Gaia Giordano: A Master of Idealized Simplicity

How a change in career path led to a culinary revolution. Simplicity never tasted so good and so authentic - read how Gaia Giordano makes it happen.

By Andrea Grignaffini
Sep 10, 2021
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WHERE OUR CHEF CAN BE FOUND


Niko Romito, without question one of Italy’s finest and most exciting contemporary chefs, has been able to cultivate and blossom great talents under his wings.

One such talent has been shining independently for quite some time now, and has indeed been recognized by Romito himself for her vast culinary gifts, by being entrusted with guiding Romito’s most ambitious projects.  Who is this chef, and what is the project?  Well, we’re talking about Chef Gaia Giordano, Executive Chef of Spazio.

What you can expect from Spazio?  Since 2013, this is the place where teaching and hands-on experiences entwine, a place separated into three distinct sections where students of the Niko Romito Academy learn to further develop their culinary skills while working in a prestigious kitchen - nothing builds experience like being onsite.

While the restaurant-cum-training ground of Spazio Rivisondoli maintains an ambiance tightly tied to a learning environment with its seasonal and school-focused operating dates and times, we can firmly state that the other two Romito projects maintain their own identities and autonomy.

If you love learning about today’s highly-regarded contemporary chefs, kick off with a profile on Antonia Klugmann, Clear-Cut Simplicity: The Impeccable Antonia Klugmann.
 

 

WHO’S OUR CHEF?

Gaia Giordano absolutely is one central element of the success of the Romito formats.

Following the successful launch of Spazio Niko Romito Ristorante in Milan, Giordano wholeheartedly threw herself into the launch and ultimate success of the Spazio Niko Romito Bar e Cucina in Rome.

What’s next in Giordano’s pipeline?  Just the opening on an international level of 8 new restaurants, possibly following a similar format to the already successful Milan and Rome spaces.

Giordano is a tireless worker, and a woman who prefers to shun the spotlight, although her considerable talents and success require her to take her place in the public sphere quite frequently.

Giordano was recently recognized with the “Chef of the Year” award issued by La Guida I Ristoranti d'Italia 2018 de L’Espresso.  She is also part of the Veuve Clicquot's Atelier Des Grandes Dames network.  This structure was intended to support female talent within the world of haute cuisine, as well as demonstrate visibly that women can dominate 360° of life and work balance, and taking it a step further, can even be internationally-recognized chefs while still maintaining all the principles of a solid away-from-work balance.

Did you know the Niko Romito dynasty got its start in Abruzzo?  Check out the profile on the Masciarelli family, Masciarelli, the family behind Abruzzo's fabled wine and get more insight into the wine&food of this land.
 

 

THE LIFE AND CAREER OF GAIA GIORDANO

Giordano’s career began almost accidentally, when she traveled to Chianti to assist her father run his own restaurant, while concurrently studying for her law degree.  Spoiler alert:  she never finished prepping for her degree, and she never again left the kitchen!

Giordano instead enrolled in the Gambero Rosso’s (and Italian wine&food publishing group and esteemed magazine founded in 1986) Professione Cuoco studies.  Here Giordano was able to learn the culinary fundamentals and further refined techniques alongside chefs like Igles Corelli, Maurizio Santin and Angelo Troiani.

Giordano’s kitchen-training continued with her placement in Cristina Bowerman’s team at Glass, until she settled into the court of Nike Romito, where she’s been ever since.

Giordano’s approach to fine dining revolves around the quality and consistency of her primary ingredients.  These elements become the absolute protagonists of her dishes, elements whose flavors and features are enhanced thanks to Gaia’s impeccable technical mastery.

As a result, Giordano’s dishes are clear and concrete, and fully express Romito’s notion of “circular cuisine,” or the concept of preparing dishes intended for the Abruzzo-area restaurant, and consequentially proposed in local formats to suit local styles, appetites, preferences, and features.

Keep learning about Italy’s wonderful chefs, and read about one, Paolo Lopriore - Expressing Italy's Finest 0KM Options, changing the scene in Como’s already fascinating culinary scene.
 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM GAIA’S KITCHEN

The menus in Giordano’s sites all include four seasonal changes.  The dishes are inspired from the incorporation and shades of single ingredients, which are consequently accompanied by just a few additional elements who sole purpose is to enhance the primary ingredient’s characteristics.

Thanks to this guiding principle, Giordano’s signature dishes like Cauliflower, Chicory and Anchovy, or Veal in Carpione and Tomato are born.  These dishes are able to perfectly glorify the raw materials available to Giordano, who transforms even the most basic elements into a selection that is rich and pleasing to the palate.  While these dishes seem often to be essential and streamlined, they often hide incredible amounts of study and devotion to making the ingredients thrive.

If you want to try your own hand at making some true Italian classics in your own kitchen, get started with our Recipe Index for loads of ideas and inspiration!

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