Introduction to The Mediterranean Diet
A prevention against obesity, diabetes, hypertension, digestive disorders and several types of cancer, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, ideal for keeping fit and well-balanced. It is characterised by a great use of vegetables, cereals, fresh fruit, olive oil as the main source of fat, frequent consumption of fish, minimal consumption of meat and a small amount of wine during meals.
The Origins of the Mediterranean Diet
The diet has its origins in Italian history and tradition and the specific term dates from the early post-war years, when it was noted that the incidence of cardiovascular disease in Greece was significantly lower than that in the United States. The American doctor Ancel Keys theorised that this difference was a result of the different dietary habits observed in the two countries. He was so convinced of the benefits of the nutrition and lifestyle typical of Italy and other Mediterranean countries, that he moved to live in Pioppi, a small town of Cilento in healthy southern Italy.
The verification of his thesis was obtained with a study (begun in the 1950s) which drew comparisons between lifestyles of the populations of seven countries: Finland, Holland, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia, Japan and USA.
The study is still famous, and widely cited in scientific literature as the Seven Countries Study. The results of the study confirmed the relationship between diet and health and followed the incidence of various diseases, in particular clarifying that the type of fat used, and not the quantity, had a greater influence on the development of cardiovascular diseases. Since then, the Mediterranean diet has been considered an ideal model for maintaining good health.
For all hoteliers, restauranteurs and gourmands who wish to extend their knowledge of nutrition, production and regulation, the Vesuvian Institute in association with the RAS Foundation is now offering courses in Mediterranean Diet.
In collaboration with specialised and highly qualified chefs, these courses are aimed at sharing a real gourmet Mediterranean lifestyle by combining basic concepts, guidelines and practical experience with innovative cooking techniques. These courses offer a true appreciation of the cuisine typical of the Campania region with guided visits and related field studies, to be enjoyed by professionals and connoisseurs alike.
Topics To Be Discussed
Quality of ingredients
Guided by basic theory and tasting sessions, you will learn to recognise and evaluate the quality of ingredients used in every dish.
Using the right tools is a vital part of the art of cooking. You will learn to work not only with professional utensils and appliances, but with seemingly less important devices such as cooking thermometers and the modern techniques of vacuum packing, which are crucial for creating a food pantry of the highest quality.
Theory of Taste and Proportion
Knowledge of the rules of ingredient combinations is the key to culinary success
Traditional Campanian cuisine hinges on balanced calorie equation. Through the Mediterranean Diet courses you will learn to experiment and improvise with a balance of flavours and aromas, creating tasty dishes within the bounds of a healthy diet.
Food and wine harmony
Each evening you will taste at least two different wines, enjoyed alongside various dishes, and partake in discussion and appreciation of the meal.
The chef: Giuseppe Ruotolo
Giuseppe Ruotolo is a young chef from Naples, who is currently creating gastronomic masterpieces at the centre of the culinary scene in Campania. The son of acclaimed gourmet chef Henry Cosentino, Ruotolo has been expertly guided in his creative decisions and his culinary past has been complemented by a wide range of professional gourmet experiences. His debut as a professional chef began at the renowned Marina Grande restaurant in Amalfi and in the years since, he completed various training courses at the Culinary Institute of Submarine Etoile, which helped him to grow professionally and stimulated his imagination.
From Amalfi to the heart of Rome, he went far as a connoisseur of wines and cuisine at Nanà in Via Della Panetteria adjacent to the Trevi Fountain, where his modern interpretation of traditional Napoletan cuisine brought him great public renown.
At that time, one of his important guests, a writer of the famous Italian television series “Proof of the Chef” gave him the opportunity to participate in ten-chef competition, and he was chosen as the winner by the public, thus earning to right to appear in two successive series. However, Ruotolo’s Roman experience didn’t end here, and in 2007 he opened Ziro restaurant within the established ”Tower of Ziro” hotel in the historic city center of Amalfi.
This period saw his creation of an entirely new and unusual type of pasta, aptly named ‘L’Accartocciato’, which translated, means ‘crumpled’. The pasta is made of a mixture similar to that of Scialatielli (in honor of the chef Henry Cosentino) and is indeed a crinkled panel, puckered like a sheet of crumpled paper. During the cooking process the pasta opens and expands and the many folds serve as a container for a variety of sauces and seasonings.
In 2009 Ruotolo began to work as an independent head chef and with a partner, opened a small restaurant in Cava de Tirreni, spending his time perfecting his unique style of pasta.
Specialising in food carving, sugar and cakes, Giuseppe Ruotolo is currently the head chef of the Marina Yacht Club of Stabiae which was opened in the summer of 2010, an outstanding location which is provides a magnificent setting in which even the most exacting clientele will be pleasurably surprised. Chef Giuseppe Ruotolo creates a perfect fusion of culinary creativity and appreciation for traditional Campanian cuisine. This is a superb combination which brings both himself and his guests an immense amount of pleasure.