Tenacity, love and quality

Patrizia Corradetti and restaurant Zenobi: the victory of passion over the difficulties in life

Patrizia Corradetti together with one of her child

Patrizia Corradetti together with one of her children, Marcello Zenobi, who over the years became the manager of restaurant Zenobi (tel. +39.0861.70581). Patrizia’s two daughters, Sandra and Cristina, are also personally involved in the management of the family business

When Paolo Marchi asked me to write this article, to tell the story of my life, I thought that it would take me a whole year to complete this task. I then understood I had to choose a starting point, which I then defined as 1994. My story starts from here.

At that time I was the manager in a clothing factory owned by a large company in S. Benedetto del Tronto. I had worked for this company for twenty-three years but in 1994 the owners decided to close and end all their business, as often the case these days.

From one day to the next, I found myself at 45 without a job, by myself and with three children and loads of debts that had poured over me because of another issue. I immediately realised that it would have been impossible for me to find another job as an employee at my age. However, I owned a property: the farm I had inherited after my husband died, where I had rebuilt the old farmhouse and where I was now living.

The land inherited from her husband, who died prematurely in a motorbike accident, allowed Patrizia Corradetti to start from scratch

The land inherited from her husband, who died prematurely in a motorbike accident, allowed Patrizia Corradetti to start from scratch

Those were the years when the agritourism laws were approved. Therefore, thanks to the opportunities offered by these laws, I started an agritourism activity with a restaurant. In order to start, however, I didn’t take any non-refundable capital, because I would have then be obliged to keep my business open for at least ten years and I was really scared not to make it, so I renounced to this money.

I didn’t have any experience or contacts in this sector. I started nonetheless. Sided by my mother and my grandmother, who were great home cooks. Meanwhile, I began to study once again, I attended the first and second sommelier course, in order understand what was implied in the dining room service: unfortunately I didn’t have the time to attend the third course.

I even attended all the cooking courses that could be of use at the time. I faced countless difficulties, sometimes they seemed impossible to overcome. To be honest, these were very hard years, and today I don’t know how I managed to go on. I had to understand by myself, on my skin, that it was not possible to do that job just because I had a family to feed. In order to do this job, and to do it properly, I needed to have sincere passion, something that could not be forsaken.

Patrizia’s fresh pasta is one of the strong points in the menu at Zenobi

Patrizia’s fresh pasta is one of the strong points in the menu at Zenobi

Today I can say so: you need to love this job, it must make you totally happy, you need to want to do it without ever wanting to give up. I needed to understand what my public could be, my users’ basin, my environment; after these observations, I acted consequently, taking the road of traditional cuisine and never leaving it.

The territory, the products, the suppliers and the story of the cuisine of Abruzzo were no easy thing. Over the years, I must say that the meeting with Slow Food has helped me very much. Besides my three children have grown, they gradually entered the team and now we go on together. The choice of high quality has always been a priority, we don’t want to abandon it despite all the difficulties of the last few years. We have to make it, again, even this time.

See also
Liberty in the dining room by Anna Sala
Pamela’s Passion by Pamela Filomeno
Dishes to chew by Teresa Buongiorno
Love is a raw material by Alba Esteve Ruiz
The art of never giving up by Deborah Corsi
Becoming a restaurateur by Patrizia Maraviglia
In search for passion by Anneke Van Sande
Challenging oneself in Norway by Lucia Tellone
I want to make bread
by Roberta Pezzella
So young for everything
by Rosanna Marziale
Rigour and cheerfulness
by Serenella Medone
The chef from Northern Naples
by Marianna Vitale
In the team with my mother
by Serena D'Alesio
Men, what a disaster
by Marzia Buzzanca
A total vocation
by Antonella Ricci
A full life
by Maria De La Paz
Mind and heart
by Marta Grassi
Effort with a smile
by Nadia Moscardi
Nothing is impossible
by Emanuela Tommolini
Giving value to differences by Viviana Varese
The other half of the dish
by Elisa Arduini

Female chef's life stories

Women who, for a moment, leave pots and pans to tell us their experience and point of view