Michelin-star chef says haute cuisine and Islam go together

Oliver Glowig says prohibition doesn't limit his creativity

06 December, 13:30

    (ANSAmed) - CAIRO, DECEMBER 6 - Haute cuisine and Islam can easily go together, according to German chef Oliver Glowig, who told ANSAmed he doesn't feel limited by the Islamic ban on pork, which he generally avoids in his cooking by following the healthy guidelines of the Mediterranean diet.

    Glowig, who received his first Michelin star in 2001 at his "Acquarello" restaurant in Munich, has exported the concept of the Mediterranean diet around the globe, including in Bahrain, where he has the "Primavera" restaurant at the Ritz Carlton.

    In short: something for everyone and no culture clashes.

    "It's certainly not a limitation on my creativity", Glowig told ANSAmed in Cairo, answering a question regarding whether he feels his inventiveness is repressed by having to avoid using pork and alcohol when he cooks in North African or Gulf countries.

    "On the contrary. I see it rather as a challenge," he said.

    "You can substitute pork with other ingredients or bypass it entirely. I always try to include local products in my menus," the chef caid.

    Glowig, who trained with renowned Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi, arrived in Capri in 2001 and has had two Michelin stars since 2008.

    "I carefully rechecked the menu at 'La Tavola, Il Vino, La Dispensa', and there's no dish with pork," he said, referring to his restaurant in Rome's Mercato Centrale, in the Termini station compound, which opened last year.

    "However, there is a dish with pancetta at 'Barrique', my new gourmet place," he said, speaking of his restaurant in the small town of Monte Porzio Catone, just outside Rome.

    "Apart from religious reasons, I think the trend currently is going towards eating light and healthy. Italian-Mediterranean cuisine offers a large choice of ingredients, even without pork," he added.

    Glowig also has a restaurant at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto, Canada, called "Toca".

    Pork and wine, which are prohibited by the Quran, are increasingly less present in his creations, Glowig said. "Not for religious reasons, but rather for health reasons: the trend is towards light delicacies," he said.

    When asked whether he would be affected or not if Islamic clientele in Italy increased, as it has in France and England, he said: "I have no problem with guests of other religions.

    Those who don't want pork or alcohol can still be satisfied; the same thing goes for those who are allergic or have intolerances.

    Why shouldn't I pay attention to particular religious desires as well?" "I always try to have sufficiently ample choice for everyone, based on local products and Italian cooking," he said.

    "If a guest has a particular wish, I try to fulfill it. 'You can't do that' doesn't exist with us. We always find a solution," he said. (ANSAmed).

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