Oliver Glowig: Tradition always wins



Some people are born with a silver spoons in their mouths, others with a white double-breasted jacket. The career of Oliver Glowig, among the most renowned and competent Chef of the international scene, is a kind of predestination.

“ When I was a child, my parents took me out to eat, we used to have dinner in prestigious restaurants. Even then, I was fascinated by this world.

Oliver attended the hotel school in Düsseldorf, “here it began my passion for cooking”. After the military service, he moved to Munich in the French restaurant of Otto Koch, Le Gourmet, one Michelin star.

“I learned French techniques applied to traditional Bavarian cuisine.”

The fist culinary contrasts that will influence Oliver’s path.

“Then I worked for a year as a chef de partie at the restaurant Acquerello (in Munich), where it started my curiosity for Italian cooking. But I was interested to know the true Italian cuisine and not the one that was in Germany.”

Then, in ’96, thanks to Gualtiero Marchesi, I arrived at the Quisisana (historic and iconic grand hotel of the island). During the winter I was in Erbusco with Marchesi, I learned so much about Italian cooking and about the importance of raw materials.


In Capri Oliver consecrated his success, but above all, he found the love: “My wife Paola is caprese, I fell in love at the same time with her and the island .” When I ask him to name people crucial for his career Paola comes first, “she stands by me all the time and respects my profession despite its crazy rhythms: I often travel abroad, I work almost every evening, bank holidays included.

To follow: Otto Koch – “he linked French techniques with traditional Bavarian cuisine”.

Gualtiero Marchesi – “a superb chef , with a revolutionary philosophy.”

Ermanno Zanini – “the greatest manager I’ve ever met in my career. “ He says, without hesitation.

But let’s step back to Oliver’ life: in ’98 married Paola then left the Quisisana and moved to Munich at the restaurant Acquarello, where he did his first experience as a Chef. The 2000 is a lucky year: “I got my first Michelin star and my daughter Gloria was born,” he reminds with emotion.


oliver and his daughters



“The following year I went back to Capri with Paola for personal reasons and I started working in a small restaurant, the Biberius. Then I was proposed to be the Chef at L’Olivo, Capri Palace. Again one Michelin star in 2004 and the second star in 2007.


Oliver and his team at L’Olivo, Capri Palace

During these three years, Oliver has the opportunity to celebrate the best of our Mediterranean flavors.

Ravioli capresi

Ravioli Capresi

Typical Capri recipes you’ve revisited and made famous to the Michelin clients?

“Ravioli capresi. I tried to change them at the beginning. Eventually, I realized that the original ones are the best. Ravioli are worldwide in my menus , I’m proud to present them in the most traditional way .

And then, to complete every meal, potato doughnuts , learned by my mother-in-law Anna. They are in Toronto, Bahrain, Cairo and Saas-Fee menus. The biggest success!

My relationship with the island is very deep, I’d say total. I love nature, its wild herbs, sea … I could go on endlessy .. I prefer it in the spring or autumn, when it is less crowded and even beaches are more enjoyable.

A place I’m particulary fond of is Bagni di Tiberio. The restaurant there is very good.


Bagni di Tiberio

Also, I find very good Tonino, at Piazzetta delle Noci ( Nord-East side of the Island).”

No coincidence, two areas of Capri that Imperator Tiberio liked most.

From 2010 until a few weeks ago Oliver was the Executive Chef at Aldrovandi Palace, where he ran a restaurant that bore his name. “An important achievement. Shortly after the opening, I immediately regained two Michelin star.” The first case in Italy.

IMG_9808-2.jpg“Now I work as consultant at the Ritz Carlton in Toronto, Bahrain,  in Cairo and at La Capra in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. My aim is to bring the true Italian cuisine around the world. Ravioli caprese are always part of my menus!

Most of my dishes come from tradition.”

Eliche-cacio-e-pepe1-960x639 (3)

Eliche Cacio e Pepe

In Campania the so called “married soup”, or the baba etc.

