Surely you will remember her and her gluten-free pizzeria: Anna Grazzini is the winner of the challenge Chef da Bancone , proclaimed live at SIGEP by Chef Simone Rugiati last January. We had asked local managers to send us a recipe that demonstrated that even fast food can be sophisticated and based on quality ingredients. The winner was Anna with prawns and courgettes my way : in addition to having impressed us with her recipe based on vegetable spaghetti, we found her gluten-free pizzeria Felice al Borgo – Pizza d'autrice very interesting. We then contacted Anna to deepen her story with a few questions:
Hi Anna, how did your gourmet and gluten-free pizzeria come about?
I come from a family of pizza makers: in 1960 my father Felice opened a small pizzeria by the slice, the first in the historic center of Lucca that still exists.
This experience made me discover a great passion for cooking, to which I totally dedicated myself by undertaking my studies to become a Chef.
I therefore decided to switch from pizza by the slice to gourmet pizza, with long leavening free-from doughs and selected ingredients . Initially my proposal was only vegan, but considering the characteristics of Lucca I thought of re-inserting other ingredients on the menu.
The gluten-free pizzeria is accompanied by some simple dishes, such as seasonal soups.
In addition to being the Chef, she is also the Manager of her restaurant. Is it easy to be a woman in the restaurant business?
I'm fine with it and have never had any problems. I share management and success with my husband, but apart from him I can count on an all-female staff .
This is not a coincidence but a choice: from experience, more unity and harmony are created.
How do you choose the raw materials?
I take care of it directly. My criteria are seasonality, the territory and, when possible, organic. I'm lucky enough to be in Tuscany and to be able to count on exceptional ingredients: I try to enhance the ideas of tradition through innovation, combining aromas and flavors and working with original doughs and current solutions.
Tell us about the recipe that won the Chef da Counter challenge. How was it born?
The shrimp and zucchini recipe my way came from my husband, who was struggling with a detox period in which he didn't eat carbohydrates. I liked the idea of vegetable spaghetti and so we started experimenting: we made the shape using a vegetable cutter and we tried to season them as if they were real pasta. Since courgettes have a very characteristic sweet taste, I wanted to give them an exotic flavor by using lots of spices. Thus was born another gluten-free dish, healthy and in line with the current market.
How did you hear about Techfood?
It was precisely the challenge that introduced me to Techfood, through a sector magazine. Once this first contact was established, I discovered the world of the company and its made in Italy machines which I greatly appreciate: cutting-edge solutions in line with my idea of innovation in the kitchen.
Last question: what does a successful restaurant need to have?
I have no doubts about it: the human relationship . We need to listen to the customer and his needs. Quality products and competitive prices are not hard to find, but this is the real added value.
We have seen how much passion and business vision there is behind a gluten-free pizzeria. Working on quality products and following market trends is a difficult but very stimulating challenge: and if the idea of offering special pizzas appeals to you, why not try our new Choco Pizza to surprise customers with a new and delicious dessert?