Oliver Glowig

Oliver Glowig

hotel Aldrovandi Villa Borghese
via Ulisse Aldrovandi,15
Roma
T. +39.06.3223993

The man who lived half a life finally tries to live a full one. Oliver Glowig arrives in Rome and it’s an immediate event. The challenge for the chef from Düsseldorf isn’t so much the Bundesliga playoff with Bavarian Heinz Beck, with whom he has numerous things in common as well as a birth certificate, but more a case of lending year-round continuity to a cooking full of talent which, up to now, has only been expressed in mainly tourist settings, with one very busy season and the other of melancholic hibernation.

The Aldrovandi Palace hotel, between Villa Borghese and Parioli, which was formerly home to the Roman gestures of the Iaccarino family, offers him the chance to have a clientele to be conquered and titillated all year long. And with it, the prospect of adding to his already congruous playlist of southern suggestions (considered in the broadest sense that a German has of this word considering that almost all of Italy is South), the rustic traditions of giogo and vanga of Roman cuisine, which he promises to propose on the menu “con juìcio”, after a study phase during which the menu – in the restaurant that bears his name, and his decision is final – will be based on his repertory.

Oliver is a stubborn beast (and so is Rome: so the best of luck!). As a German who has chosen Italy and set up his home and family here – by the way: the two Roman tasting menus are dedicated to his daughters Aurora and Gloria – he lives our country with a mix of foolish love and Teutonic severity. He, with his naughty little boy face, has been accused of everything over the years: of being too shy, of neglecting his clients in the dining room, of seeking refuge in “cult” but limited contexts (L’Olivo of the Capri Palace, then Montalcino, where he spent winter 2010-11 at Poggio Antico).

But he, Oliver, has answered by saying little and showing, as happens with many foreigners, more respect for our origins than we do ourselves. His menus which immediately received 1 star (Michelin 2011) and then 2 stars (2012) are worth Mameli-Novaro (and Battisti-Mogol) as the Italian national anthem: cherry tomatoes and basil, caciotte and ricotte, lemons and olives, artichokes and burrate. All simple and of quality as fine as the works of Michelangelo, because there’s no need to frame the Sistine Chapel, or David’s underpants. And if the great metropolitan hotel with its sophisticated clientele forces him to raise the bar, it matters little. How can you frighten someone who’s convinced – as are we – that there is nothing harder than a plate of linguine with cherry tomatoes and basil comme-il-faut?

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by

Andrea Cuomo

Roman, now living in Milan, sommelier, he's reporter of Il Giornale. He's been writing about taste for years