Illustration by Milo Manara

Franco Boeri Roi is well known as Eataly’s oil expert. The Ligurian producer has been chosen by Oscar Farinetti as his main consultant on extra virgin olive oil and he was asked to personally select the products to be put on sale and offered at the tables in the different Eataly shops all over the world.

Famously attentive to marketing and innovations, Boeri Roi often has something new to launch, like the “walking cone” filled with Taggiasca pickled olives that he brought to Vinitaly 2014 in Verona in April.

But Boeri Roi is also active in promoting and endorsing his region and its products and, together with his wife and fellow producer Rossella Boeri Roi, he is the main organizer of the annual event Bistrot dell’Ulivo.

Roi’s oil mill is located in the heart of Valle Argentina, in the countryside of Sanremo and the elegant Riviera di Ponente, where sits Badalucco — a small village surrounded by twisted olive trees and dry-stone walls.

Every year, Badalucco hosts the event dedicated to local products and Italian culture. Celebrities and personalities of Italian business, culture, music and arts are invited to join the event — whose slogan is “cold press, free thoughts” — to discuss oil making, agriculture, enterprise and landscape in Valle Argentina but also music, peace and tourism.

This year, among the others were Oscar Farinetti – who announced the opening of a second Eataly in New York in August 2015 (near the Ground Zero area, dedicated to Peace). Illustrator and director Sergio Staino, singer and song-writer Gianmaria Testa and architect Stefano Boeri took part at the event held on the 20th and 21st July.

The annual “friendship declaration” was given to Paolo Raibaudo, a local olive-grower and unwearied chairman of the Valle Argentina Consortium, who has put his heart and soul into promoting the area, and encouraged cooperation between local farmers, craftsmen, tourism operators and factories.

Another tradition is the drawing made by a famous Italian illustrator to represent the event. This year, it was illustrator and designer Milo Manara who donated the sketch representing one of his iconic charming girls tasting an olive to Roi. “We are particularly proud of this present that Maestro Manara gave us,” Franco Boeri Roi said before the event. “For us it is an honor and at the same time a further motivation to do our best”.

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