No Products in the Cart
Free shipping for all orders over $250
All photos courtesy of Eleit
No one is as passionate about Italy’s cultural heritage as Titti Gallucci. The Naples native and marketing expert is the founder of Eleit, a new tableware brand that’s on a mission to promote Italian food and design in a mindful way. DLISH first got to know Eleit earlier this year when the two companies partnered to curate the inaugural DLISH Table in Naples, an exclusive two-day food and design experience that brought food lovers around the table with local artisans, designers, and chefs. Following the success of the partnership, we thought it was about time we shared the Eleit story on DLISH Magazine. In this interview, Gallucci talks passionately about the cultural environment that inspires her, the creative community she collaborates with, and what she seeks to achieve with her “dream project”.
Lynne Myers: What were you doing before Eleit?
Titti Gallucci: I have a degree in Economics from Naples and I have worked in various cities across Italy in the consumer goods and telecommunications sectors for about 20 years. My first experience was at Nestlè - Perugina in 1997 as a Junior Product Manager, then I spent 10 years at Coca-Cola, where I held the role of Trade Marketing Director for southern Italy and Marketing Manager at national level. I also worked in the telecommunications sector at TIM, participated in the start-up of Blu, and, lastly, I worked for four years at Vodafone as the Marketing Manager for south Italy.
LM: Where did the idea for Eleit come from?
TG: At a certain point in my career, I felt the need to get back in the game, also personally, by creating a small marketing and communication consultancy focused on the local region. The idea was obviously born from market analysis but also from my desire to give back to the community the background and experience that I have accumulated over the years. I felt the need to combine business with the capability to positively impact the cultural environment, with which I feel a deep emotional bond and a natural attraction. A cultural environment made of heritage, history, and tradition, but with a strong drive for innovation using the creativity and skills of “Made in Italy”.
In particular with Eleit, we aim to contribute to the creation of professional opportunities for young people, such as the students of the Caselli Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte Institute, where the rare art of ceramic and porcelain processing has been taught since the time of the Bourbons. Thanks to this training, they can more easily find employment in the artisan workshops with which the school collaborates, or start their own independent, sustainable business.
LM: What is the mission of Eleit?
TG: Eleit’s mission is to promote the excellence of Italian cultural heritage, in particular the culture of “good food”, re-designing our relationship with it, enhancing it, and avoiding waste; connecting it with design and the art of working and finding solutions with your hands, what we commonly call craftsmanship. Eleit finds inspiration in tradition but reinterprets it and re-proposes it in a contemporary key, producing innovation and bringing out stories, people, and high-quality expertise. And we aim to do this through the creation of tableware collections for the tasting of authentic Italian food, putting design at the service of food needs, all complemented by the skill of the craftsmen who create the work. Experiential objects that connect people, places, landscapes, habits, processes and typical products, creating an impact on local communities with great respect.
LM: Why do you think the “Made in Italy” brand is still so respected around the world?
TG: “Made in Italy” is synonymous with cultural heritage. It reflects Italian style, elegance, and attention to detail, combining function with emotion and aesthetics. I also believe that there is a strong connection with tourism: the millions of tourists who visit Italy every year stay in love with the country and by buying “Made in Italy” items, they can recreate some of that emotion at home.
LM: Can you tell us about the first Eleit project?
TG: The first projects were Pyxis and the Riti line, which we presented at the same time as the launch of Eleit. We decided to work on two very identifiable food themes of Campania and Naples–buffalo mozzarella and Neapolitan street food–with a similar research approach but a different output. Pyxis, conceived and designed by architect Raffaella Del Giudice and developed with the Caselli Real Fabbrica Institute of Capodimonte, is a large object with a strong aesthetic personality, which hides its intelligent functionality, gesture after gesture. In fact, it appears to be a container, but by lifting the lid and turning it over, it becomes clear that it is a serving dish with a hole in the center where the mozzarella can be drained of its excess liquid and where it can be cut to serve it dry. The excess milk is stored in the lid and can be reused for recipes or to preserve the leftover mozzarella, without ever keeping it in the fridge!
