In Conversation with Chef Floriano Pellegrino of Bros' Restaurant
Founded by 2 brothers in the inviting town of Lecce, Bros’ Restaurant grew to be a labour of love. We asked chef and owner Floriano Pellegrino, who worked abroad prior to coming back to Lecce, about the culinary traditions of his hometown.
Address: Via Acaja 2, 73010 Lecce LE, Italy
Best time to visit: 12h00–14h30, 20h00–23h30
What does it mean to be a local in Lecce?
It is stimulating. Our culture is not focused on gourmet restaurants, food-wise. But everything is changing, so being part of such a revolution is amazing.
How does Lecce / Puglia influence the cuisine prepared and served at Bros’?
In the best way possible. We are literally devoted to the ingredients we discover everyday in our land. Our starting point is our gastronomic background, our culture. We research the “inner” taste that generated our cuisine. Accordingly, we try to use and test different techniques with the wild and cultivated ingredients from our land.
"We are literally devoted to the ingredients we discover everyday in our land. Our starting point is
our gastronomic background, our culture."
What makes the place where you live special to you?
Our childhood, which we spent here. And a natural inclination for acidic and fermented foods – those are tastes we truly believe in.
Friends from abroad are visiting, where should they go for a morning café ritual?
Caffè Cittadino in Lecce – it has an excellent selection of coffees and is located just off piazza Sant’Oronzo (Via Francesco Rubichi, 35, Lecce).
... a local food experience?
Le Stanzie. It’s one of the most authentic agricultural restaurants in all of Salento, set amidst a magnificent country landscape (Strada Provinciale, 362, Supersano).
... an evening out for a drink?
At Quanto Basta in Lecce you can try one of the best cocktails in Italy (Craft cocktails in a cozy bar, Via Marco Basseo, 29, Lecce).
What distinguishes Bro’s from the other restaurants in the region?
The fact that we are 15 people from all over the world, devoted to one mission: to create the best dishes in the world using our own land’s ingredients.
Where would you go for a quiet, rejuvenating escapade?
Home. It’s where we go to take a break, since we are always at the restaurant.
A secret address or location you could regret sharing with us?
PianoB Club in Siracusa for pizza (Via Cairoli, 18, Syracuse) .
Is there one thing to eat or drink that you think best captures the soul of your region?
Ricotta Scante. It’s a fermented Ricotta, amazing. We use it for one of our iconic dishes.
In the vein of loving all things acidic, Floriano shares a recipe straight from their kitchen: a lemon tart with a zesty bite, an unexpected warmth from the oregano, and a sweet tart with sheep’s milk ice cream, giving us a real taste of Lecce!
Lemon Oregano Tart and
Sheep’s Milk Ice Cream
For the tart pastry base:
1,5 kg flour “00”
½ cup potato starch
800 g butter
225 g feuilletine (fine crumbled biscuit)
1 cup white sugar
For the lemon cream:
110 g (7.5 tbsp) lemon juice
1 cup sugar
110 g egg
2 tbsp lemon zest
5 teaspoons wild oregano
150 g butter
1 gelatin sheet
For the sheep’s milk ice cream:
160 g cream
1L sheep’s milk
½ cup sugar
20 g inverted sugar
20 g powdered milk
100 g ProCreamer
(used to stabilize ice creams)
For the pastry base: Combine butter and sugar; add, little by little, the eggs, flour and potato starch; finally combine with feuilletine. Cook for 12 minutes with weights and 5 more without.
For the lemon cream: Bring juice, sugar, eggs, zest and oregano up to 65˚C; add the gelatin sheet and finally, the butter. Filter everything.
For the ice cream: Mix all the ingredients and bring up to 84˚C. Strain, freeze in little beakers via Pejocet and serve cold.
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