Niko Romito
biography
A self-taught Chef, deeply rooted in Abruzzo, the region he was born in. When Niko first entered a kitchen, he never thought it would become his world. He was actually studying Economics at university in Rome, with still a few exams to take to complete it, dreaming of a career as Finance Advisor, when his father, who had recently transformed the family-run pastry shop Reale into a trattoria, fell ill.

Cristiana and Niko came back to Abruzzo to take care of the trattoria, with the intention of keeping it going until they would find a buyer. The two siblings instead, became passionate for the job and when their father passed away, they decided to take over the Reale.
With no culinary background, Niko quickly crafted a personal cuisine of his own and in just 7 years clinched his first Michelin star.

In 2011, the restaurant moved to Casadonna, a 16th century former Monastery in Castel di Sangro that Cristiana and Niko renovated and furnished by choosing materials and works of art aligned with their idea of elegance, purity and beauty and consistent with the culinary philosophy of Reale Restaurant.
There, in addition to the restaurant and the rooms, a vocational school for professional training was established, the Accademia Niko Romito (Vocational Culinary Academy).

In November 2014, the restaurant was awarded the third Michelin star and Niko started developing new formats.

Today, through an in-depth study, research and relentless experimentations, combined with a strong entrepreneurial drive, Niko Romito has succeeded in consolidating an innovative culinary style, infused with his own identity together with a complex system that combines haute-cuisine, various formats, top level training and products for home consumption.
Cooking philosophy

purity

"Purity is the supreme synthesis of flavour, it is essentiality and then beauty. Searching for purity means making the synthesis of something extremely complex but in a clear way and catching the quintessence. Synthesis is the hardest thing to achieve, but it is the form of beauty I am searching for."

verticality

“Verticality of flavour, in its full expression, is at the core of my cuisine. I try to go deep down the matter before exploring its content. It is like bringing back an unknown world by unfolding flavours which are unexpected and completely new."

substance

“The effect my cuisine creates is like a magnifying glass that makes the matter appear clearer and brings into focus what I thought I could see clearly but it was actually blurred. My dishes represent a clearer and deeper expression of the ingredient: they are based on common and recognisable elements but with a greater intensity and complexity.”

vegetables

“My research and experimentation on vegetables blazes new trails. It gives me an incredible creative excitement although it requires the highest precision. The most unexpected results are achieved by using common ingredients, like a carrot or an onion.” ..

lightness

“My cuisine is not tasty in spite of being light, it is tasty because it is light. I leave no room for the superfluous to intensify flavours and make them purer. Flavours are more intense and dishes healthier, which is fundamental: not only a chef has to know how to cook well but he has to make people eat well.”

territory

“I am privileged to live in Abruzzo, surrounded by nature, where biodiversity is all around. This offers me varieties of products to experiment, such as the wheat from Solina variety. Ten years ago, I started my research on bread because I really wanted to give value to this variety, which was rather uncommon at that time. But there’s more; those mountains, the quietness they evoke and the loneliness they imply, helped me stay more focused and be aware of my path.”

analytical creativity

“When I start creating a new dish, I never know where I will end up. I start working on the flavour, scent and texture and when after the first bites and tries, I realize that something is not working, I try to understand why and in doing so, I am taken where I would never expect to get. It’s right there where my push comes from, trying to change what I don’t like and questioning even what I have always taken for granted. My recipes are constantly evolving.”

timeline
2000

Cristiana e Niko
take over Ristorante Reale.

2006

Niko is appointed “Young Chef of the year” by the Espresso Guide

2007

First Michelin star.

2009

Second
Michelin star

Publishing of the book Niko.
La semplicità Reale di Niko Romito,
Clara Padovani Gigi Padovani (Giunti editore).

Assoluto di Cipolla

2010

Roasted eggplant
and peach caramel.

2011

Reale Restaurant moves to Casadonna.

Reale Restaurant is awarded
with the "Lunch of the Year Award" by the Espresso Guide.
2012

Niko Romito vocational school is established

Niko Romito is named "Best Chef of the Year"
by Identità Golose.
2013

Inauguration of the first Spazio
in Rivisondoli, the Spazio “Zero”.

Bread becomes one of the items in the tasting menu of Ristorante Reale.

The project Unforketable is launched:

an online video encyclopedia featuring contemporary Italian cuisine.
2014

Third Michelin star and inauguration of Spazio in Rome.

Artichoke

2015

Inauguration of Spazio in Milan.

inauguration of ‘Bomba’ temporary store in Naples.

