Apreda, ten years on the roof of Rome

Celebrating Imago, the first rooftop restaurant in Italy in 1956. Since 2006 you can taste here the eclectic cuisine of the chef from Campania


10 years of Imàgo in Rome: a big party, the other night. Here’s Francesco Apreda celebrating


Together with the celebration, the report of a recent dinner at Imago inside hotel Hassler, with chef Francesco Apreda, much appreciated at Identità both professionally and as a person. As we said on the Guida Identità Golose 2017, "if you think about it, it’s a nice paradox: in the Eternal City, from the 6th floor of hotel Hassler, there’s a talented chef from Campania who makes you travel around the world for a few hours. There’s enough to make you forget the stereotype according to which Rome is so full of history it’s just concentrated on itself, and thus provincial". (Carlo Passera)
We start with Celeriac, peppers and ginger; Daikon with yuzu and black truffle; Radish with lime and gin: all in osmosis. There’s technique at the service of the creative mind, resulting in a debut that prepares the palate whetting the appetite. Followed by Egg in tempura, lime and fig mustard: delicious without trying hard to please
Foie gras and scones, Sweet Rain blend (2015): this, like most of the dishes by Apreda, is characterised by the blend of spices that originate from the chef’s long experience around the world (see also: I Sapori di Viaggio di Apreda). It was part of the "menu 10 anni"
Apreda with his blends. As we mentioned, the chef "interacts with the client, mixes territories and stories, draws from his experience in every continent and sums this up in spicy inspiration: he may add Napoli, Mumbai, and so on (he studied and defined a total of six aromas, each with a precise geographic origin: so it’s enough to add a pinch of London or New York. Your taste buds will be thankful "). The next dish, among the new ones in the menu, is truly fantastic: Seafood vegetable minestrone. One of the best, in a tasting menu that always has the highest quality. In this case potatoes, onion, celery, baby spinach, leek and parmigiano wafer meet a seafood broth made with kombu seaweed

Restaurant Imago inside hotel Hassler in Rome turned 10. It has always been a meeting point for the Italian and foreign political, economic and cultural élite. They celebrated with an exclusive cocktail during which Roberto Wirth and Francesco Apreda told the story and transformation of their “baby”.

In fact, it all started 50 years earlier, in the autumn of 1956, when Oscar Wirth, the then patron, and father of Robert (current president and general manager at Hassler Roma), transformed the panoramic terrace on the sixth floor of the history building in Trinità dei Monti into the first “Roof top Restaurant” in Italy.

It was the first restaurant on the last floor of a hotel and it received such praise that it soon became an exclusive place, thanks to its view as well as to its food. It soon attracted famous people from all around the world - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, Igor Straviskji, to mention a few – who could admire the unique view of Rome from the restaurant’s windows while tasting delicious specialties.

Roberto Wirth and Francesco Apreda

Roberto Wirth and Francesco Apreda

Today you can still admire every detail of the Eternal City from restaurant Imàgo, renewed in the late 2006 and awarded with a Michelin star in 2008. The view is breath taking, right from the moment you first walk in the restaurant. Yet at Imàgo the pleasure given by the view is pleasantly continued by the pleasure for the palate. Chef Francesco Apreda, encouraged by Roberto Wirth, created and designed the small yet functional kitchen. He personally chose the materials, equipment and the position of the stations. His innovative dishes enclose classic Italian cuisine with a new take characterised by his unique style made of memories, research, taste and imagination: refined flavours and oriental colours, beautifully and wisely intertwined with Italian tradition, resulting in a fresh and genuine cuisine.

On the occasion of this unusual anniversary the chef, with all the staff at Imàgo, prepared the best creations from the last decade served with excellent champagne, during a glamorous night dedicated to good food and good company.

(Content by Tania Mauri. In the photo gallery, the historic dishes of the night mixed with others, in a list of the best dishes taken from the contemporary menu, with a comment by Carlo Passera)
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso