All of Giorgio Nava’s simplicity

Cape Town based, he’s a chef and breeder from Milan and winner of the Pasta World Champion 2013

Giorgio Nava, a chef from Milan who moved to Cape

Giorgio Nava, a chef from Milan who moved to Cape Town 13 years ago, is the owner of four establishments: 95 Keerom, Carne SA, Mozzarella Bar and Caffè Milano. Nava also runs a breeding-farm in Karoo, in the South African inland, with razza romagnola beef and nguni cows. His Cavatelli with broccoli cream and oregano flowers granted him the Pasta World Champion title in Parma (photo from

Giorgio Nava is today a point of reference for Italian cuisine in South Africa. The 50 year-old from Milan moved to Cape Town 13 years ago and began his business as a chef-breeder-entrepreneur opening various restaurants in town and a beef breeding farm in Karoo, an inland area some 500 km from Cape Town. The experiments began by importing chianina bulls to couple with nguni cows. The former turned out not to be suitable since they couldn’t stand the hot South African climate. He then switched to the razza romagnola, which is more suitable, thanks to its structure and ability to adapt.

Today 2,500 animals are bred and the result is clear after the meat is sent to the processing laboratory: the most precious cuts of meat are destined to 95 Keerom, the first-born of Giorgio Nava’s restaurants, while the other parts are sent to Carne SA, the second-born, opened just in front of 95, while smaller quantities arrive at the Mozzarella Bar, where mozzarella (produced in Cape Town by some very talented Apulians, once his partners) is the protagonist, and at Caffè Milano, a Milanese style pastry café that serves breakfast and lunch.

Nava's beef in Karoo, on the Southafrican inland

Nava's beef in Karoo, on the Southafrican inland

 “The biggest satisfaction arrived when I finally taught my clientele to taste the meat: in every restaurant in South Africa steaks and ribs are served with a layer of sauce or jam on top, which the South Africans love since it is spicy and very flavourful. In my restaurants, on the contrary, it is served only with oil and salt and sauces are kept to a side: it was difficult but possible and now my clients appreciate the authentic flavour of the meat” says Giorgio Nava, proud of this victory and ready for his next mission: “In August I will add a wood oven to my Mozzarella Bar in order to offer naturally leavened pizza to my clients”.

In the Italian kitchen of a chef working abroad, pasta needs to be present: it is a renowned and celebrated dish, all over the world, and it is the protagonist of the Pasta World Champion, a championship that on the occasion of its second edition, last Friday at Academia Barilla in Parma, attracted twenty-four chefs – Italian and foreign. They competed in the creation of a pasta dish that would grant them the title of Pasta Chef.

After last year’s second place with his Pasta, beans and mussels, this year Giorgio Nava won thanks to his Cavatelli with broccoli cream and oregano flowers, the only vegetable based dish participating in the competition. The other finalists were Vittorio Beltramelli of Nolita in Paris with his Bavette with Genoese pesto and prawns, Walter Potenza of the Potenza ristorante-bar in Providence with his Mezze maniche in brodetto alla giuliese and Mauro Caramella, chef at InItaly in Singapore, with his Cold spaghettini with raw langoustine ragout.

1. to be continued


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