Bonetta dell'Oglio

Bonetta dell'Oglio was born in Palermo where she learnt to appreciate the value of good cooking as a child. Soon after completing her education at Gordonstoun College, where she studied within the English education system, she spent several years restoring and decorating the old palaces of Palermo.

Finally in 2004 she decided to turn her passion for gourmet cuisine into a profession. She started the restaurant “La Dispensa dei Monsù”, where she directs, manages and cooks, and through which she has achieved national notoriety.

Despite not having a press office of her own, she has gained significant coverage from the major tourist guide books and international press.

After many years of arranging and managing official catering at private events for public bodies in Sicily’s major cities, and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, her fame and her passion for organic agriculture led her to a meeting with Nicholas Joly whom she invited to run a seminar in Palermo. This was to have a great impact on her future approach to cooking. In recent years she has created innovative dishes such as Sushiliano® – a Sicilian version of sushi – the deconstructed Cassata, and many more interventions on the restaurant menu which she updates weekly. Her cooking is based on products grown using the bio-dynamic approach to farming and she is herself a passionate advocate of organic agriculture and bio-dynamic wine production. She has now closed the restaurant, to be free to travel and spread her Sicilianity all around the world.

Bonetta dell’Oglio is a Sicilian woman through and through – just like the generations of Sicilian women among whom she grew up: great-grandmother, grandmother, mother. Like witches, or wise fairies, they passed down precious secrets, recipes and scripts which contain all the ingredients, the wisdom and the magic for perfectly bewitching flavours.Her cooking draws from tradition, but moves and innovates. In all her dishes you will find Bonetta’s likeness and essence - delicate and refined, never excessive. Her food reminds you of the venerable old ladies of Sicily, extremely elegant in their veils and black lace gloves. This elegance is very common in a land like Sicily, enchanting and attracting people of every culture throughout history.This blend of tradition and innovation is the core and strength of Bonetta’s cuisine. Her cosmopolitan attitude makes her sail like a boat navigating smooth seas. Her dishes reveal themselves as wise and keen, made by hands which never stumble, endowed with a great sense of responsibility and tender love.

She is part of Slow Food Palermo, the coordinator of Mandrarossa Cookery school, an ambassador for the De.Co appellation which protects traditional agriculture in Sicily, and also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution project in Sicily. For many years she has fought for the defence of Sicily’s ancient grains, which have been cultivated for over 8000 years. She is very active in the dissemination of flours, cous cous, pasta, bread, buisquits, cannoli, produced with these seeds. She describes her cuisine as "Elemental", saying always, "I want to eat the truth!".

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