Victoire’s Milan

She arrived in Italy from Congo, to study law. Instead, she became an excellent chef

Victoire Gouloubi began to cook at home, when she

Victoire Gouloubi began to cook at home, when she was still in Congo, yet it was the studies and experience acquired in Italy that transformed her into a chef. She opened her own restaurant early in 2014: it’s called Victoire and is located in Milan, in Via Accademia 56, tel. +39.02.2615430

Victoire Gouloubi was born in Brazzaville, Congo, in 1981. In Italy, on top of work, she found a husband and a happy life. A happiness that is also due to the fact she has accomplished her dream of opening her own restaurant in Milan, simply called Victoire. Her food is in fact very Italian, and this is also because she grew up, as a chef, in our country, yet the aromas of her home country often peek in her dishes.

Victoire, how did you arrive in Italy? What led you here?
«I arrived in Italy, together with a younger brother of mine, to graduate in law. The costs, however, were too high: only one of us, between my brother and I, could attend university. So following the advice of my uncle, who had been living in Italy for ten years already, I enrolled in catering school in Feltre».

What was your first approach with that situation?
«Everyone welcomed me, even though I was the first African to attend that school. I had a strong talent, and since I was already an adult I could start almost right away to gain experience in restaurants. Thanks to the consideration of one of my teachers, I was recommended for Hotel Cristallo in Cortina, a luxury five-star hotel, and that is where my professional career began».

Victoire during her recent participation in the festival dedicated to the international chefs at work in Milan, organised by Identità Golose at ExpoGate

Victoire during her recent participation in the festival dedicated to the international chefs at work in Milan, organised by Identità Golose at ExpoGate

How did you get to Milan?
«I came for an internship with Claudio Sadler. I was meant to stay only one month but then the chef asked me to stay longer, he even wanted to hire me: however, I chose to acquire more experience. I thus had the chance to direct the kitchen of trattoria L'Incoronata, in Corso Garibaldi. The experience of a real trattoria was very important because it was very different from what I had seen till that moment. Meanwhile, however, I was thinking about opening my own restaurant».

How did you imagine your restaurant?
«I wanted to fully express myself. Take all I had learnt from the Italian culinary culture and mix it with my ideas and my roots. I wanted to offer excellent dishes, unique in their own kind, but accessible to everyone, without that research, characterising starred cuisine, that is sometimes difficult to understand».

The emblem of restaurant Victoire

The emblem of restaurant Victoire

How much of your roots is present in the menu of Victoire?
«There are dishes you can always find in my restaurant. Such as Plantain prepared in various ways, according to the desires of my client. Or a sort of maltagliati, made with Saka Saka, that is to say tapioca leaves. I stew them, then cream them with different vegetables and mix them with corn flour so as to obtain something similar to gnocchi. I then cook them and fry them with spinach and Marco D'Oggiono’s pancetta».

How about your projects for the future? What would you desire for yourself?
«For sure, I would like to be healthy. Unfortunately I recently had some serious problems. I have now recovered but I learnt how important health is. Besides, I would like for people in Italy to learn about the food of Congo: the cuisine is not as great as yours, but reinterpreting it in my own way, I would like to become an ambassador of that tradition in this country».


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Niccolò Vecchia

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 

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