Riccardo Antoniolo

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Ottocento Simply Food

contrà San Giorgio, 2
36061 - Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza)
+39 0424 503510

If there’s something characterising Antoniolo, that’s the original blend of technique and science on the one hand, and product and attention to naturalness (and healthiness) on the other. He aims for a successful synthesis of all this. Born in Bassano in 1975, «my mother says that at nine I started to cook and I never stopped». A sudden passion, not linked by family heritage, «even though my father was working in a completely different industry, he’s very passionate about food». In any case he’s been (and is) first a chef, then a pastry chef and now a pizzaiolo: in other words, pizza is not the relaxing trampoline, but a (partial) goal within a journey inside the world of delicacies.

And – as mentioned above – of healthy food: after having learnt to work in the kitchen and by the oven, after a lengthy study of the chemical and physical implications of cooking, Antoniolo’s new frontier – he’s one of those people who are never satisfied and are always looking for their Far West – is «researching the relationship between what we eat and what happens in our metabolism. A modern cook, and this also applies to pizza or pastry chefs [he sums up all three] is not just that of presenting the Good and the Beautiful, but also of finding a connection with a correct impact on the metabolism. A challenge for the next 50 years». He calls it the “functional cuisine” and says: «As restaurant professionals we should, like doctors, make the Hippocratic Oath».

It’s a new battle, whose principles in embryo Antoniolo was already applying to his Ottocento Simply Food, opened in 2008 in Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza) after various experiences: when he was very young in the kitchen of the then starred San Bassiano, then as patron-chef at trattoria La Gamba, then with his first pizzeria, Al Ponte, «in the days when pizza was almost disastrous». And always in Bassano: but the chef-pizzaiolo is certainly open minded enough to travel with his mind while staying in his hometown.

The idea that another world (and another pizza) is possible came when he discovered mother yeast at the beginning of the new millennium and realised nobody was working with it, «the only course, in which I enrolled, was at Etoile in Sottomarina, but it was about panettone». He met Stefano Laghi and Luca Montersino, and worked as consultant with the latter until one day the Piedmontese pastry chef had to renounce to a pastry making lesson at Molino Quaglia: «Go take my place», he says to Antoniolo, then 30. He hesitates only a few seconds. Those at Molino hear him speak and don’t let him go. He spends three years as part of the research staff.

Today at Ottocento he presents a selection of dough «resulting from intersecting panettone and ciabatta techniques», but to make pizza. They must follow scrupulous fermentation, maturation and leavening steps.

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Carlo Passera

journalist born in 1974, for many years he has covered politics, mostly, and food in his free time. Today he does exactly the opposite and this makes him very happy. As soon as he can, he dives into travels and good food. Identità Golose's editor in chief