Germany's chef Glowig is a happy "defector" in Italy

Tue Jun 2, 2009 7:31am EDT
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By Deepa Babington

ROME (Reuters Life!) - German chef Oliver Glowig has left behind the heavy food of his homeland and defected to Italy, where he mixes his passion for classic Italian cuisine with bold experimentation like anchovies with ricotta cheese. A German who now calls the sun-soaked island of Capri home, Glowig has been chef at the Capri Palace Hotel and Spa's two Michelin-starred L'Olivo restaurant since 2002.

Quick to admit that there's no love lost between him and German food -- "It's too heavy" -- the young chef's signature style is simple southern Italian cooking prepared light.

In Rome for a week-long gastronomic event at the Hotel Eden, Glowig spoke to Reuters about his passion for Italian food and why fish with cheese may be unusual but good.

Q: Why Italian over any other cuisine you could have chosen?

A: I always ate German food growing up but I have always been curious about Italian food. I liked its lightness, the flavor. The products here are excellent and I like Italian food for its ingredients and how light they are. You can taste the flavors of the ingredients in the final product, they aren't transformed into something else with spices or worked upon too much.

Q: What's your cooking style?

A: I always try not to mix too many ingredients together. I like pairing fish with cheese -- a light cheese like ricotta, for example, an appetizer of anchovies and cheese.

Fish and cheese are not normally put together in Italy, but I really like it. Even burrata (a fresh cheese from Puglia) with seafood. It's not a provocation of any kind, I just like them together. When two ingredients gel well together, you can do it.   Continued...