But this consolidation for me also means being able to make Paestum a point of reference for quality food, therefore an agri-food tourist destination.
Welcome to the last episode of “L’Azienda Agricola San Salvatore 1988” on the “On The Road Edition” series hosted by Stevie Kim. In this episode Stevie will meet Giovanni Solofra, the chef at Tre Olivi. Here, Giuseppe Pagano and Giovanni Solofra talk about their sophisticated cuisine, their vision of food and the recognition they received; having been recently awarded two Michelin stars. This episode is also available on our youtube channel Mamma Jumbo Shrimp with subtitles.
Stevie Kim: We are in a special place, it’s called Tre Olivi and we are here with a chef who just received two Michelin stars. So, first at all, congratulations.
Giovanni Solofra: thank you
Stevie: what is your name?
Giovanni Solofra: Giovanni Solofra
Giovanni Solofra: Solofra.
Stevie: SO-LO-FRA. So, tell me a little bit about the cuisine, the style.
Giovanni Solofra: Yeah, sure.
Stevie: of TRE OLIVI, which means of course three olives.
Giovanni Solofra: our food at the Tre Olivi restaurant is a new way of the Mediterranean culture about the food. So, we are open to traditional idea of food but with the creativity, we just arrived to a new dimension of food, an experience.
Stevie: Give me your signature dish? What is your signature dish?
Giovanni Solofra: My oldest plate is the “Fontana e Pomodoro”. It is a…
Stevie: “Fontana e Pomodoro”?
Giovanni Solofra: It’s my tribute to two artists, because for us they are two very important artists in our local creativity. So, it’s a tribute to Lucio Fontana and Arnaldo Pomodoro. This plate is inspired by the idea of the circular economy. Because we use all parts of tomato, so, it’s made with the simple skin, the seeds, the water of the vegetable…finally the plate is like…Do you know Lucio Fontana artist? You have a red canvas made with tomato water. And we serve it with a piece made by seeds, and skin that we dilute after using the water of the tomato and you can use this “tool” to cut, like Lucio Fontana, your canvas.
Stevie: Ok, that’s really interesting.
Giovanni Solofra: And the rest of the plate is made with different texture of tomato, and a summertime plate and together you have an eco-system, and you have red tuna, made with the Mediterranean red tuna.
Stevie: Ok, I’m getting hungry. My mouth is watering.
Giovanni Solofra: Thank you.
Stevie: Giuseppe, so. First of all, congratulations to you as well because “Tre Olivi” is clearly an important part of your facility, of the Savoy Beach Hotel. First of all, why is it called “Tre Olivi”?
Giuseppe Pagano: This name came naturally when this restaurant was born in 2002. Why “Tre Olivi”? Because the olive tree is a plant of this land, it is a plant that has represented the Mediterranean cuisine, and the product extra virgin olive oil, the evo oil is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean diet. And we wanted to have with this name, an indication of the type and the style of cuisine this restaurant. And then, three because three is a perfect number, it’s the number of the perfection.
Stevie: So, Giovanni when did you start working at the “Tre Olivi”, since the beginning or it’s something more recent?
Giovanni Solofra: Last year.
Stevie: You just started last year?
Giovanni Solofra: Yes, in a very particular moment, because in Italy….
Stevie: for Covid, right?
Giovanni Solofra: we’ve just came from two lockdowns, so, I think that complete we have 9 months operative, so it is a very short time.
Stevie: Yes, it’s a very, very short period for you to get the two stars immediately, like this. You know, I am very wine-centric, I do wine. So, first at all who…what kind of wine do you serve here and who chooses the wines?
Giovanni Solofra: For pairing at the restaurant, we use all San Salvatore’s, we reach all at the “vendemmia”
Stevie: the harvest.
Giovanni Solofra: So, in this plate the “Tataki di Ricciola”, the presentation is really similar at this paint that is in Gillo Dorfles label.
Stevie: Giuseppe, how did you two meet?
Giuseppe Pagano: We immediately had great trust in each other, even a love at first sight. Above all, we immediately realized that we had a commonality of purpose, and a commonality of how to achieve those goals.
Stevie: Having two Michelin stars also includes service. We take it for granted though…
Giovanni Solofra: Absolutely, we have a great team.
Stevie: you are a Rockstar? Right?
Giovanni Solofra: No, no, no. This is a great group; a big family and all guys take an important part of this dream.
Stevie: So, you had two strs in 9 months? What is your next step?
Giovanni Solofra: First at all it’s very important to consolidate this great moment. For this land it means that all world knows Cilento.
Stevie: Giuseppe, the same question.
Giuseppe Pagano: First thing, you see, the sharing of purpose, of achieving the results together, it is right here. Giovanni immediately answered something very important. To consolidate, first of all, in order to have a starting point and to take off again. But this consolidation for me also means being able to make Paestum a point of reference for quality food, therefore an agri-food tourist destination.
Stevie: Ok, that’s it, thank you so much for having us and we are really exiting to try, also this very special dish with San Salvatore wines. So, congratulation again, and cin cin. Cheers.