Performance of the Year"
award by the Espresso Guide.

Publishing of the book Dieci lezioni di cucina by Niko Romito e Laura Lazzaroni (Giunti editore).

2016

Unveiling of the project ‘Nutritional Intelligence’ in partnership with ‘Università La Sapienza’ in Rome.

Cavolfiore

2017

The collaboration with Bulgari Hotels & Resorts begins.

nauguration of the first Il Ristorante - Niko Romito in Beijing and inauguration, after a few months, of the second ‘Ristorante Niko Romito’ in Dubai.

Reale Restaurant enters into the top of the World's 50 Best restaurants at No.43.

2018

Inauguration of Il Ristorante Niko Romito in Shanghai and in Milan, the one in Shanghai clinches the first Micheline star.

Inauguration of PANE Laboatorio and ALT (Landing Station of Taste) in Castel di Sangro.

Niko Romito participates in the broadcast Youth Empowerment by Save the Children in Bolivia, with the support of Bulgari.

Publishing the book
Unforketable.it.

La cucina italiana di Niko Romito a casa tua by Niko Romito e Elisia Menduni (edited by Giunti).

The University Campus for research and advanced culinary Arts enters design phase.

Publishing of the book Apparentemente semplice by Niko Romito

and Leopoldo Gasbarro (edited by Sperling and Kupfer).

2019

Inauguration of Spazio Bar e Cucina in Rome.

Reale Restaurant confirms its position at the top of the ranking of the Italian Restaurants Guides

with 5 Hats by the Espresso Guide and 96/100 points by Gambero Rosso Guide. Romito Restaurant in Milan is awarded with 2 Hats by the Expresso Guide.

Il Ristorante - Niko Romito in Beijing clinches the first Michelin star.

2020

Best European Chef of the Year award by Madrid Fusion.

PANE Laboratory evolves into Niko Romito Laboratory the research and development laboratory on baking process and fermentation techniques of leavened products of traditional pastry.

Niko Romito is testimonial at Dubai Expo for the future of the food and takes part in the forum "Food for Planet".

The catering of the Italian Pavillon is given to the format Spazio Niko Romito.

2021

Chef Mentor award by Michelin Guide.

Inauguration of the second ALT in Montesilvano.

Opening of Il Ristorante – Niko Romito at Bulgari Hotel in Paris.

The regional law concerning the value of the Campus of Niko Romito Research and Vocational Culinary Academy for Abruzzo Region is unanimously approved.

2022

Broccoli leaf
and anise

Reale Restaurant launches its plant-based tasting menu completely dedicated to vegetables.

Niko Romito starts his collaboration with the World Economic Forum

as inspirational source for a new vision about nutrition.

Il Ristorante - Niko Romito at Bulgari Hotel & Resorts in Dubai

clinches two Michelin stars at the first -ever edition in United Arab Emirates of Michelin Guide.

Reale Restaurant climbs to No. 15 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Chef Niko Romito is n. 14
best chef in the world on the ranking of the Best Chef Awards.

biography
 
A self-taught Chef, deeply rooted in Abruzzo, the region he was born in. When Niko first entered a kitchen, he never thought it would become his world. He was actually studying Economics at university in Rome, with still a few exams to take to complete it, dreaming of a career as Finance Advisor, when his father, who had recently transformed the family-run pastry shop Reale into a trattoria, fell ill.

Cristiana and Niko came back to Abruzzo to take care of the trattoria, with the intention of keeping it going until they would find a buyer. The two siblings instead, became passionate for the job and when their father passed away, they decided to take over the Reale.
With no culinary background, Niko quickly crafted a personal cuisine of his own and in just 7 years clinched his first Michelin star.

In 2011, the restaurant moved to Casadonna, a 16th century former Monastery in Castel di Sangro that Cristiana and Niko renovated and furnished by choosing materials and works of art aligned with their idea of elegance, purity and beauty and consistent with the culinary philosophy of Reale Restaurant.
There, in addition to the restaurant and the rooms, a vocational school for professional training was established, the Accademia Niko Romito (Vocational Culinary Academy).

In November 2014, the restaurant was awarded the third Michelin star and Niko started developing new formats.

Today, through an in-depth study, research and relentless experimentations, combined with a strong entrepreneurial drive, Niko Romito has succeeded in consolidating an innovative culinary style, infused with his own identity together with a complex system that combines haute-cuisine, various formats, top level training and products for home consumption.
Cooking philosophy

purity

verticality

substance

vegetables

lightness

territory

analytical creativity

functional cuisine

2000

Cristiana and Niko
take over Ristorante Reale.

