A restaurant’s kitchen is a magic place: rough vegetables, fruit, pasta, cheeses and all the products you can imagine become works of art, under the hands of the chefs and if you have the chance to peep inside, just for a couple of minutes, you may absorb and catch the passion and the love they have for food.

It’s not just a question of eating: you can even eat a canned pasta. But food is something that may engage all the five senses, surprisingly touch also. And their daily challenge is to use all the nature and tradition can offer to spread their creativity and delight our eyes before that our taste.

matteo cameli chef sotto il portico 2016

Matteo Cameli

Chef sotto il Portico: showing Romagna

Chef under the bridge (Chef sotto il Portico) is the quintessence of what you may see in a restaurant’s kitchen. Arriving in the middle of the morning, I immediately felt the calm concentration of everyone: chefs know exactly what to do, the times, the preparation passages and every single detail. Thirteen international chefs coming from 8 different countries, working together, creating together and melting as a team of one single super top restaurant. Something exciting, especially for a blogger like me who loves telling emotional stories.

chef sotto il portico 2016

Titti Qvarastrom dish: pumpkin with spieces and cheese cream

I could not help grabbing my camera and start observing every single detail: the pots boiling over the fire, the vegetables prepared with every care, the precision of every movement. Mixing a preparation is not a simple matter of using a ladle, but rather checking the right temperature, the cooking level, the balance of flavours.

chef portico di romagna 2016

Nicola Ongaro and Scott Faro

Today the kitchen of Vecchio Convento is an all-day (and all-night) living place, at least for one day in a year.

Chefs have an extraordinary challenge: propose the best of their traditional kitchen in the middle of a borough without being in their own atmosphere. A hard job, considering the high number of people (more than one thousand) than in a short time must be served.

chef portico di romagna italy 2016

massimiliano cameli portico di romagna 2016

The nads of Massimiliano Cameli working oh his dish

The evolution of street food in Romagna

What makes this event unique in Romagna is the format. Created by Massimiliano Cameli some years ago, after one of his travels around the world, the event gathers great chefs who opens their kitchens to the public in a different way. A sort of social food event that engages people in a very original way. Original dishes made for that occasion only, high quality ingredients and local products. And the K factor: creativity and passion, together with the mood that comes from this slow hand Italian borough in Emilia Romagna.

This is my tale of the 2016 edition, but stay tuned for 2017!

Nicola Ongaro: veggy roll with tofu, rice and ramasco sauce

Nicola Ongaro: veggy roll with smoked tofu, rice and ramasco sauce


Gianni Cameli: Veal tongue, duck liver, mango, acetosella, Albana passita wine gelatine

Bjarni Kristinsson: white chocolate with rasperries and sweet beet root juice

Bjarni Kristinsson: white chocolate with rasperries and sweet beet root juice

Disclosure: Thanks to the Cameli Family for the hospitality and to the chefs for their kindness in letting me enter the kitchen and see their work. For info visit the Vecchio Convento blog,



Writer and Travel Blogger. Strolls around Romagna with her little sheep. Curious about life and history!

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