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Lorenzo Cogo Interview:
in Italy 2018
Love Italian Life Profile
Name: Lorenzo Cogo
Place of birth: Thiene, Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
Restaurant: El Coq
Lorenzo Cogo and his Michelin Starred restaurant in Vicenza, Veneto ‘El Coq‘ won 3 award categories at the Love Italian Life Awards 2018 Ceremony in Dublin including the main award of the night which was for The Best Contemporary Restaurant in Italy sponsored by Mionetto.
El Coq also won The Best Contemporary Italian Dish sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro and The Best Contemporary Italian Restaurant in Veneto.
Lorenzo is the youngest Michelin starred Chef-owner in Italy where he opened 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:
Love Italian Life:What are the ingredients that make an Italian restaurant truly contemporary in the Italy of today?
Lorenzo Cogo:Of course one must use the very best local ingredients as much as possible which is the key to being contemporary with a big identity. The beauty of Italy is the biodiversity and the best contemporary restaurants must focus on this. Nowadays the influences of different ingredients from different parts of the world are normal but like everything getting the balance right is important.
Love Italian Life: 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?
Lorenzo Cogo: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.
“I think Italian people need to keep evolving their understanding of food and drink culture”.
Love Italian Life:Why do you think Italians have a different attitude towards food compared to other countries in the world?
Lorenzo Cogo: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.
“The main inspiration will always come from my mood and my origins”.
Love Italian Life:What’s the inspiration behind your dishes?
Lorenzo Cogo: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.
Love Italian Life:In your opinion what are the store-cupboard essentials that all great Italian chefs should make sure they have in their kitchen?
Lorenzo Cogo: 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.
Love Italian Life:What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming into the industry as a chef?