100% organic in Milan
“When the ingredients make the real difference”
by Francesco Del Grosso
Milan, Isola Porta Nuova district, via F. Confalonieri at number 8: these are the topographical coordinates where those who love eating 100% organic and healthy must absolutely go. And it is here, a stone’s throw from Piazza Gae Aulenti, in the shadow of the towers of Bosco Verticale, which was born Bio.it, outpost of traditional and Mediterranean cuisine where to make the real difference are the ingredients. From breakfast to dinner, passing for lunch. Every occasion is the right one to try the excellent dishes of seasonal menus, but also to taste a good pizza cooked in a wood oven. You just have to enter the coordinates in your browser, but only after having booked a table. The location is really enchanting and the atmosphere is welcoming and familiar, the service is efficient and friendly, but above all, you eat really well. We talked about this with Corrado Primicino, director and administrative manager of the company.
How, when and why is Bio.it born?
Bio.it is an idea that comes from afar. Bio.it is a trademark of BioItalia, which started working in the organic sector in 1994 as a consortium and then as a distribution company. At the time we were oil producers and we were associated with other parent companies. Then BioItalia has slowly begun to take over other types of productions and today it follows a little of the whole supply chain. So in fact Bio.it is a rib of BioItalia, born as an idea of diversification for catering and retail, even of processed products. As a producer Consortium, BioItalia was born with the aim of bringing organic products at an affordable price that is more affordable to everyone; price that at the time (in 1994) was largely out of business. So Bio.it is the son of BioItalia, and we believe that organic world is absolutely necessary to have a cleaner planet and to eat healthier.
So this is in general the philosophy of Bio.it?
Absolutely yes. The philosophy of Bio.it and its parent company is precisely to make organic accessible to everyone. And we believe we are among the very few to really do anything biological. We realized that in Milan and in other realities the organic is appreciated, but when you enter into restaurants world you find a bit ‘of everything, such as those activities that advertise the organic and biological, but if you go to see they have mixed menus, with part or something natural and organic. We, on the other hand, are rather radical in this choice, which obviously leads us to have to renounce some things that in the biological world do not exist and which are difficult to find. We propose to the people who decide to come to eat from Bio.it a 100% organic. We follow what is the course of the seasons and in fact we change the menu every three months. In the dishes offered to customers there are seasonal ingredients, which then become the main framework of the quarterly menu, in force at the time. So, Bio.it follows the season and has a typically Mediterranean imprint, which reflects what is the country of origin.
In your opinion, how much in the field of catering and gastronomy in general, is organic really appreciated and does not represent a passing fad?
Undoubtedly it’s appreciated, so much so that the organic market in general in recent years has grown a lot both in Italy as well as abroad. Then when a market becomes interesting, and then grows, we start to enter even for commercial reasons, becoming even a “trandy” from the point of view of the offer.
When and why did the idea of opening a restaurant in Milan come about and how much did the choice of focusing on an area under development and redevelopment like that of Isola weigh in terms of popularity?
We decided to open Bio.it in Milan in 2014. Or rather the idea was born in 2013, but it then materialized the following year. This of Milan is however a prototype, because the BioItalia project is to develop a franchise with future openings throughout the country. Returning to Bio.it, having opened this activity in the Isola neighborhood has pros and cons. It is an added value if one thinks of the possibility of being able to count on the presence in the vicinity of architectures and recall areas such as the Torri Del Bosco Verticale and the new park, when the works of the latter will be finally completed so as to allow them to start operating. From the point of view purely of catering and commercial, on the contrary, the pros are relative because Isola is a district on the edge of the city. Although the area has been and continues to be revalued and redeveloped (for example, Piazza Gae Aulenti), however, it remains a border area and on the edge, where there is small catering made of bars and clubs, more youthful and profile rather low. From a commercial point of view, Bio.it is in an area of no particular passage, so we suffer a bit, nevertheless I have to say that the feedback is positive, because those who come back there, including those large and medium-sized companies or agencies that choose us to offer their customers lunches, dinners and buffets, in the name of organic and natural. It is a winner, but above all on holidays, weekends and weekends. This is a location suitable for families, so Saturday and Sunday become the ideal days for us. In times of celebration, or during events of particular appeal, in fact, physiologically, the pedestrian crossing is increased due to the presence on the spot of a greater number of people and above all of families.
Besides this philosophy of thought, what does a customer really look for when he comes from Bio.it?
He looks for the organic, but above all he wants to eat healthy and does not want to find “strange” ingredients in the dishes he decides to order. It is not said, in fact, that a dish is bad or poorly cooked, but often the ingredients used are not the best that can be had available in qualitative and natural terms. In general, people who come to Bio.it are those who care about their health and want to eat healthy.
What are the most requested dishes?
We have a fairly varied menu, ranging from meat to fish and pizzas. In the case of fish, however, the proposal is more limited, since being organic this must be controlled in the feed and in aquaculture. As a result, deep-sea fish that escapes farms can not currently be certified and therefore we do not offer them in our menu. Very popular are the white meats, pasta dishes, everything related to seasonality and that comes from fruit and vegetables, from mushrooms to aubergines and zucchini, through pumpkin. The meats we offer to our customers are really of the highest quality. It has certainly higher costs and a different yield. Let’s take the example of chicken: the battery chicken in the biological does not exist, so we do not serve it. What we offer on our dishes is bred in open field for at least 180 days. As a result, prices are higher, but the taste and quality feels and makes the real difference. Sometimes, in fact, we found ourselves explaining to someone that it was not practical, because what we serve is a chicken more fibrous than what is normally found at the supermarket, which is more tender. This is because, being a chicken raised outdoors, it develops more muscles and has a slightly “wilder” taste, reminiscent of that of the old country lady.
And the most innovative ones?
We can not talk about innovation in organic food. Organic is not an invention, in the sense that it is nothing but what you eat, but with different ingredients. So we follow the Mediterranean and culinary tradition, in which we try however to “experiment” and put our dishes. It only means replacing the ingredients. There is not the “trend” of the news of the moment. What we serve, for example, is a classic tomato pasta, but to prepare it we use organic tomatoes, a paste that comes from an organic wheat and strictly extra-virgin olive oil. So all the ingredients are absolutely natural and in line with what is organic. Ultimately, the chef chooses the combinations, but they are what any other chef could do, because they belong to tradition. The organic cuisine is not different from the others, what changes are the basic ingredients..
Read more info at bio.it