Restaurants and Olive Oil
Both for business and for pleasure, we have travelled a good deal this year, frankly more than we should have. I am always curious to see how olive oil is represented in top restaurants outside of Italy because like all fine ingredients, it’s a critical choice for a chef.
What strikes me as interesting is how there is more focus on infused olive oils – think of herb, truffle or citrus infused oils for example than actually singling out different monocultivar oils, to impart a particular element to a dish.
If you haven’t yet gone there, you might think this sounds far-fetched, but a simple example of dressing a lettuce salad with a Tuscan oil allows you to understand that there might be a better match; an oil that will allow the lettuce to play its own role without dominating it. Very much like fine wine, there are always better matches for each dish when you choose your olive oil. As the new season oils come to our table in the autumn, we will talk more about all of this.
In the meantime, we realise we have our work cut out when it comes to trading with restaurants, there is still a mountain ahead of us, but it’s a good mountain and we’re happy to climb it.
For now, we leave you with some of our favourites that we have encountered this year and that are using really good olive oil in their kitchens.
London The River Café
South Africa Tokara Estate in Stellenbosch
New York Via Carota from the owners of Buvette and I Sodi
New York Sestina (plant based Italian food, very well executed)
Boston Pammy’s Cambridge wonderful contemporary interpretation of Italian food
Split Uje Oil Bar modern Dalmatian food with a super knowledgeable sommelier