At the tender ages of 29 and 24 Floriano Pellegrino and Isabella Potì are the Chef Co-Owners of Bros’ – a restaurant in the south of Italy that has captured the attention of gourmands and international media all around the world.
Floriano has an international culinary repertoire of fine dining restaurant experience including working alongside Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen and Claude Bosi in London. Isabella has furthered her sous chef and pastry skills with experiences also with chef Cloude Bosi in London as well as the Basque chefs Berasategui and Paco Torreblancas.
Here is the exclusive interview between Bros’ restaurant Chef Co-Owners Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì and The Love Italian Life Awards:
The Love Italian Life Awards:What does it mean to you to know that you have just won The Best Contemporary Restaurant in Italy 2019 category at The Love Italian Life 2019 Awards?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì:It means having the awareness of working hard everyday as we have taken a long ride but in a short time. It means putting this work above everything and making the effort. We’ve never felt that there should be any differences between men and women, between who’s stronger and who’s not. We always struggle for our goals so it is incredibly gratifying to know that, in some part, we already achieved them.
The Love Italian Life Awards: What are the ingredients that make a restaurant truly contemporary in Italy today?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì: It is all about knowing exactly what you’ve got to do. Having a strong aptitude and a big self-denial inclination is also very important. Italy is full of everything and the gourmet world sometimes is overestimated. We did not start Bros’ to make a difference from the other restaurants. We did it to represent exactly what we are: young, strong outside the box thinkers.
“We’ve never felt that there should be any differences between men and women, between who’s stronger and who’s not.”
The Love Italian Life Awards:What exactly inspired Floriano Pellegrino and Isabella Potì to be passionate about food and become chefs?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì:We had been walking on two different paths, crossing each other eventually and meeting at the same point. I was born in a family tied to food, hospitality and dining. I didn’t know any other way to live apart from cooking and creating in my own unique style. Isabella strengthened her awareness through her studies. We both worked in the best Michelin starred restaurants around the world. Since that moment, we both knew exactly what we wanted to do.
The Love Italian Life Awards:What 5 words best describe what ‘Italian Life’ means to you and why?
The Love Italian Life Awards:How would you describe ‘pugliese’ cuisine to a person visiting your region for the first time?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì:We deal with Salento and Lecce. By staying in our territory it means experiencing a slow life made of genuine and tasty food. We are surrounded by a magical sea and embrace the amazing countryside which provides us with wonderful ingredients. People here are always friendly and welcoming – they are funny and always ready to tell their stories.
“We are very aware that our cuisine is not for everyone and is why we create a fine crack between lovers and haters.”
The Love Italian Life Awards: What childhood dish means something to you and why?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì:We are very close and passionate about vegetables. My childhood house was full of them especially “cicoria” which we used to eat fresh before each meal. This approach is really healthy.
The Love Italian Life Awards: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of coming into the industry as a young chef?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì:It’s a hard job and should not be taken as a game. It involves a great deal of attitude and sacrifice – attitude is always better than talent.
The Love Italian Life Awards: For anyone who hasn’t eaten at Bros’ before, how would you sum up the dining experience?
Floriano Pellegrino & Isabella Potì: That’s Hard! Bros’ always aims to put your taste buds through the wringer. We are also very aware that our cuisine is not for everyone and is why we create a fine crack between lovers and haters. To us, it is a victory in each case because creating debates has always been natural as well as a bit funny!