It's in Milan but it could be pretty much everywhere there is someone interested in 'Made in Italy': a brand new place for foodies, with the aim of sharing the culinary and cultural richness of Italy with foreigners (and of course, Italians too). Here is how they did it.
It was an old bakery and it is now a place devoted to the savouring of Italy's flavours, the ones created by small producers around the country, and also a hub used to communicate the 'Made in Italy' concept in general. The Drogheria Plinio (Via Plinio 6, Piazza Lima-Buenos Aires area) is something that goes way beyond a simple restaurant.
Monica Romanelli, the co-founder, wanted a multi-functional place, and having discovered through her previous experience with other restaurants the preference of clients for kamut, spelt and natural foods all produced in Italy, she thought a place like this would fit in naturally. A space with a kitchen was created - but don't call it a restaurant! Here you can buy food products like in any food shop - but actually the "drogheria" term means much more than that and is evocative of all the many small food shops that once dotted the city, where you felt immediately at home and tasted things before deciding whether to buy them and the owners always looked like sweet grandparents - but you can also order from a lunch and dinner menu with affordable prices and after having tasted them you can ask for the recipes.
From breakfast to dinner, Drogheria Plinio alternates kitchen functions with a food market, and in October, cooking classes will kick in, in order to teach to foreigners - but Italians too - the culinary wonders each Region of Italy shelters (the programme is promising, starting with Tuscany).
Drogheria Plinio is a way of connecting and supporting small suppliers that without it would not gain enough visibility to create their network and therefore survive. That is why these small firms accepted to sell their product at a competitive price, in order to make high quality, niche products available to everybody and educate them about what high quality, Italian natural food products mean.
And if you don’t start to do that in the very birthplace of good food, where should you do it?
Written by: Elisa della Barba