Meet Lorenzo Cogo, the youngest Michelin starred Chef in Italy after opening his first restaurant ‘El Coq’ in Veneto at the tender age of 25. Lorenzo has a culinary repertoire of global restaurant experience which has included him working in kitchens alongside other food experts such as Heston Blumenthal, Mark Best, Seiji Yamamoto and Victor Arguinzoniz.
In the dialect of Veneto, his surname Cogo means Chef. Quite fitting considering the fact he comes from three generations of chefs in his family. With his vast knowledge of international cuisine, Lorenzo prides himself on combining this diverse expertise with the local Veneto traditions to create a refreshingly modern outlook and delivery of Italian Food and Culture.
Here is the exclusive interview between Love Italian Life and Lorenzo:
With so many restaurants in Italy, why should passionate Italian Food lovers choose to dine at El Coq?
They should choose El Coq because it is the right place to spend a beautiful night feeling like you are in the comfort of your own home with the unique chance to try contemporary italian food with a strong international influence.
In your opinion, what is the best kept secret Italian Food product that is a treasure to locals but people outside Italy are seriously missing out on?
I think one of the most interesting products of italy is a natural one called ‘Lampascione’ which is a type of vegetable normally found in vineyards. It is a really bitter vegetable but at the same time is very tasty.
Why do you think Italians have a different attitude towards food compared to other countries in the world?
I think Italians are extremely fortunate to be in a such a culturally rich country with so many unique products. It is what helps our country make our lives so special but I think Italian people need to keep evolving their understanding of food and drink culture. We can learn so much from other countries because whenever you share your culture internationally with others – it will always make you more interesting.
What’s the inspiration behind your dishes?
The main inspiration will always come from my mood and my origins. It is very important for me to be connected with myself and with my past as this is what makes me the person I am today. I always try to represent my country by not reinventing the traditional recipes but by using the flavours that true Italians love, for example, bitterness.
In your opinion what are the store-cupboard essentials that all great Italian chefs should make sure they have in their kitchen?
You of course must have Pasta, Bread and an Ice Cream machine. These are three of the most important essentials that Italian Chefs must have in the kitchen. In order to make pasta, bread and ice-cream – they require some of the most difficult techniques to learn and you will always need a lot of experience, knowledge as well as the basics of course.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming into the industry as a chef?
Never Stop Dreaming!
Is there a very simple recipe you have to get people started with?
Whipped Butter for Risotto and Pasta. It is a very simple recipe but it will help you to understand the process of how to create a creamy effect with pasta and risotto along with adding only half the normal amount of fat.
15gr Potatoes Starch
Bring to the boil your butter, water and salt. In a small bowl mix the starch in well and add just a bit of water, then pour into the liquid and bring to the boil again. Mix well with a whisk, let it cool down to enjoy and eat!
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