Daniele Repetti, chef the Michelin-starred Il Nido del Picchio shares with The Yum List some thoughts on the restaurant scene and future plans.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I finished my hospitality training in an institute in Italy and started the adventure doing seasonal work in several restaurants in Italy. Every step was done with the dream of learning, seeing something different from the homeland and finding new experiences.
When I was 20 years old, I was invited to run the kitchen of the restaurant “El Toula” in Rome. This experience profoundly marked my professional growth in an international environment. In 1996, together with my wife Lucy Cornwell, I opened the first restaurant in Carpaneto Piacentino – in my home province – the Hostaria del Mercato.
In 2004 the restaurant moved to its current location and we changed the name to Il Nido del Picchio. Since 2007 the restaurant has been awarded with the prestigious Michelin Star.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
During the Italian Cuisine in the World Summit, chef I met Maurizio Lazzarin, chef at “Casa Mia” at Le Meridien in Dubai. It was the beginning of a new long-term friendship and a great occasion to inspire and be inspired by his “brigade de cuisine.”
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
BEST: The best part is seeing the guests satisfied. Knowing that some special moments of happiness were born because of my work and dedication is priceless.
WORST: Lack of time for the family.
What’s your favourite meal at Il Nido del Picchio?
Raw fish and “agnolini” (filled with beef stew) traditionally from Piacenza served with broth.
Sauvignon Cardas from Luretta winery with blue lobster and winter salad.
What’s something that makes you laugh in the restaurant industry?
The people who make me smile (in reality it’s half anger) are the fake food experts who stand up to experts (especially on Trip Advisor) but do not really understand the conversation and so don’t look so intelligent with their comments.
The perfect day off would be…
grilling lobsters at the beach with a glass of wine and friends.
A day in the life of a chef is…
swirling, like being in a blender. I wake up and am involved in thousands of things and in a moment it’s time to serve the customers.
What do you do for fun?
I like walking in the hills of Piacenza to gather mushrooms.
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Il Nido del Picchio?
Guests should know that we are a family business and that the level reached is due to passion. We work with simplicity with the goal of always trying to improve.
This passion is even in discovering and growing an extraordinary but hidden territory in Italy, unknown to many.
What’s your favourite food and beverage pairing?
Italian pairing: handmade panettone and warm eggnog with Malvasia Wine from Piacenza.
International pairing: buah kulim with Jerusalem artichoke and Ribolla Orange Wine From the Castellada Winery (Oslavia-Collio).
What’s your view on the restaurant scene in Carpaneto?
The vision for the restaurant is to get out of the logic of localism. I’m focusing on researching quality. This brings me to an international offer and a whole new aim with “incoming” guests.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We will be finishing renovations to open a new hall in the restaurant completing its modernization, developing consultancy at an international level and creating a school where young chefs can be trained to enter the market.