Origin story: Willo’s Genovese Basil

Posted by Aljosa Numic on

Willo’s Genovese Basil has a story that begins in the mountain villages of northern Italy. David Kinch, a renowned 3-Michelin Star Chef based in the Bay Area, was travelling through Liguria in the 1990s and discovered a basil unlike anything he had tasted or cooked with before. 

The basil was sweet and delicate, and after bringing some back to San Francisco, David was able to create spectacular dishes that his diners raved about. However, no matter how many expert growers he worked with, David was unable to replicate that specific basil in the United States. Then, David was introduced to OnePointOne.

OnePointOne powers the technology behind Willo – its proprietary vertical farming technology is the secret behind the unparalleled quality of Willo’s produce. OnePointOne’s grow team, led by Master Grower Ron Mitchell, saw a challenge that could prove the technology’s ability to recreate the growing environment of this unique crop. And who better to judge the outcome than a celebrated Emmy Award-winning chef? 

Ron started by asking David questions. Exactly where in Italy had he found this basil? What were the specifics of the climate in which it was grown? From where were the seeds sourced? How exactly was it harvested? Ron wanted to understand every detail.

From there, Ron purchased the seeds, and the grow team set about recreating the identical growing conditions within OnePointOne’s vertical farm. The light, temperature, humidity, water, and size of the harvested plant were perfected, and samples were sent to David for his feedback.  

After 8 weeks of trial and error, OnePointOne’s team had recreated David’s dream. Willo’s basil had the same sweet flavor, rich green color, crispness and delicate texture – it was perfect. David is now able to create his masterpieces with the plant he fell in love with in Genoa, without having to import this plant from Italy.

Sound enticing? Try Willo’s Genovese basil yourself by becoming a Willo member today. If you’re already a member, add this Michelin Star-quality crop to your next delivery by clicking here.

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