Nicola e Pierluigi Portinari

Nicola Portinari

crediti: Brambilla - Serrani

Nicola Portinari

crediti: Brambilla - Serrani

La Peca

via A. Giovannelli, 2
Lonigo (Vicenza)
T. +39.0444.830214

The tasty epic of the Portinari brothers, Pierluigi and Nicola, basically starts in their respective cribs. While still in the cradle, in fact, they were haunted by the aromas coming from the family manor’s kitchen, with pots and pans whistling and bubbling continually, ready to satisfy the palates of 15-20 people at a time. Their father was in command, the director of this dance at the table, and most of all the owner, for 55 years, of a butcher’s shop cum rotisserie, that made him the accomplice of stirring up in his sons a cuisine founded on memories, today polished and sieved with contemporaneity.

This is the impression that Peca, which means «footprint», has left for over 20 years in the hearts and palates of those who transit here, seduced by the portraits of the territory painted with a sincere hand by Pierluigi and Nicola, who were awarded, in 2009, with the second Michelin star. The firstborn has been the manager, sommelier and pastry chef for 18 years «even though I don’t feel I’m a pastry chef », he explains, «because I started to deal with cakes out of necessity, rather than vocation. I did it because at the time we couldn’t afford someone who would only take care of cakes». His low profile attitude clashes with the «Pastry chef of the year» award he received from L’Espresso in 2004, and with his role as a teacher at Alma in Colorno.

Nicola, the chef, explains with a similar modesty: «In the beginning I didn’t have any training, but I had the opportunity to learn from the chefs who worked at Peca from 1987 to 1989, when I became the chef». Ten years of self-training later, L’Espresso ordains him too: «Best Young Chef of the Year», an award that certainly doesn’t diminish his desire for improvement and for travelling around Europe. His latest experience was at the court of experimental Basque classicism with Arzak, in 2002. Together, during Identità Golose 2008 they put on stage «Veneto senza pecà: storie, memorie e... tormentoni» (Veneto without pecà: stories, memories and... catchphrases). In this case peca had an accent on the «a»: no longer a «footprint», that is, but a «sin» in their dialect, a concept that is sufficient to mention, to arouse the scorn of Vicenza’s people.

Has participated in

Identità Milano


Gabriele Zanatta

born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes. 
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