Locally sourced products are increasingly popular in the catering industry at all levels: the use of locally produced raw materials is relevant, to a certain extent, to all restaurants, trattorie and inns, as well as food stores.

This is due to people’s growing awareness towards the reasons for choosing locally sourced: reducing pollution and promoting local and seasonal produce. There is no doubt that these are very sensitive and important matters, but I think this topic needs to be analysed in depth considering, in particular, the ingredients I use in my restaurant.

Some of my regular customers have, in fact, asked me why the menu includes recipes that use strictly local products as well as exotic and international products from very far, for example the Alaskan King Crab which comes from the Bering Strait. I’m not a fan of using locally sourced products at all costs, for two good reasons at least:

  • the customers’ taste. People who come here to eat are looking for a wine and dine experience that will surprise the palate with new and unusual flavours. This is why I’m always looking for new flavours from all over the world: my job is to offer my customers everything good that nature creates and let them be the judge of whether I chose well or not;
  • “locally sourced” doesn’t necessarily mean excellent quality. Some products reach top quality only abroad and, on the other hand, our territories are increasingly prone to pollution and other problems. For example, how could we not trust the extraordinary quality of the Alaskan King Crab, caught in the immaculate water of the Bering Strait far from any source of pollution? It goes without saying that locally source products are the best possible choice most of the time, when purchasing fruit, vegetables and meat, fish and eggs as well. Our menu includes many typical high quality products from our area which are often still hand-crafted using traditional methods. Such as many varieties of fish caught in nearby Viareggio, lardo from Gombitelli and exquisite white truffle from San Miniato. The best way to express how I feel, however, is by using the ancient saying “virtue stands in the middle”: “locally sourced” is good but it must not become a dogma. Needless to say, I do respect and appreciate those who strive to promote local specialities and reduce the negative effects associated with the consumption of exotic products, because this is part of how I feel too and this is why I try to find new excellent locally sourced products day in and day out.