A menu entirely dedicated to the flavors of Naples and Campania, drawing inspiration from the sounds of the music of its great performers: “Terra Mia” is the new evolution of the gourmet philosophy of Francesco Apreda, the chef of Ristorante Idylio by Apreda, executive chef at The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel, where he also oversees the concept of the Divinity Terrace.
“I can say that I have traveled to many countries living many different and interesting experiences, but amongst the many things I have done in my life and in my professional career, I had never dedicated a menu to my origins,” says Francesco Apreda, “The last, particular period we have lived has allowed me to find new awareness and serenity. Reflecting on what happened gave rise to important stimuli in me: this menu is a tale of the flavors of my life.”
A themed menu in which, however, Apreda’s signature style is recognizable, a culinary style that has always combined the skillful use of spices, the influences of cuisines discovered during his travels and the use of modern techniques to enhance the characteristics of raw materials.
The new course of the Campania-born chef, who has been honored by industry guides with major awards, including the Michelin Star, thus tells of the foods and flavors of his childhood and adolescence.
“Street food has always characterized my neighborhood, from bread with hot ricotta to mussel peppered, dishes carved in my memory and that I told my brigade about, to transfer the olfactory and gustatory sensations that I wanted to give to the dishes of Terra Mia. – Francesco Apreda emphasizes.
“When I decided to leave Naples to pursue a career in haute cuisine, I started by going to the Riviera Romagnola. There my cousin Gino, a fundamental person in my life, came to visit me and gave me the vinyl of Pino Daniele’s Terra Mia album. It was a gift with symbolic value that represented the bond with my hometown and became a true traveling companion over time.”
Terra Mia is a menu structured around five courses that allows you to take a real gastronomic journey to discover Naples. It starts with the Caprese variegata e Gamberi rosa, a hymn to freshness that has Chef Apreda’s special processing of mozzarella (served at 38°) as its centerpiece, and continues with the Impepata di Cozze e Melanzane, a dish that comes from the fusion of several memories.
“In this dish there is the strength of the classic impepata, the acidic note reminiscent of homemade eggplant in oil, and the sweetness of ricotta cheese that recalls one of my favorite childhood foods,” confesses Francesco Apreda.
Another fundamental preparation of the Neapolitan tradition becomes the protagonist on the menu with Maccheroni Arruscati al Ragù Napoletano – the secret of which lies in the classic ragout prepared with pork trimmings and 20 spices, to add a personal touch as well. With the Sciabola alla Brace “Vista Positano,” on the other hand, the inspiration is the coast, a land of extraordinary products and simple but intense flavors, well represented by this dish that brings to the table all the aromas of a recipe savored by the chef during vacations. The Babà “Mille Culure,” Laurel and Apricots is the best possible closure for a menu of great gustatory and emotional impact like this one – with a reference to the most iconic phrase from Pino Daniele’s album.
Francesco Apreda’s creative process does not end with the new menu, but also continues with the spring version of Sapidità Essenziali, comprising seven courses, which synthesizes the incredible work done by the Campania chef on salt-free dishes, and is enriched with dishes such as Artichoke, Sea Lettuce and Saffron, Pasta in bianco alle Cinque Radici e Caviale and Ricciola all’Ischitana, White Asparagus and Broad Beans.
“Even the spring version of Sapidità Essenziali is made with products from organic farming and respects the proportion of vegetables, fish and meat (50 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively) for a good and healthy menu,” Apreda stresses.
Also available at Idylio’s are the Iconic Signature tasting tours, featuring the chef’s historic dishes, and Idylio’s Butterfly, which allows diners to try dishes from different menus.
The gourmet experience offered by The Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel does not end with the fine dining offerings of the Idylio by Apreda Restaurant, but also continues in the Divinity Terrace with the new menu created by Apreda, a beautiful terrace where pizza is also available every evening.