........While typical Peruvian dishes like Ceviche or Anticuchos would most definitely deserve more publicity, the Italian kitchen has been established as part of the Austrian food culture a long time ago. Luigi Barbaro junior is the youngest son of top chef and restaurateur rLuigi Barbaro who has been a major player in Vienna’s restaurant scene for over 35 years.
When the former student of FHWien der WKW tells his father’s success story, it sounds very much like the »American Dream« – from rags to riches. Luigi Barbaro senior was born in Naples and comes from a poor family. As a teenager, he decided to set out into the world in quest of a better life. Working as a kitchen help, right between peeling potatoes and Mise en place, he developed the ambition to break into the gastronomy business himself. When he came to Vienna at the age of only 24 years, he met his wife Evelyn and they opened several restaurants together. Today, the Barbaro family is running two well-known restaurants in downtown Vienna: gourmet restaurant »Trattoria Martinelli« and pizzeria »Regina Margherita« – Falstaff ’s favorite pizzeria in Vienna – as well as the catering service »Barbaro Catering & Wine«.
The Barbaros stand for genuine Italian-Neapolitan cuisine as well as teamwork »alla famiglia«. Luigi jun. has been working in the family business for two years now and is responsible for marketing, collaborations and caterings. His brother Antonio is the manager of Regina Margherita, while Luigi Sen. can usually be found in the Trattoria Martinelli, and »mamma« is watching over the finances.
What does Luigi jun. think of today’s gastronomy scene in Vienna?
»The gastronomy business has changed of course. Above all, however, people are more open-minded now and not afraid to try new things «, he says. Therefore, innovation is crucial but also has its limitations in a traditional family business. Barbaro, however, does not consider the great variety of international cuisines serious competition for his business. »The Italian cuisine is timeless and will never grow out of fashion. A lot of things can also simply co-exist, even I have sushi twice a week.
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