Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, which is located in the northern region of Italy. It originated around the 16th century and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil and pine nuts blended with Parmesan cheese and olive oil.
The name Pesto originates from the Genovese word pesto, which means to pound or to crush. This refers to the way in which the authentic sauce is prepared, with a mortar and pestle. However, the translation may be a bit misleading because the preparation does not consist of pounding, rather it is of grounding. The reason the preparation is important is in order to release the full aroma of the basil leaf it must not be crushed.
From his Michelin-stars at the restaurant Oasis, to the Napoule, to those of Clos Longchamp in Paris, the cuisine of Jean-Marie Meulien is like a travel diary; he is a collector of spices and beautiful tables the world over.
Fifty-five years after his first apprenticeship, when there was no cuisine in all the Antipodes, Jean Marie Meulien is there at his mountain home, and, for Oliviers&Co, the Mediterranean continues to whisper in his ear about delicacies to add to the pot. Oliviers&Co Chef Meulien also adds cashew nuts to this traditional Pesto Alla Genovese.
There are other variations that are red in color reflecting from ingredients such as sun dried tomatoes or red bell peppers.
Jean-Andre Charial, for many years, created special menus with olive oil, and was one of the very first chefs to create a culinary collaboration with and for Oliviers&Co. In Paris, Jean-Marie has a tiny "kitchen" in the shop on Rue Levy, a sort of scullery where we have been served dishes much to our own delight, dressed up with olive oil.
We are grateful for Jean-Marie’s imaginative creations and think of them as another way of passing down a certain savoir-faire and great taste...
While one of the most popular uses for Pesto is as a pasta sauce, it can also be used as a spread or dip, salad dressing, or as an accompaniment to steak, poultry or fish.