Isabella Poti

Don’t let Isabella Potì’s age fool you. The half-Italian, half-Polish head chef and partner at Michelin-starred restaurant Bros' in Lecce has become one of the most celebrated chefs in Italy, and was featured in Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30” in 2017. This is where Potì liked to eat in southern Apulia's Baroque city.
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My Daily Routine

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. It’s a place I am very fond of. It has a small menu of very high quality products to enjoy as an aperitivo. A few steps from Piazza Sant’Oronzo is Ristorante Semiserio, which has an excellent offering of local and seasonal products with a wine list that matches the food. Sista is a new pastry shop I’m working on. I pick up at least one crostata per week from there. We used to make the same crostata at Bros’.

Where To Enjoy Local Specialties

When I’ve got some free time on my hand, I love to eat at Mamma Lupa, a small and swift restaurant close to Bros’ that serves great bruschetta. I also love going to Mani in Pasta, a panetteria (Italian bakery) that makes typical dishes from Salento such as polpette al sugo (tomato meatballs) and pizza di patate (potato pizza). There’s also a very typical dish from Lecce that you can try here and it’s called le fave con le cicureddre which is a delicious plate of mashed broad beans with boiled chicory.

Exploring Regional Flavours From the Sea to the Countryside

For lunch I recommend Taverna Del Porto that’s on the harbour in Tricase – a little place in the deep south. You can eat really good, fresh fish there. If you want a taste of the Ionian sea, which is part of the Mediterranean Sea, go to Le Macare in Alezio: the chef there uses the most exclusive ingredients. L’Altro Baffo is a restaurant located in the coastal town of Otranto and is an elegant place loved by gourmants. Again, super fresh and delicious fish to be found here. In the countryside, I seek more rustic flavours at restaurants like Le Stanzie in Supersano and Lilith in Struda, a small village near Lecce.

A Trattoria To Call Home

In 2018 we opened Bros’ Trattoria in Scorrano, a province of Lecce that’s 30km from the city and where Floriano [Pellegrino; husband and partner] and I live. It’s a beautiful place with a cosmopolitan team of young chefs, all under 30. Everything is closely linked to the territory. It strives to carry on the Salento traditions through techniques and awareness. It’s a place that’s open daily for lunch and dinner, with two food menus priced at 30 and 50 euros.

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