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The Apulian chef, already starred in Milan, offers his cuisine outside the box

The end of the year is always a time to take stock and plans for the future.
In recent months, thanks to the trade fairs such as HOST and Tuttofood, which have returned to their
presence, the topic of the resumption of catering in the post-pandemic era is much discussed.

How will companies in the agri-food sector and restaurateurs prepare themselves for 2022? What awaits
such an important sector for the Italian economy? How will the kitchen, the cellar and the management of
the restaurant business change?

We had a chat with Felix Lo Basso to let him tell us how he is experiencing this moment of recovery and
what awaits him for the future.

Felix Lo Basso opened a new concept in Milan Felix Lo Basso Home & Restaurant in October 2020, in the
premises that previously housed an old bakery. A real home, as he likes to call it himself, where all the
barriers between the guest and the chef have been removed. And in fact, to access the dining area, you
pass through the living room, which leads to the large kitchen, where the chef welcomes and entertains the
8 guests.

The restaurant was designed by the chef himself, who chose the materials, the spaces, without architects
or surveyors. “I created it the way I want it – he says – and it is open to all people who let themselves be
guided and taste everything. This is my place, my laboratory ”.

And so the kitchen of Felix Lo Basso Home & Restaurant is transformed into an authentic home kitchen,
without professional appliances, where people see how to cook with the tools that can normally be found
at home. “The kitchen has evolved – he tells us – and we have understood what are the things that people
like. People like to laugh, like to discuss and have a direct relationship, without labels, even with the chef.

This is why an almost friendship relationship with the customer is born here. Thanks to the fact that there
are few guests and they sit at the kitchen counter, a more lively relationship is created with customers, in a
more intimate and relaxed atmosphere “.

The idea of this new concept, which redesigns the concept of welcome and hospitality making the
experience even more meaningful, is by chef Lo Basso himself who tells us: “This format is not new in the
world. For 5/6 years it has been making a name for itself in Northern Europe and has been making a name
for itself in Asia for many years. We in Italy, on the other hand, are still tied to the paper, to the menu.

Here at Felix Lo Basso Home & Restaurant you have a 360 ° experience. It is a new, fresh and shiny formula that I
am very happy with. Even before the start of the pandemic, classic catering had tired me a little. The
pandemic, with its forced closure, helped me understand what I really wanted to do. It has been a very
tough year, which has put us to the test. I had to reinvent myself. So I started from this new concept, a
testimony that catering is changing “.

Thanks to the new concept, the chef was able to make ends meet, but also to have fun while paying back.
As chef Lo Basso himself states “fewer and fewer people want to do this job, both as waiters and as chefs.

Operating costs have become very high and this inevitably leads to having to jump through hoops to make
ends meet. Our work has been condemned, we are harassed, there is no more staff, the wages are low.

With our formula we are able to have fewer staff, choose the product based on the actual customers who
come. It is a protective but effective formula, of concretism, which however is able to offer very high
quality, because there is no waste “.

And it is a formula that allows the chef to also be sustainable: “For me, being sustainable means choosing
the products on the market and buying what is needed for the people I have for dinner, without throwing
anything away. People today are more attentive to what they eat, know more about a product, and have
begun to recognize the difference between a quality product or one without. In this new format we offer
products of the highest quality, with a surprise menu that varies according to the season and the raw
materials available.

The guest who decides to come to us finds himself on a gastronomic journey designed
to go all the way and taste each course, while being able to appreciate the inspiration and the basic
philosophy “.

Every evening the chef proposes a tasting menu (of 12 “acts”) in continuous evolution, according to the
seasonal ingredients and the typical products that he managed to find the same day at the market.

There are obviously some inevitable dishes in the chef’s proposal, his workhorses. “The sea urchin, an
example of my Puglia, and the parmigiana in a risotto that reminds me of my mother – the parmigiana – and
I put it in the rice. Our menu can change even 4 times a week. The dishes are inspired by my path and
everyday life, by the mood of the day. It is an intuitive menu, where 70% of the products are based on fish
and vegetables and then I propose one or two meat dishes “. And for the holidays the chef has already
provided a thousand leaves of tuna and foie gras, port jelly and crunchy hazelnuts.

When we ask him what awaits him in the future, the chef has clear ideas. “After all the months of closure, I
actually opened on September 14th (although it reopened in July) and the place has been doing well ever

People understand my format. I am convinced that if Michelin gives me the star, the format will take
off and be used by others. It is a format that tires you a lot more physically because in addition to cooking
you also have to talk for two and a half hours and entertain people and answer questions.

But it also gives more satisfaction. For me, 2022 has already been reborn, because my way of doing things has been reborn, I went out and went beyond classic catering “.

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