2006

Niko is appointed
“Young Chef of the year”
by the Espresso Guide.

2007

First Michelin star.

2009

Second Michelin star.

2009

Publishing of the book Niko. La semplicità Reale di Niko Romito, Clara Padovani Gigi Padovani (Edited by Giunti Editore ).

Piatto
Assoluto di Cipolla

2010

Melanzana arrosto
e caramello di pesca

2011

Reale Restaurant moves to Casadonna

Reale Restaurant is awarded with the
‘Lunch of the Year Award' by the Espresso Guide.
2012

Niko Romito vocational school is established.

Niko Romito is named ‘Best Chef of the Year’
2012 by Identità Golose.
2013

Inauguration of the first Spazio
in Rivisondoli, the Spazio “Zero”.

2013
Bread becomes one of the items
in the tasting menu of Ristorante Reale.

The project Unforketable is launched:

an online video encyclopedia featuring
contemporary Italian cuisine.
2014

Third Michelin star

Inauguration of Spazio in Rome.
2014

Carciofo

2015

Inauguration of Spazio in Milan

Inauguration of ‘Bomba’ temporary store
in Naples.
2015

‘Performance of the Year’
award by the Espresso Guide.

Publishing of the book Dieci lezioni
di cucina by Niko Romito
and Laura Lazzaroni (edited by Giunti).
2016

Unveiling of the project ‘Nutritional Intelligence’ in partnership with ‘Università La Sapienza’ in Rome. .

Cavolfiore
2017

Inauguration of the first Il Ristorante - Niko Romito in Beijing

Inauguration, after a few months, of the second ‘Ristorante Niko Romito’ in Dubai.
Reale Restaurant
enters into the top of the World's
50 Best restaurants at No.43
2018
Inauguration of Il Ristorante Niko Romito in Shanghai
and in Milan, the one in Shanghai clinches
the first Micheline star.
Inauguration of PANE Laboatorio and ALT (Landing Station of Taste) in Castel di Sangro.
2018
Niko Romito participates in the broadcast Youth Empowerment by Save the Children in Bolivia, with the support of Bulgari.
Publishing of the book Unforketable.it.
La cucina italiana di Niko Romito a casa tua by
Niko Romito and Elisia Menduni (edited by Giunti).
2018
The University Campus for research and advanced culinary Arts enters design phase.
Publishing of the book Apparentemente semplice by Niko Romito
and Leopoldo Gasbarro
(edited by Sperling and Kupfer).
2019
Inauguration of Spazio Bar and Cucina in Rome.
Reale Restaurant confirms its position at the top of the ranking of the Italian Restaurants Guides, .
with 5 Hats by the Espresso Guide and
96/100 points by Gambero Rosso Guide.
Spazio Niko Romito Restaurant in Milan is awarded
with 2 Hats by the Expresso Guide.
2019
Il Ristorante - Niko Romito in Beijing clinches the first Michelin star.
2020
Best European Chef of the Year award by Madrid Fusion.
PANE Laboratory evolves
into Niko Romito Laboratory,
the research and development laboratory
on baking process and fermentation
techniques of leavened products of
traditional pastry.
2020
Niko Romito is testimonial at Dubai Expo for the future of the food and takes part in the forum "Food for Planet".
The catering of the Italian Pavillon is given to the format Spazio Niko Romito.
2021
Chef Mentor award by Michelin Guide.
Inauguration of the second ALT
in Montesilvano.
2021
Opening of Il Ristorante
Niko Romito at Bulgari Hotel in Paris.
The regional law concerning the value of the Campus of Niko Romito Research and Vocational Culinary Academy for Abruzzo Region is unanimously approved.
2022

Foglia di broccolo e anice

Reale Restaurant launches its plant-based
tasting menu completely dedicated to vegetables.

2022
Niko Romito starts his collaboration with the World Economic Forum
as inspirational source for a new vision about nutrition.nutrizione.
Il Ristorante - Niko Romito at Bulgari Hotel & Resorts in Dubai
clinches two Michelin stars
at the first -ever edition in United Arab Emirates of Michelin Guide.
2022
Reale Restaurant climbs to No. 15 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
come ispiratore di una nuova visione della nutrizione.
Chef Niko Romito is n. 14 best chef in the world on the ranking of the Best Chef Awards
Laboratorio Niko Romito apre il suo
primo flagship store a Milano.