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Itchefs-GVCI Cooked at Extra – The International Week of Extra Virgin Olive Oil


A delegation of itchefs-GVCI participated at Extra, GVCI at Bari Extra: Rosario Scarpato, Gino Razzano, Elena Ruocco, Paolo Monti, Donato Troiano, Francesco Farris and two journalist friends of New China press Agency.
The First International Week of Extra Virgin Olive Oil held in Bari, the capital of the Region of Puglia, from 2nd to 5th November. For four days the oro giallo of Puglia was the principal topic of meetings, conferences and interviews, in which international speakers, buyers and experts took part.

The event was opened by representatives of Italian and international institutions including Niki Vendola, President of the Region of Puglia, and Mohammed Ouhmd Sbitri, General Manager of the IOOC, the International Olive Oil Council (see the program of the week). Led by Rosario Scarpato, GVCI Honorary President and Managing Editor of itchefs-GVCI.com, the itchefs-GVCI delegation consisted of Paolo Monti (Gaia Restaurant, Hong Kong), Francesco Farris (Arcodoro & Pomodoro Restaurant, Dallas, USA), Elena Ruocco (itchefs Event Coordinator, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Gino Razzano (Executive Chef, Motor Yacht Sai Ram, Monte Carlo).


Parma based Donato Troiano, publisher of informacibo.com, and long time member of GVCI joined the delegation in Bari. On November 4th, our chefs cooked the lunch for speakers and conference participants with a menu based on Puglia's typical products, called The Extra Flavour of Italian Cuisine in the World. At the end of the lunch, introduced by Gianni Sportelli, representing the regional Ministry of Agriculture, our chefs gave a speech to the guests on the menu they cooked and the importance of Extra Virgin olive oil for culinary professionals working outside Italy. On the same day, Francesco Farris, Paolo Monti and Elena Ruocco spoke at the conference on the topic, 'When extra virgin olive oil becomes a star'. Leaded by Vittoria Cisonno, oenogastronomy expert and publisher of precious guides to food and wine in Puglia, the itchefs delegation visited wineries, extra virgin olive oil producers and met excellent local chefs, such as Pietro Zito of the Antichi Sapori Restaurant in Montegrosso di Andria.


The participation of itchefs-GVCI to Extra was supported by the Italian Trade Commission (Istituto per il Commercio con l'Estero) Itchefs-GVCI is particularly grateful to Dr. Michele Bruno, President Slow Food, Region of Puglia, for his precious assistance. Along with him were of great help to us Andrea, Pino and all the Slow Food volunteers who helped in kitchen and restaurant. A special thanks to Michele Rotondo of Masseria Petrino di Palagianello (Taranto), one of the most talented emerging chefs of Puglia. Finally, itchefs extend thanks to Luigi Colaluca, Danilo Partipilo e Fabio Caldarulo, from the Scuola Alberghiera Armando Perotti, Bari, for their help during preparations.



Executive Chef at Arcodoro & Pomodoro, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

After graduating from the Istituto Agrario in Nuoro, Sardinia, Francesco worked in many exclusive resorts in Italy, both as cook and manager. He joined his brother in the United States in 1991 to pursue a career in their restaurants Arcodoro &Pomodoro, in Dallas and Houston. His dish at Extra was Bonito in Tunic wrapped in Swiss Chard and Fennel Mousse with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Altamura Bread Croutons with Chicory and Cardoncelli Mushrooms.


Executive Chef at Gaia Restaurant, Hong Kong.

A native of Rome, he has worked at some of the city’s most renowned restaurants. Previously he worked in Los Angeles restaurants, including the REX il Ristorante, Louise’s Trattoria and the Alto Palato Trattoria. His dish at Extra was Polpo Verace alla Griglia (Grilled Octopus) with Zapponeta Potatoes and Chestnuts crushed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Orange Octopus Gel, Mint and Artichokes Salad.



Gino's grandfathers have had a great influence on his life. One was a chef and the other a ship’s captain. No wonder then, that at one point Gino became the chef on a luxury yacht – a very challenging job. Educated in Italy with experiences in Asia, Gino, on a daily basis, has to satisfy the very sophisticated palates of the guests of the Monte-Carlo-registered, 52-metre Sai Ram (as well as those of her twelve-man crew). At Extra he prepared an Crunchy Pastry Sheets with Ricotta Mousse with Citrus Fruit and Spices infused in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almonds and Persimmon Pulp.


Itchefs-GVCI Event Coordinator lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Born in Rome, she attended the Gambero Rosso professional courses "Professione Cuoco" in the same city, and worked at La Tamerice of Igles Corelli. She worked for 4 years In Buenos Aires, Argentina, as an independent personal chef and food stylist before moving on the Brazil. Elena is now enrolled into the IV Master of Food Culture and Oenogastronomic tradition at the University Of Rome Tor Vergata, Faculty of Literature and Philosophy.