What makes an Italian restaurant…TRULY Italian?


Max - aka WikiMax,

Chef Patron at SALE E PEPE (Shanghai - Pudong), says: "The name on the front door that sounds Italian? The menu with dishes having Italian names maybe even with Italian imported products?


The Owner, Manager or Chef having read about Italy and its food or simply having visited or even worked in Italy or in other Italian restaurants around the World?


Hmmm...So…here is the recipe…Restaurant with an Italian sounding name + a menu with Italian named dishes using imported Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Italy + the NON Italian Chef has read about Italian Cuisine online and went to Italy 3 times to work a few months in an Italian restaurant + the wine cellar has over 60% of Italian wine = Bingo! That’s an Italian Restaurant? Nooooooo!….


What makes an Italian restaurant TRULY Italian is only and exclusively an ITALIAN Chef. Be the Executive Chef or Head Chef or Chef Patron, if at the helm of the kitchen there is not an ITALIAN Chef, it is NOT and Italian Restaurant, period!!! Call yourself Fusion or at best Italian Style, you would be true to your "origin" and to the customer.


You can still sell great food and provide a great experience, but it is NOT an Italian experience, it is your NON Italian interpretation of the Italian Cuisine…it is very different from the ORIGINAL. Our Italian Cuisine has traditions developed over the millennia since the Etruscans were in that land now called Italy 2,500 years ago, it is something that has come from far brought in Italy in different times and by different cultures, it is not something that, with all due respect, any average Joe or Chef, being from California or France or other countries, can simply recreate.


The Italian Cuisine is in our Italian DNA, it is not purchased when we go shopping for extra Virgin Olive Oil! When we cook and serve a customer we are serving millennia of Italian Cuisine with Italian traditions, passion and feelings and THAT cannot be replicated unless there is an Italian behind the stove.


This is a situation not attributable to those "Italian Restaurant wannabe" restaurants who are simply doing their best to do business, but it is the food related media organizations that do not set standards (by self interest or negligence or pure ignorance) by allowing anyone to call themselves anything. Would be refreshing to see mainstream media here in China to follow and expand what NihaoItaly is already doing by cataloging ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY TRUE ITALIAN Restaurants by defining a clear and unmistakeable parameter for a restaurant to be truly Italian: having an Italian Chef at the helm of the kitchen. I believe this parameter should apply to all cuisines as I believe all nationalities should be proud of their Cuisine origins and see as an aberration being "copied".


Want to open a True Italian Restaurant? Invest in an Italian Chef!


Want to know how many REAL Italian Restaurants are in Shanghai? Start skimming the copies..."


Max - aka WikiMax

Chef Patron at Sale e Pepe Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar