On 30th May 2022, we participated in the fifth edition of the Forum Olio & Ristorazione, which took place in Milan at Palazzo delle Stelline. The aim of the event is to connect the world of oil with the world of catering.
At the event, we presented the ‘Liscio come l’olio’ competition and its young winners. The ‘Liscio come l’olio’ event – which we organised in collaboration with the Nino Bergese Hotelier Institute of Genoa – has precisely the objective of promoting the culture of oil to the youngest, those students who will soon be entering the world of work in the restaurant industry.
The competition – organised at national level for Italy’s hotel schools – has precisely put the accent on the ingredient ‘oil’ as the protagonist of the dishes that the students devised, prepared and presented to a qualified jury that met in Genoa in May.
The idea comes from a path started two years ago, which is to teach and encourage students to think about oil as an ingredient and therefore not as a simple condiment but as the real protagonist of the dish.
This being the second edition, this year the objective – in addition to enhancing the oil product – was also to communicate it and encourage the students to know how to communicate it, another fundamental theme for the catering sector. The training that students do during their school career, in fact, is not only that of learning techniques and creating a food culture but also that of knowing how to then communicate the product to the consumer or interlocutor.
Professor Andrea Cresta, deputy headmaster of the Istituto Alberghiero Nino Bergese, chef-trainer and expert in food & beverage management, was the promoter of the project and had the ability to create and promote the contest not only within the hotel school circuit but to contextualise it within a week of events, a fundamental theme for education in the broadest sense, i.e. not to create a spot event but to give life to a contest where these youngsters really experienced and breathed culture. In order to develop the project, it was necessary to take a 360° view, which is why a week of events was created in which young people from all over Italy participated, one of which was the Forum on Sustainability of Hotel Institutes.
Today the need for young people is to go beyond the explanation of a single technique, dish or recipe, to make them understand what we produce and what the basic ingredients of our cuisine are. In Liguria, oil, basil and herbs are at the heart of the regional tradition.
After the success of this edition, there is the will to proceed with a third edition of the competition because it has proved to be an interesting and useful course.