Davide De Pra and Matteo Metullio on the stage with Sara Biasi, marketing and communication manager at Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine, who gave them the award for Best Chef 2022 from the Guida di Identità
When they went on stage to get their award, Matteo Metullio and Davide De Pra were clearly excited. This was a nice and spontaneous constant of the presentation of the Guida ai Ristoranti di Identità Golose 2022 that took place at the Triennale in Milan: at last, in person, and seeing the Young Stars of this edition (here is the complete list) cheered by the audience was a strong emotion that brought many to tears.
Besides, Metullio and De Pra, were given a very important award, that of Chefs of the Year: this is also why, when joining Paolo Marchi and host Francesca Romana Barberini, they tried to contain their emotions. Especially Metullio, whose first words as best chef of 2022 were: «I'll try not to cry, because when we got the second star at Harry's Piccolo [in 2020] I burst into tears and became famous for that».
But we like emotions: and Metullio, with his partner Davide De Pra, is well deserving of them. His career has been impressive, burning the stages and conquering attention, audience, admiration, stars, since he was very young. He arrived at 19 anni in Alta Badia, and joined the prestigious brigade of Norbert Niederkofler, where he stayed for 4 years perfecting technique and vision. He then worked with Fabio Cucchelli as sous chef at La Siriola. Soon Cucchelli took another road and the Wieser family, owners of the hotel and restaurant, decided to focus on the talented Matteo. At 24 he faced the challenge with enthusiasm and conquered his first star in 2013; and the second in 2017.
The rest is recent history: two stars within three years (two of which battered by the pandemic...) for the hotel's gourmet restaurant, Harry's Piccolo (here is the review in the brand new Guide, signed by Stefano Vegliani), and the great job they're also doing running the other two establishments inside the hotel, Bistrò and Pasticceria. In perfect cohabitation, sharing efforts, responsibility and honours too, like the award they've just received.
«We're very proud - Davide De Pra commented only minutes after the award ceremony, - even because of this anomaly we represent. Working as a couple is not more complicated, but for sure it's not easy. However, there are more and more chefs who share this responsibility and we'd like to think we can inspire even younger chefs. It can be done, and we have been doing it for four years: joining forces can be a winning choice. This makes us very happy».
You're a close-knit team. Do you have definite roles in the day-to-day, or are you completely interchangeable, Davide?
We both do everything. Then of course we each have our strongpoints, and we follow those. Matteo is more in charge of communication or hiring. I am of orders and food cost. But then the important things, like creating the dishes, are born from a complete collaboration and from sharing every step. A dish is never born from the idea of only one of us.
Matteo, how much does Trieste, your city, count in your culinary project?
A lot, it's crucial. It's my home and the idea that I had, and which we made true with Davide, brought to this town something that wasn't here. The last year in which there were no Michelin stars in Trieste was 1989, the year when I was born. And the city had never had a great representative restaurant. Trieste is growing now, it has a huge potential in its port, and it can become a real capital for Mittel Europa. But to be so, the culinary offer must grow, not just at Harry's, but also around us. When I left Trieste to follow my passion for this work, there was no catering school. I hope that many young cooks, waiters, and bartenders can find in our work a point of reference and perhaps a place where they can grow.
And they'll reach the next goal for sure: congratulations from all the team at Identità Golose to Davide De Pra and Matteo Metullio.
Translated into English by Slawka G. Scarso
Reviews, recommendations and trends from Italy, signed by all the authors of Identità Golose
Journalist, based in Milan. At 8 years old, he received a Springsteen record as a gift, and nothing was the same since. Music and food are his passions. Author and broadcaster at Radio Popolare since 1997, since 2014 he became part of the staff of Identità Golose