There is no pizza like Franco Pepe’s. Nowadays everywhere is accessible, but the best pizza in the world still gets you on the road to explore the old, narrow, cobbled alleys of Caiazzo. For food travellers, it’s always worth the effort.
It’s been over three years since I last visited Reale, a celebrated restaurant situated in the remote town of Castel di Sangro nestled in the mountains of Abruzzo in central Italy. It is not a tourist town and takes about 1.5 hours driving from Naples. It is interesting that a world-famous three-starred Michelin restaurant is housed in a time-honoured 16th century monastery.
It might be a bit of a cliché, but the story started when a boy fell in love with a girl.
“I started working as a cook when I was seventeen and that was a lot of years ago. Before doing catering school, I did a technical school. But this school was not suitable for me, also because to find a girl was like finding a needle in a haystack. I was very young with my hormones totally out of control. When I went to catering school, it was a great party for me, because eighty percent were girls.”
After finishing school and several experiences in high level restaurants, he attended university and had the luck to teach in a catering school to maintain his studies. He decided at that time that he didn’t want to be a professional cook because it was a very hard job and he wanted to continue studying.
There are places you pass by and places you stop for, and Pietro Zito’s Antichi Sapori is certainly the latter. This is how the story begins: Antichi Sapori is a traditional Italian restaurant run by a third-generation farming family in Puglia, the heel of the boot-shaped country. Most ingredients in its cuisine come from its own farmland or from local suppliers. How did Pietro Zito become a chef? He says it all started with hunger and willingness to succeed in the restaurant business.
A Beautiful Mistake in Post-covid Era
There are a few three-starred restaurants I do not miss all the time, but Magnolia is a restaurant I’d always love to visit again. The picturesque cuisine, the intimacy with nature, the private mood and ambience, are the things that will push me to go back.
When I returned to Taiwan earlier and stayed at Grand Formosa Regent Taipei, I had a chance to catch up with my friends for lunch so I specifically chose Silks House, a Michelin Guide Cantonese cuisine restaurant on the third floor of the hotel.