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 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 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."

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“My cuisine tells exactly who I am, but it is always functional to the project it is serving. It is a kind of ‘useful creativity”: behind any creation –from a dish for Reale to the iconic Bomba – they all express my thought but each of them makes it by using context-appropriate languages. The results of the great research work we have been doing at Reale follow various formats and there is a constant exchanging among them, they are mutually feeding each other according to the principle of communicating vessels.”

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.

"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 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."

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“My cuisine tells exactly who I am, but it is always functional to the project it is serving. It is a kind of ‘useful creativity”: behind any creation –from a dish for Reale to the iconic Bomba – they all express my thought but each of them makes it by using context-appropriate languages. The results of the great research work we have been doing at Reale follow various formats and there is a constant exchanging among them, they are mutually feeding each other according to the principle of communicating vessels.”

timeline

2000

Cristiana and Niko
take over Ristorante Reale

Ravioli di ricotta di pecora e acqua

2006

Niko is appointed “Young Chef of the year”
by 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
(Edited by Giunti Editore ).

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”.

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

The 3 Michelin star.

Inauguration of Spazio in Rome.

Carciofo e rosmarino

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
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.

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 di Niko Romito e Elisia Menduni (Giunti editore).

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

Publishing of the book Apparentemente semplice by Niko Romito

di Leopoldo Gasbarro (Sperling and Kupfer editore)

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.

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.

skip timeline

2000

Cristiana and Niko
take over Ristorante Reale

Ravioli di ricotta di pecora e acqua

2006

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

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.

Viene lanciato
the project
Unforketable:

an online video encyclopedia featuring
contemporary Italian cuisine.

2014

The 3 Michelin star.

Inauguration of Spazio in Rome.

2014

Carciofo e rosmarino

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.

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

by Leopoldo Gasparro
(Sperling and Kupfer Editore)

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 lis

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.

2022

Foglia di broccolo e anice

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.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.

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

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.

Autumn Break: Restaurant Reale and the Hotel Casadonna will be closed until  November 15th, 2023.

We will reopen on November 16th, dinner time.
 
The reservations line will reopen on the 15th of November. reservations@casadonna.it