“It is ‘circular’ because the same ingredient is used in various ways depending on the different methods of preparing and cooking it, which produce different consistencies, flavours and appearances from a single raw material.” This is the very succinct way in which Igles Corelli describes his cooking. He himself calls it ‘circular cooking’, a name he has applied to register as a trademark. But it is not only a way of using products or of delighting taste buds.
However full or empty the tables are, if a restaurant operates within the law, if it’s not circular it’s destined for failure.
“To create an excellent kitchen, you need to work with excellent produce. It’s the only way, otherwise there’s no way you’ll get there. But of course, this comes at a price. With research and dedication, as well as a dose of intuition and innovative ideas, you can manage to save even when buying expensive products,” he explains, to help us understand how circularity – using food products in their entirety – is a matter of economics.
“We need to be clear on one thing: however full or empty the tables are, if a restaurant operates within the law, it’s destined for failure. It won’t survive because it’s fulfilling old ideas of what restaurants are and complying with regulations that don’t help. The sticking point is staff, of course, the cost of work – that makes up 70 per cent of the costs. Circularity is a winning strategy for a business’ survival and to allow it to balance the books. Provided that you combine it with innovation and technology. The idea of circularity is that you use food products in their entirety. To do this you need machines and specific techniques.”
Corelli has a solid recipe for this: “The three ingredients are: cooking with produce from Italy, circularity and technology. These three components are the way to meet the demands businesses and restaurants face today. That’s the winning strategy.”
The chef is currently doing a lot of work with Gambero Rosso (a leading food company in Italy), for whom he runs a television channel called La Cucina di Igles (“Igles’ Kitchen”) and courses for young professionals. Impressively, these concepts are the very basis of the TV programme and the training courses. “It shouldn’t be surprising. Actually, the idea of circularity – which came to me because of the demands in my profession – can and should be applied in every area: teaching food tech at school, managing small companies, industrial production, supply chain and exports. In every one of these areas, circularity is the best and most convenient strategy.”
Circularity can and should be applied in every area of business. In every area, circularity is the best and most convenient strategy.
Indeed, for Corelli it does not matter whether it is in terms of family spending or managing industrial-scale production, whether it is under the budget of a small business or the export strategy of an entire country. Whatever the scale, it boils down to one huge truth: “Circularity means quality, efficiency and sustainability. These are the three features of any healthy economic process.”