Head Chef at Gianni: ‘Estonians are adventurous!’

The top chef Costantino Veglianti from Gianni has experience from Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany and Italy. Here’s why he chose Estonia as his place to work. 

Gianni in Tallin Estonia was nominated for numerous awards for the Silver Spoon Awards 2017. Behind Gianni you will find the talented chef Costantino Veglianti who was born and raised in Italy, in the region of Lazio near Rome.

Prior to Gianni, Costantino has worked at various Italian restaurants in the United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany and Italy.

We talked with the renowned head chef about his past experiences and Gianni.

What made you choose Estonia as your next challenge?

“This was a combination of situation and curiosity. When Gianni opened 11 years ago, I was offered a position here. At the time, I had a restaurant in Berlin, but I felt that I needed a change of scenery. It was probably the main reason, why I came here – a new market, a new situation.

Although I knew little about Estonia, it was an exciting challenge. Now I’ve been here on and off for 10 years!”

You have worked at restaurants around the world. How much is working at Gianni different from your previous experiences?

“Actually, working at a restaurant is pretty much the same everywhere. What changes is the environment and the team, but the everyday work is essentially the same. A lot depends on the people you work with. This is maybe a bit harder for me, because people here aren’t that open. But this will improve over time. For me personally, working here is quite like working in Berlin.”

“However, differences can be found in people’s eating habits. For example, in Germany, people are more cautious or have higher expectations. But here, people are very curious and they want to try new things. Estonians are adventurous!”

Do you sometimes think about going back to Italy?

“Maybe someday.. when I’m retired. Since all my relatives are there, I visit them twice a year and see, what has changed in the food world and elsewhere. I think it would be difficult to work in Italy right now.

When I left, I was just over 20 years old. This is a very long time ago. Perhaps I’m used to a certain lifestyle and work conditions that I have here, which may be different there.”

Gianni has a café and a restaurant. What’s the difference?

„The kitchen is the same. The people who prepare the food are the same. The café is mainly visited by people who don’t have much time – for example a business lunch. The food needs to be made faster and the price must be more affordable. We have a fixed menu, but there are also different daily offers.

The café is more relaxed and aimed at everyday visitors. However the café and restaurant guests are often the same – first they have lunch in the café and then later on they’ll have dinner in the restaurant. The restaurant is mostly visited by people who want to sit calmly in the evening and enjoy the food for a long time.”

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