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Interview with Chef Luigi Incrocci: “Olive Oil and the Kitchen, the essence of Love”

We have two new arrivals at the The Olivaia Restaurant of Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort:  Chef Luigi Incrocci, and his sous chef Giacomo Bettini.  Here is an exclusive interview with our new chef as he recounts his love affair with olive oil and all the new exciting cuisine we’ll see in 2013 at Villa Campestri.

Chef Luigi Incrocci represents the new life we’re giving to the splendor of our traditional Tuscan kitchen, the tradition we know and love so well at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort.  And it is with this freshness at our restaurant L’Olivaia – where olive oil is queen — that we’ll open the season on March 25, 2013. It’s a great honor to interview Chef Incrocci, who certainly needs no introduction, here as he explains his great love for our cuisine, and tells us why. Chef Incrocci, together with his indispensible sous-chef Giacomo Bettini, will bring guests at Villa Campestri a new adventure of taste and tradition, innovations and timeless values. Here he philosophizes about his love for Tuscan cuisine and fine olive oil, the most important ingredient in our kitchen.

Chef Incrocci, every grand chef has a philosophy that he pursues in the kitchen, one that applies to every dish he makes. What is yours?  

To speak about developing a philosophy, one has to go way back. When I was a young aspiring cook, I began to wander to explore and  understand the real world of food. Now, at this moment in my career, I must confess that my objective is to impress with simplicity. As a good Tuscan I love simplicity that brings out the seasonal quality and freshness of the finest produce. Just as in real life, we create nor destroy, my aim is to re-create and re-work with total respect.  Notwithstanding globalization, it is vital and fundamental not to lose sight of where we are.

Haute Cuisine and Olive Oil:  What is the relationship between the two?

Olive oil and haute cuisine, a love that defines essentials.  One needs the other, and together they are indispensible to lift emotion to our palates. Can you think of a world without olive oil!!? The most important thing is to love without too much analysis:  in a few words the two are inseparable along the road of our gastronomic life.

The traditional Tuscan and Mugello dishes:  Do you like to interpret and modify the recipes or do you prefer to realize the old values of the regional kitchen and change nothing?

I don’t like to disturb something that is part of our culinary tradition (even if it isn’t perfect), but it does please me to enhance and modify in a molecular way.  Molecular sounds like a big word, but actually it just means unleashing the full potential of taste in the ingredients. Naturally, with my Tuscan blood, I don’t mind taking risks, but always with respect to quality.  Three expressions exemplify what I’ve been saying:  Tradition, Territory, and Love for the kitchen.

About your experience with Villa Campestri: Tell us what you look forward to and your expectations!

I look forward now to recalling that old love we never forget.  If the day arrives to re-live it, would it not be beautiful?  For me and Villa Campestri, that’s the experience I’d like, a fantastic experience with motivation and enthusiasm…  What do I expect?  A great deal from myself, because all that I bring to Villa Campestri must be served in dishes that delight the guests. What more can I say about this marvelous resort in the Mugello, that inspires my passion with “a stain of olive oil” (to stay on the topic)?  I am thrilled as a boy looking forward to the pleasure of such an experience.

 

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