In Rome, cheese and pepper (but with sea urchins).

“Good cuisine is always based on dishes that have a story to tell.. ”


Pesce Rombo in Vignarola

Has the target of Michelin restaurants changed over the years? “Yes, but it is still very high, considering the prices. I also see young people begin to appreciate good food. Perhaps thanks to the TV, and its various Masterchef .. personally I am a bit contrary to these reality shows. They do not sell to the public the truth. They just try to capture attention, making everything a show.”

Staff: how do you choose your brigade?

“I do not need a great CV. Essential is the desire to work and learn. The rest comes by itself. I saw guys with no experience that are now chef in starred restaurants. I am very proud of my “children”. He used exactly this word, I swear.”

Capri Palace 2007

The new consultants abroad. Tell us how you can decline your kitchen, based on careful research of raw material quality, with foreign products and different flavors?
“When I cannot find the raw materials that I like I do import them from Italy: Pasta, olive oil, tomatoes etc. I try to contaminate these tastes with local products. For example, making a fish in crazy water with the Hamour , in Bahrain, (similar to our stone bass), I find it interesting.


Oliver and Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Brigade

The Italian regions that have the most significant influence on your training are Campania that offered you the raw material of traditional cuisine, and Lazio, the fifth quarter kitchen, you’ve always loved. But there is one ingredient other Chefs often envy , especially to the Italian ones, it is often said that that they”put their heart into their jobs”. What does it mean for you “mettere il cuore”?

O.GLOWIG“Joy of cooking. Not just stay in the kitchen, for me it is a constant delight, a sort of rapture: it all starts from product selection, continues with the creation of the dish, and ends when the customers at the end of evening thank me for having eaten well. It ‘a huge treat when they tell me that they liked my cuisine and also the service.

Create a dish from a high-quality product is for me the greatest satisfaction.”


Maintain high standards of starry restaurant is essential, how can you succeed in all your challenge?” It’s increasingly important to recognize what you find in your dish. The flavor and raw materials count more than anything else. I don’t mind about excessive decorations and I don’t like to have a dining room “heavy” and stiff . I prefer more informal waiters, without forgetting their professionalism, of course. What matters it’s the food, not having a perfectly ironed tablecloth. Better not having it at all as happens in many restaurants in the world like London, Berlin, NY. Then there is a increasingly predominant trend of healthy cuisine. Seasonal vegetables and high quality meat and not farmed fish or from organic farming. I think about the meat of Chef Paolo Parisi.

I’m not a trend person.

Tradition always wins, with some small and wise retouching … even better.”




Capri is an open-air set, it is no coicidence that many producers, directors, actors from all around the world choose it not only as a holiday destination but also for work reason.



Masterpieces such as the Bay of Naples, Le Mepris or Toto movies, to the most recent glamourus spot by Dolce & Gabbana have been all shot in Capri.


Michela Giovinetti

Let’s discover this “set into the set” with an expert , Michela Giovinetti, Neapolitan origin and Caprese by adoption. Passionate about Cinema from a very young age, Michela began working in Naples with great directors like Martone, Corsicato, Sorrentino, then moved to Rome where she graduated in Film and Television Production.


Since 2004 Michela lives in Capri where she works steadily as Location Manager for film and advertising productions shooting on the island and Amalfi Coast. (www.caprilocationservice.com)


D&G for Vogue Japan

Among the latest customers: Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Gant, Zegna, but her portfolio also boasts feature film and educational projects with the schools of Capri.

Michela doesn’t like to be under the limelight, I struggle even to snatch a photo of her. It is predictable with people working behind the scenes.

She is the opposite of the clerk office , it’s quite rare she can plan a vacation, especially before December , and it often happens that she has to work at Villa Damecuta at sunrise or at Casa Malaparte at sunset .. Tough life, isn’t it?


