of ingredients. Even though we can indulge in fast food outlets but to a lesser extent. In all cases it is the duty of the consumer and the caterer to use seasonal raw materials and local products that they know.

Q2)Given the lower revenue margins of EVOO compared to wine in the restaurant management, do you have any suggestions for the use of EVOO in the kitchen and / or services at the table? Regarding the EVOO List and  EVOO serving cart, do you consider that they are effective tools for the enhancement of the EVOO?
The only way to get to know the quality of the EVOO is TALK ABOUT IT, forming consumers through tasting experiences and making them understand that it is a indispensable element of the culinary culture.

Q3)With regard to the entry into force of the low on 25.11.2014 on "refilling-proof closure" which requires restaurant owners to acquire the bottles with this device. Do you think this regulation would protect completely consumers?
It is useless to season a dish with a high quality EVOO if in the kitchen substandard "EVOO" or vegetable oils have been used in the preparation as a main cooking fat. I suppose that this regulation as the case with the others should be reviewed and corrected for the maximum protection of the EVOO producer and the consumer. It depends, in any case, on the conscience of the cook.

Q4)What results do you expect from strategies that transmit to the consumers the historical and cultural value of the essence of the olive : the EVOO? Can you tell us your opinion on the tourist initiatives linked to the olive growing culture in your territory?
Fortunately we live in a country rich in history, splendid nature and the inestimable diversity of tastes in gastronomy with thousands of local dishes. It would be enough to know how to make the most of these natural resources. I believe that it would be important that we Italians, who often underestimate and ignore these values, should appreciate and know them before proposing them to the others.

Q5)Unlike Spain and other emerging olive growing countries where  many meetings are held with the view to raise consumer’s awareness in the rational choice of the fine EVOO and to its use as a main dietary fat in the daily cooking, in Italy, however, a large part of people yet prefers an EVOO " grezzo": EVOO with sediments, believing that it would be the synonym of the "genuine item". Do you consider that this preference would be caused by a lack of training and formation initiatives? What do you think about the unfiltered EVOO?
The one hand, without doubt, there is a great lack of information, the other people who know the EVOO sector are very, perhaps too refined, and tend to seek inaccuracies for nothing. The non-filtered EVOO is a good oil, which should be for its nature consumed before the others as it may be less stable in the conservation.

Q6)It happens, not so rare, an Italian consumer find abroad excellent Italian EVOOs of which he didn’t notice the existence at home. There is, in fact, the increasing attention to promote abroad the training activities regarding the quality Italian EVOOs, aiming at forming foreign consumers, buyers and professionals of the culinary sector. What could be the solution to resolve this apparent discrepancy?
As I referred to the question 4 we often do not recognize the richness of what we possess at home, and we appreciate its value only abroad for the nostalgia or simply for the fact that being publicized  more effectively.

Q7)As a restaurateur, do you think that it is possible to make people recognize the evident difference between an EVOO of the high organoleptic, nutritional and cultural value and one devoid of any personality and less value? And what are the ways to make clear the real cost of an EVOO?

It’s the absolute duty of us restaurateurs to offer consumers occasions to sample very valuable EVOOs just so as to make them be conscience to its quality.

Nevio Lupi, Chef with thirty years of experience in Italy and abroad. In 2009 Chef in the realization of catering for UNESCO. From 2014 his "dream" begins: teach and convey to young people the beauty of his craft.

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