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07-03-2023

Perbellini's coup: he took over at 12 Apostoli

Born in 1964, Giancarlo will move his Casa from the outskirts to the centre of Verona, to a restaurant where he arrived at twenty when the great Giorgio Gioco, chef and poet, was a hit, awarded single stars by Michelin as early as '59, in the first editio

Handover at 12 Apostoli in Verona. Left to right,

Handover at 12 Apostoli in Verona. Left to right, Silvia Bernardocchi, Giancarlo Perbellini, Filippo and Antonio Gioco

After the excellent and very Milanese dinner at Trussardi’s with Giancarlo Perbellini only on Monday 20th February, the Veronese chef and restaurateur himself relaunched on Friday 24th. And in a big way too: in Verona, he announced that Casa Perbellini will move from the magical suburb of San Zeno to the city centre, to the same 12 Apostoli that have written the history of Italian fine dining thanks to the passion, intelligence and culture of chef and poet Giorgio Gioco.

Excellence on top of excellence since the dawn of time, with a second branch of the Gioco cousins that marked time and dishes at Arche, a fish restaurant already starred between 1984 to 1994.

Antonio and Filippo Gioco, father and son, hold up the 12 Apostoli sign, a restaurant made famous in Verona by Giorgio Gioco. In the middle a smiling Giancarlo Perbellini, the restaurant's new patron

Antonio and Filippo Gioco, father and son, hold up the 12 Apostoli sign, a restaurant made famous in Verona by Giorgio Gioco. In the middle a smiling Giancarlo Perbellini, the restaurant's new patron

Never as long as 12 Apostoli, which has been starred even longer, basically ever since the Michelin guide began handing stars in our country. It was 1959 and 84 signs benefited from it. Almost all of them have since disappeared or are now dusty, except for Arnaldo in Rubiera (Reggio Emilia) and this Veneto jewel, formidable even in terms of double stars, until 1993, a star that was restored in 2019.

With the arrival of Perbellini, scheduled to open in July, everything changes for the better in a space-time link with the past in the shape of Giorgio Gioco. Born in 1964, the scion of a family populated more by pastry chefs than by cooks, Giancarlo joined the brigade of 12 Apostoli at twenty. It was the first of many assertive and successful steps. There is an early Perbellini, from Isola Rizza, with one star since 1996 and then two, from 2002 to 2015. Then the move from the province to Verona, where he immediately got two stars, in a really pleasant but cramped space. Basically an XL-size restaurant in a smaller rather than larger suit.

Giorgio Gioco on TV in 1976, 'invited to tell how to prepare omelettes on TV show A tavola alle 7, a sort of culinary version of Non è mai troppo tardi', his son Antonio explained. With Giorgio can be recognised Luigi Veronelli and Ave Ninchi 

 

Giorgio Gioco on TV in 1976, 'invited to tell how to prepare omelettes on TV show A tavola alle 7, a sort of culinary version of Non è mai troppo tardi', his son Antonio explained. With Giorgio can be recognised Luigi Veronelli and Ave Ninchi 

 

In vicolo Corticella San Marco there is no shortage of space. "Where I have been so far I did not feel at ease. I couldn’t fully express myself because of the structural limits of the place, which I immediately called Casa Perbellini even though it did not fit as well as I would have liked". There will be no more excuses to aim for a third star within two or three seasons: "We will enrich the restaurant with additional spaces and create a welcome area. We also envisage an exclusive room for private events. We will gain about ten seats and expand the brigade. The kitchen will remain open view. On the table, in addition to the tasting menu, I will also introduce a menu à la carte, like at Trussardi in Milan, and there will be some tributes to Giorgio's cuisine".

Homages that are already there thanks to a millefeuille with gorgonzola, celery and black truffle 12 Apostoli. And the name has not yet been completely decided upon, because we will certainly be sitting in Casa Perbellini, but why lose the historical sign, 12 Apostoli which refers to a handful of merchants who used to meet in a place that already existed in the eighteenth century? Legend has it that there were twelve ...

Woe betide the falling stars. Perbellini invests and grows, having cancelled the old contract a few weeks ago without signing the new one yet. "One evening, while I was walking with my wife Silvia in the city centre past 12 Apostoli, we both had the same idea and said to each other “this would be the ideal place for our bigger Casa”. And as fate would have it, the next day we got a phone call from Antonio, Giorgio Gioco's son. It is true: if you can dream it, you can do it. I’m convinced that nothing comes by chance.”

Incidentally, Gioco passed away on 23rd February four years ago, at 94. Holding the press conference on the next day is like a homage. "I began the conference by recalling what they say about the people of Veneto: Venetians are great lords, Padovani great doctors, Vicentini cat-eaters and Veronesi all mad. Here is the madman, a madman still far from pulling the oars in the boat.”

Final note: until mid-June, Casa Perbellini will be the same as it has been for the past nine years. Then it will close to move the kitchen to the new location and start again in July. The Michelin guide has already been notified. The story continues.

Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso


Affari di Gola di Paolo Marchi

A mouth watering page, published every Sunday in Il Giornale from November 1999 to the autumn of 2010. Stories and personalities that continue to live in this website

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Paolo Marchi

born in Milan in March 1955, at Il Giornale for 31 years dividing himself between sports and food, since 2004 he's the creator and curator of Identità Golose.
blog www.paolomarchi.it
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