Isabella Poti

Isabella Poti is head chef & partner of Michelin-starred restaurant Bro’s in Lecce, Puglia; a small historic city in Italy’s heel often labelled the “Florence of the South”. The young pastry chef and sometimes-fashion-model from Rome was named by Forbes magazine as one of its “30 under 30” in 2017, and has also featured as a guest chef on the televised cooking competition, Masterchef Italy.

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My Daily Bread

There is a coffee shop in Lecce where I go almost every day called Caffè Cittadino. It’s in the historic centre, very close to Piazza Sant’Oronzo.

Where To Enjoy Beautiful Local Dishes

When I’m not in the kitchen and have some free time, I love to eat at Mamma Lupa, a small restaurant close to Bros where we eat great and fast bruschetta (sliced toasted bread topped with local ingredients).

I also love Mani in Pasta, a panetteria (Italian bakery) that offers typical dishes of Salento, like polpette al sugo (tomato meatballs) and pizza di patate (potato pizza). Here you can also try a very typical dish from Lecce called le fave con le cicureddre which is a delicious plate of mashed broad beans with boiled chicory.

Fresh Seafood By The Seaside

For lunch go to Taverna Del Porto, on the harbour in Tricase – a little place in the deep south – where you can eat really good and fresh fish.

If we want to go near the Ionian sea – part of the Mediterranean Sea – we go to Le Macare in Alezio, where the chef uses the most exclusive ingredients.

Where To Find The Gourmands

L’Altro Baffo – located in the coastal town of Otranto – is an elegant place for gourmets. Here you’ll find super fresh, delicious fish.

Classic Flavours In The Countryside

If I’m going to the countryside, I like to enjoy the taste of more classic flavours at restaurants like Le Stanzie in Supersano and Lilith in Struda, a small village near Lecce.

Guide last updated August 2019

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