Italian cuisine is appreciated all over the world, and in London – where there are approximately 250,000 Italians – things are not different. However, it is here, in Covent Garden, that Igor Iacopini, from Fermo, decided to go beyond the usual stereotypes made of spaghetti bolognese and pizza, opening a restaurant offering exclusively dishes and wines from the Marche region, his homeland and he named it RossoDiSera.
“When I was traveling abroad – says Iacopini – I never found a product from Marche, if not a few bottles of Verdicchio. I was working in the marketing field and I immediately realized that the gap had to be filled.”
The new flavors and the quality of the dishes conquered the heart, and taste buds, of customers. Only some fresh raw materials come from markets in London, but most of them are imported directly from Marche, like wine, oil, cured meats, cheeses, and jams, but also traditional products such as ‘cicerchie’, ‘lonzino di fichi’, ‘Varnelli anise’, and ‘sapa’. The diversity of customers could lead to some compromise, trying to satisfy the common taste, at the risk of distorting the original flavors, but Iacopini on this is clear: “If a dish is not appreciated, I prefer not to offer it, rather than change it. For example, ‘vincigrassi’ must have the upper part burned, but this is not appreciated, and we only rarely serve them.”
Authenticity is the keyword of RossoDiSera, the only Marche regional restaurant in the UK, where the staff that offers previously unheard-of dishes is all from Marche. Iacopini even brought the bricks used to cover the internal walls of the restaurant, which were obtained from the renovation of a nineteenth-century family farmhouse.
Ilona Catani Scarlett