The Corso of an Italian small town, its main street, is always lively and noisy, especially during summertime. I used to play with my friends and classmates around the Corso, running on the stairs of the Pope’Summer Palacejust a few minutes far, in the Piazza, jumping from the walls of the parallel narrow streets, pretending we were soldiers, some kind of horrific, unbeatable warriors or dinosaurs :p
By that time food was something quite far from our and people’s mind in the sense that food was of course everywhere but as a natural outcome of our culture. Now the Corso of my hometown, as well as the ones of many other towns, is full with bars, wine bars, bistrots, gelatarias, pizzerias and so on.
Food is now huge as part of a new sophisticated lifestyle
partly led by a consumption culture overspread throughout Italy and by a spirit of renewal of the national food culture so to bring it to the next level. This phenomenon is happening a bit everywhere in the world as well, sometimes for the good, sometimes not.
The old fresh pasta shop is now a cafè serving aperitivo and only giving a small space to their original core business. The family who runs the cafè is always the same but, with the time changing, they eventually realised the aperitivo industry is now much more profitable than the homemade fresh pasta one. In some way we are growing a much more conscious taste for wines and canapes, but we are losing a long lasting tradition. The old biscotti and fresh bread shop “Cose Buone” (Yummy things) has now turned into an osteria serving wine in bottles and refined Italian cuisine dishes. Fair enough, but again we are losing something from our tradition. Who is going to bring on that legacy, those methods? Isn’t it also part of our culture and knowledge? Italians are unanimously thought as lucky as they can eat very well almost wherever they go in within the country, but they are also quite famous as they cook even better and always delivered all their food background to the world. What if we lose it?
Don’t get me wrong, please, i love the aperitivo,
i love wines and canapes and i don’t want to go back to my Grandpa’s Sunday aperitivo with salted nuts, few olives and a glass of Vermouth or Campari! I’m just saying that we are losing what we were famous for maybe: the culture of homemade food.
Luckely enough it is not like that everywhere. Just a stone thrown from the old fresh shop there is Bucci’s. This Ristorante has been there for almost a century, run by the same family. It was in the beginning a truly Italian Trattoria: few courses, pretty popular and easy to make, house wine and long chats about football and politics, the main Italian concerns for the most.
When Maria and her husband Claudio, a former Olympic athlete, took over the restaurant from Maria’s father, she completely reinvented the kitchen from top to bottom.
New style, new furniture, new menu and new concept: you can still be traditional but also try and experiment a bit around, offering people home cooking flavours with a twist. Maria’s menus are seasonal and always changing, apart from some signature dishes as the Green Peppercon Beef Fillet or the deconstructed Millefoglie aka La Golosa (the Glottonous). She always go back in time , studying her grandmas’ recipes, and forward, looking at new young chefs. This is one of my favourite place in the world, no compromise, long dinners, everybody is very friendly and people do feel comfortable. Customer range is so different: from Cardinals (i mean it) to young people, everybody is welcome. Maria is not just the chef of Bucci’s but also its soul: whenever she can she comes out of the kitchen, talking to people, collecting feedbacks always with a smile and a story to tell.
“People want to eat, and eat well, when it was War time nobody could eat much, we had the simplest thing and we did much out of nothing,
now food is everywhere and so accessible that we might be forgetting that food is not only a question of style but also a question of belly“
she said to me yesterday night. In fact, i never had a fillet as big as the ones i have at Bucci’s!
“It is very important that you get to know the people you feed as you can make them part of something more. People come here to eat not only because we try to make good food but also beacuse they know
we know them and they can stay here and chat with us as friends and we won’t kick them out after the dessert“.
This is something that many restaurants are losing and also one the main points of running a supperclub. Am i going back to the roots of Italian food culture with the BackDoor kitchen not only speaking of food but also speaking of vibes? I don’t know, i hope so, but i so think that whoever wants to offer food to complete strangers, be that a restaurant, a bistrot or a supperclub has got much to learn from these Maria’s golden rules:
– Food is many things, in many forms: style, fashion, culture, history, but at the end of the day it is also and mainly food so must be always good and enough.
– It doesn’t matter how busy or moody you are, you always need to be in touch with the outside world, be among your guests, smile and feel proud of the atmosphere you create. It has to come natural, it’ll recharge your batteries and make you feel good.
With these two lessons already packed in my luggage, tonight i will go to Rome and meet two guys, can’t tell who they are or what they do specifically, but they are giving life to something which i’ve never thought was possible in Italy and in Rome. I will go and find out whether is working or not, and what are the feedbacks they are receiving. Stay tuned (curiosity killed the cat)
If you wanna book our next event on 24/08 click below, if you wanna know more and visit Bucci go to their website!
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