_ How do you create a dish?
_ First I feel the flavors in the head. I imagine it, I taste it, I create it!
Paola Colucci, chef of the Piano Strada restaurant, has no doubts: “Cooking is discipline and creating an innovative dish is a question of technique”. Originally from Puglia, Paola is very close to her land and it is no coincidence that the raw materials, the Mediterranean flavors and aromas have always inspired her dishes. Last year, when almost by chance I arrived in Piano Strada with a friend, I was immediately struck by the enveloping scent of rosemary and lemon. It reminded me of my grandmother’s kitchen and I felt at home. It is no coincidence that for Paola conviviality and well being together are the normal consequence of eating well. Her passion began as a child and in the 80s the magazines “Sale e Pepe” and “Cucina Italiana” became her favorite reading.
But Paola had started working in the financial sector and would never have thought, while cooking at home for friends, that she would then share with her best friend and partner Chiara Magliacchetti, two restaurants and a brilliant career as a Chef. Her daughters, Alice and Flaminia, have always worked with her: “We are a great team, a story of women who share the same values. Furthermore my kitchen staff is extraordinary! “
So Paola had the courage to reinvent herself and at 47 she realized her dreams.”We were born as gourmand street food. Chiara and I started at the bottom, sleeping in a sleeping bag in a small room in Trastevere, waiting for the bread to bake. We had a lot of fun. Then the NewYorkTimes arrived and with it a lot of satisfaction”. Chiara Magliacchetti, the entrepreneurial soul of the group, today is thinking about working abroad: “Opening and running a restaurant is a continuous challenge, which stimulates us to do even better!”
For Paola there are many elements that determine the success of a chef, one of them is identity. For example, Mauro Uliassi is one of the chefs she admires most for his simplicity, which reaches the palate directly, without compromise and another is Heinz Beck for his refined and elegant cuisine. “ He is a true lord of the kitchen”.
– And what about your identity?
-Mine is a Mediterranean and generous cuisine, because there is love in those flavors!
When I go to eat with friends in Piano Strada I never miss out on the focaccia made by Paola, with warm stracchino, puntarelle with anchovies and grated lemon peel. Spaghettone is also one of the main dishes on the menu. Datterini tomatoes, Tropea onion, basil, Parmesan from red cows, Mustia ricotta and lemon peel, a real treat for the palate. Paola is always on the move and in her future there are many projects, like experimenting with new ingredients and flavors. An example? … The meat of Kobe, even if for her there is nothing better than a simple plate of pasta with tomato, oil and fresh basil!
Paola, Chiara, Alice and Flaminia are waiting for you at Piano Strada, in via delle Zoccolette 22 and also in Piano Alto restaurant