November 09, 2006
Across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco in Mill Valley, California, Roberto Zecca's Italian restaurant "Frantoio" has upgraded it's namesake equipment. The only restaurant in the U.S. with an in house state of the art olive oil production facility, diners can watch huge granite wheels grind olives to paste while enjoying traditional Italian specialties prepared by chef Duilio Valenti.
Roberto Zecca of Frantoio
Formerly the paste was pressed using the rustic and traditional fiber mats in a hydraulic press. The oil was excellent but the hydraulic press has been replaced by a much tidier horizontal decanter centrifuge. The Frantoio milling operation specializes in custom processing of small lots of olives from the many wineries and groves in the Sonoma and Napa area. Growers appreciated the taste given to the oil by the traditional granite wheels but the mats on the press retain olive oil from the previous batch of paste which frustrated efforts to separate the taste and character of each small batch. The mats also presented a large area for oxidation and had to be specially cleaned and stored in refrigerated lockers each night.
Contec installation lead Mike Matthews shows Roberto first oil
The new setup simplifies clean up and gives more space for special dining parties right in the milling room. The first batch of olives run through the mill was producing wonderful oil and good yields which pleased expert taster and owner Roberto Zecca. The excellent green and peppery first oil was toasted around a special lunch prepared by Chef Duilio and staff. The Pieralisi equipment was purchased through The Olive Oil Source and installed by Contec.