The idea was born in 2002 when, as an art student in the city of Viterbo, I began to put into practice the recipes of my mother's grandmother. During dinners with friends and in Roman encounters with Stefano, Grandma Sofía's “cecatello” is the absolute king.
So many days I dreamed and planned a restaurant that I did not know if it would ever be born. Starting with the logo and the name (you always start with the last, right?), I get to choose the first recipes among those known to friends, mothers of friends, grandmothers ... As time goes by I get an idea increasingly clear of what the "Mandarosso" would be like.
In December 2006 my father offered me his help to complete the project. This is how I begin an obsessive search for a place in Barcelona, a city where I have been living for a couple of years for studies. After three weeks, I meet Mari, the owner of a small restaurant that has been open for more than 30 years.
After many financial and bureaucratic difficulties, we signed the sale in July 2007. I can't believe it… the “Mandarosso”, or rather, “Le Cucine Mandarosso”, in honor of the thousands of recipes from friends and family, for the end comes true! Little by little, with the precious help of my friends Villani-Blundo, the place begins to take shape.
On January 19, 2008 we are ready for the opening party ... or almost. At 7pm we still don't have the electricity, a gift from our electrician Jaume. What a thrill! They are all! Also people who did not think they could attend ... Now comes the most difficult part: opening and making it work.
And so we arrived at the first day, February 14, with few certainties but with a lot of enthusiasm. Without a hard but with friends and family throwing a cable in the kitchen and in the living room. Unforgettable the image of my father washing the dishes ... (The dishwasher would arrive after a few months).
The first clients would come two days later: Roger, Yolanda and Pep, now our friends. Since then, it has been a continuous learning process: cooking increasingly complex dishes and reproducing the desserts of Grandfather Crescenzo, pastry chef from Avellino, whose recipes had been jealously guarded by Uncle Zi 'Mimi and whose cream has delighted generations of customers, friends and relatives.
Without realizing it, we work more and more. The help of family and friends is no longer enough. Things are starting to get serious and we begin to understand ...
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