The Riti line comprises three small objects in Limoges porcelain, designed by the Michelin-starred chef Lino Scarallo of Palazzo Petrucci in Naples, designers 400gon, and Bhumi, who make them by hand. They were born to reproduce gestures of the Neapolitan street food tradition in an elegant and “starry” way. They are delightful to the eye, they invite you to play, and they too hide their functionality. Scarpetta allows you not to waste the sauce of the main dish thanks to a small hole from which the excess sauce falls on a piece of bread; Con-dita replaces the Neapolitan “cuoppo” and is worn on the finger like a ring; Soffio lets you eat fried pizza without getting burned by holding it in your hands.
We started from Campania but then gradually added new projects that involved partners from other regions, some of whom also live abroad, which is helping us to grasp the point of view and needs of the foreign markets that are more fond of Italy, such as Americans, Germans, French and English.
LM: Many of your design partners are women, is that an intentional decision to promote women-led design or just a happy coincidence?
TG: In reality, it is not a creative or editorial choice, some projects also involve male designers. However, my experience with Eleit is also confirming that women are very “stubborn” and passionate; when they share values they are very determined to carry out their projects, even if they are long. Completing the creative process that leads to a new object prototype requires a lot of passion and discipline, it takes a lot of time, a lot of experimentation. It is slow design because the expected output is not short-term. We aim to generate innovation that is consistent and durable, not subject to fashions, proposing new gestures related to the table.
For example, it happened with Famiglia Oliva, the collection created by designer Astrid Luglio in collaboration with Mariella Caputo, the first woman sommelier in Campania, oil master and owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant La Taverna del Capitano in Nerano. They worked on the theme of extra virgin olive oil and the output was a mini collection of three objects for tasting. In particular Elio, the tablespoon of oil, is used to dose the oil at the table, replacing the oil tank. This innovation has been acknowledged, so much so that Elio was exhibited at the Museo del 900 in Venice within the Gusto: Gli Italiani a tavola dal 1970 al 2050 exhibition as a new tool for dosing alongside many cruets.
Or with the Midnight dish, born from an idea of the chef Mamma Maura, who lives in New York, and designed and developed by designer Emanuela Sala di Piatto Unico, is conceived to serve and eat long pasta shapes with creamy toppings such as cacio e pepe or carbonara. It has become the hybrid first course, flat and deep at the same time, showing great versatility in the art of the table. This lasting innovation makes the object versatile, stimulating the creativity of those who use it.
LM: What projects are you currently working on?
TG: At EDIT Napoli we have just presented Speziale, a steel container for spices conceived by designer Leftover. Available in two versions, oblique separators divide the internal space and keep each spice in its place, avoiding contamination and preserving their aroma and fortifying powers.
Spices, aromatic substances of vegetable origin, have been used not only in the kitchen to flavour food and drink, but also, especially in the past, in medicine and pharmacy. From the rediscovered medicinal origin of these coloured powders with fortifying powers, the idea was born to contain these precious foods both for cooking and as natural supplements (or “superfoods”) within a single object. It’s a sort of sewing box in which the tools for the kitchen and for the body can be kept, just like an ancient apothecary would do. The research started with Sicilian sumac, a spice with very ancient origins whose history, which is an integral part of Sicilian cultural heritage, is at risk of being lost. The project was realised by lattonari, the artisanal metalsmiths of Via dei Calderai in Palermo.
We are also working on other topics, but I won’t tell you yet so we have another opportunity to meet!
LM: Is there a dream project you’d like to eventually undertake?
TG: For me, Eleit is already a dream project. All my effort is dedicated to making the project work, giving satisfaction to all those who have put their trust in it.
Click here to discover more about Eleit.