A natural journey

Starting from her family’s gastronomic passions, Gaia Giordano arrived at Niko Romito and Casadonna

26-01-2015
Gaia Giordano arrived in the kitchen thanks to her

Gaia Giordano arrived in the kitchen thanks to her family, her grandmother, her mother, her father. After that, she studied and acquired lots of experience, before meeting Niko Romito and becoming passionate about the Niko Formazione project and, in particular, Spazio

My journey towards cooking was a natural one, an almost genetic vocation that certainly is originated in the gastronomic passion of many members of my family. Starting from my grandmother. She taught me how important it is to understand what you’re eating, the choice in raw materials, the recipe changing these.

I have an “aromatic” memory of her, linked with the summers spent in Calabria, with tomatoes, basil, courgette flowers and ricotta that was still warm. Another memory that was linked to her origins in Milan, with butter, fried cutlets, saffron risotto.

From my mother, a veterinarian, I inherited a different passion, linked to the understanding of flowers, of their scents, of trees, of the vegetable garden and the garden she lovingly grows. My father, a journalist, one day decided to change everything and fulfil his dream of opening an inn with a restaurant in Chianti. I decided to follow him and arrived at Ristorante Pietrafitta, between Castellina in Chianti and Panzano. I first worked in the dining room and then in the kitchen.

This first, essential experience in the kitchen was followed by the need for a technical understanding of cooking and wine. I enrolled in a professional course for cooks at Gambero Rosso and in the meantime I became a sommelier with AIS. Right after Gambero Rosso, I became an intern at Convivio Troiani and stayed there for a few years. Angelo Troiani was a great master. I also worked with Cristina Bowerman when she opened Glass in Trastevere. From her, I learnt the constant need for research and commitment that has to together with the hard daily work in the kitchen.

My first chance to run a kitchen arrived in 2008, together with Maurizio Santin, at Cuoco nero, also in Rome. This hard and troubled experience gave me the strength to run a staff in general, and has made me surer of a precise, organised work in the kitchen. I started to create my first menus at Satollo, a small restaurant in Testaccio where I cooked with passion.


I then met Niko Romito, and that was when I understood that I could have learnt very much and find a role of my own behind the many developments of his cuisine and ideas. I started with the Unforketable project. Meanwhile, I collaborated with Niko Formazione, his cooking school, and took part in the beautiful progress of creative ideas that later resulted in the opening of Spazio in Rivisondoli. I then took on a journey I had no idea where it would have taken me.

Today I can say my dream is here, at Progetto Casadonna, and in particular at Spazio, which I think of as something of mine too, next to Niko Romito, a demanding and essential chef, who expects a lot and gives even more. It is in this team in which training, diffuse cooking, continuous study and the continuous evolution of a cuisine that aims for the essential merge - from its simplest expression, represented by the cuisine designed for Spazio, to its highest level, represented by the cuisine at Reale.

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