Fiction Capri

But let’s step back to her background in Cinema: “Having attended the Experimental Film Centre gave me the opportunity to learn a lot, to acquire a method, as well as to deepen my passion for the seventh art” Michela says with conviction, adding,”but without paying my dues on the set I would have never had the technical knowledge essential for my job, that you learn in depth only with experience. Even today, although I do this job for a long time, I am surprised that there is always something new to discover!”


Ralph Lauren SS 2014

Watching it all from behind the camera, we realize that when you’re shooting a movie or a commercial two worlds meet and Michela must then mediate between two subjects, satyisfing customers needs and acting as guarantor for the owner of the location.

The skill of a location manager lies in find balance beetween the client demands (which often become pretensions) , and those of the owners (or managers) of the location.

“Hosting a crew is a real invasion of space, I prefer to be very clear from the beginning, explaining in detail what are the pros and cons. I aim to establish a relationship of trust with the owners of the venue, who feel then somehow reassured by my presence. But if I understand, for example, that a person is very jealous of his house, then I keep it out, it would be a hell for us and for her/him …

Working in an area normally open to the public, such as a bar, a restaurant or a beach resets a number of logistical difficulties, although sometimes it is not granted an exclusive use, and so we have to be careful not to disturbing customers of our host.

Working in a private villa, however, allows us to move freely, using the space as required by the director or the photographer.


Zegna – Casa Malaparte

How can you meet client requests, often (almost) impossible, operating in an island quite restrictive in terms of logistics?


Ralph Lauren- Jk Place

Contrary to what you might think, once arrived on the island for the first site-inspections, the crew understands the inevitable limitations of a small territory as Capri, especially with regard to the transport of technical equipment and difficulty of moving from one location to another.

That is why, requests reduce by themselves immediately ..!

Although I’ve had to deal with absurd claims and explain: No, the director can not have a private car waiting for him at the entrance of the hotel (even if it’s written in his contract) simply because, no car goes around on the narrow streets of the center of Capri, which by the way is only for pedestrians!



What it’s essential to establish good interpersonal relationships in the area?

It helps a lot to have the ability to understand who you are dealing with. Working most of the time during our peak season, when stress is at the highest level, you have to be clever in mediating to obtain what the client has in mind. Personally I must say that, after more than 10 years living and working in Capri, I have excellent human and professional relations with all the people I involve when we shoot. Now we are a real team!

Dream locations and perfect partnership: could you tell us some names?

One of the reasons why I still love this work is that it opens doors to places not normally accessible to the public.. sometimes I even didn’t know they existed!



I worked on a shooting in the Royal Palace of Caserta, on their closing day, and therefore had the entire Palace at our disposal, or in Villas or wonderful hotels in Capri and the Amalfi Coast, such as the JK Place or the Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento.

I’m just coming from a site-inspection for an American project, we stayed for a whole week in a villa of the Eighteenth century overlooking Positano, which will also will be used as a set. An amazing location!

Among my favorite locations there are definitely Casa Malaparte, where I had the privilege to access several times, the Lighthouse of Punta Carena, where we shot some scenes of the fiction “Capri”, and Il Riccio, nestled on a cliff just few steps from the Blue Grotto, last summer we interviewed Chef Salvatore with House of Peroni.


How important is creativity in your work?

Working closely with the director or photographer and art director. I must be able to interpret their ideas and make them real. Be a the location manager is a very creative job . It ‘a great satisfaction when I can find the location that the director had in mind.



How important is it to be discreet, especially when it comes to shoot exclusive private location? The discretion in my work is crucial, both as regards the location, in particular to safeguard the privacy of the home owners that host us, both as regards the project itself. Think of the advertising campaigns, which are shot the year before. If photos were published before the product release, you have wasted a lot of time and have to re-do everything from the beginning..



For this reason, on set is FORBIDDEN to take pictures and especially disclose it. You could be denounced.



Michela, next step?

I can tell you that after so many fashion shoots, I’m following a film set entirely in Anacapri, by a famous French director and an American television series directed by a couple of famous Hollywoodian directors.

I cannot say more..privacy rules!