Encuentro de los mares



Giuseppe Iannotti: “In a restaurant, rather than talking about sustainability, we should be talking about ethics”

Carla Vidal


This Italian chef is taking part in Meeting of the Seas with a very special project: 8pus, a 100% fish delivery service.

A self-taught chef with a special gift for getting the very best out of each product, Iannotti has already won himself a star at his Krèsios restaurant, but he is still on the lookout for new challenges. The challenge now is the sea, and to offer its produce in all registers. He does this through 8pus, a 100% fish delivery service which does not forsake a very personal kind of cuisine.

Passion and reason are often at odds with each other, and disputes arise between them which can do away with steady lives or successful careers. But on other occasions life comes along to settle these differences, and puts things in their place. Young Giuseppe grew up in a house where “there was always someone cooking”, but when the time came to choose a profession, reason won the day, and he decided to study computer engineering. Only months before the final exams in his last year, however, the kitchen aromas of his youth prevailed, and he rerouted his life towards what had to be the way forward: gastronomy. 

And then in 2007 he opened a small restaurant in Castelvenere – in Italy’s Campania region – called Krèsios, the same as that now located in Iannotti’s home town of Telese Terme, at the family homestead. Order has finally been imposed. And this must be the reason why, for Iannotti, Krèsios is more than just a restaurant. “Krèsios is my home and our home, it’s the place where we experiment – it’s no accident that the restaurant also houses a laboratory, the IanottiLab, where we study raw materials, techniques and cooking times. But Krèsios is also a place to welcome in all our guests, where we guide them through our history”.

A self-taught cook, with no mentors or references – he did not go to any other kitchens to learn with the grand maestros – “all I did was an internship, in Aliena, but I already had the star by then” – and he has forged his own path. In his own way, “because I’m not a brand person”. A bit of an engineer, some philosopher traits, and very much a cook … Iannotti likes to work outside the box. And he has certainly broken the mould again with his latest project, 8pus, a delivery with a 100% maritime offer as a contrast to his award-winning restaurant. 8pus was created last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, although the chef admits “it had been in the pipeline for some time”, and it was served up by IannottiLab, his gastronomic laboratory. “It’s a complex format, and so we wanted it to have its own dark kitchen, a physical space away from Krèsios to create the 8pus food”. The project, Iannotti explains, may have continuity “in a catering service not necessarily with a delivery format, but kept separate from the Krèsios restaurant at all times”.

In the same way as Iannotti does not like “brands”, nor does he set much store by restaurants that do everything. Hence the fish-cooking speciality. “The sea offers up a huge range of raw materials, and they can also be presented in a thousand and one different ways. Nothing but fish, but across the entire gamut of forms, species, cooking times, cuts, raw or worked on the plate. Ready to eat or ready to cook”, explains Giuseppe. 

Following in the wake of time, we would say that 8pus is a sustainable, committed attitude to the future of our seas. Here Iannotti has something to add: “It’s not just sustainability, but it’s also ethics which guide us and which we look to. They shape our decisions in all aspects of our work, from our relationship with our young people to our relationship with the producers we have decided to work with, and also the final relationship with our customers”. The Italian thinks things should be done in all due awareness, with no drama, following the logic of times: “First I go to the place and go for its raw materials, depending on the day’s catch, but I don’t want to limit my choice, and if I find other excellent products in other places, why not use them? The 8pus offer has been devised to be as complete and exhaustive as possible”. Iannotti’s handling of this product also dwells at length on sustainability and utilisation of everything, “because we use all of it, not just the fillets. For example, we make stews with the bones and the heads, we use the skin to increase crunchiness, and we ferment some parts … there are many solutions, but you just have to work at it”.

All in all, this is the challenge faced by the contemporary chef, to find solutions, adapt and find a way of combining the best of each option. Fish exchanges close by and the restaurant’s own market gardens next to gastronomic laboratories, tradition and innovation hand in hand to produce attractive cuisine in changing times, amid recommendations to eat less meat and more vegetables, albeit with a warning of the scarcity of water to enhance the sea’s produce, with a constant focus on sustainability. How can a chef adapt to all this? “I think each change entails a different challenge, it’s up to us to be able to cook and study our dishes with the best tools we have at our disposal, taking care to draw out their potential at all times, and not cause any environmental impacts that could jeopardise the future of our planet and our seas”.